Through his career as a licensed master social worker, James Regan has seen it all: families ravaged by addiction, senior citizens at risk due to constantly diminishing funds, mentally disabled children marginalized by a dearth of comprehensive care—the list goes on and on.
To Regan, however, these special cases are not just problems to be solved; they’re people to empower. This is why he recently founded the organization Lodestar, which provides children and their families the tools they need to improve their lives and support their needs. It’s also why so many local heroes in the culinary world—people like chef Harold Dieterle of Top Chef, Michael Guasta of West Babylon’s Pure Sugar Inc., Deer Park’s HopWin’s Brewery, and more—have signed on to offer their services to Lodestar’s first fundraising event, Cocktails & Canapés, at Appliance World in Huntington on Thursday, April 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The event is gearing up to be a fun night out for both adults and kids, and a recent sneak peek at its menu suggests the event will be a delicious one, too. Guests will enjoy everything from Baked Local Oysters to Prosciutto Wrapped Dates, Spicy Duck Meatballs to Smoked Beef Short Ribs. Also present in abundance will be a selection of local beer, wine, and desserts.
And yes, Lodestar is actually encouraging guests to bring along their kids.
“We want this event to be welcoming to everyone,” says Regan. “Licensed day care workers will be on-site to watch guests’ children and keep them safe and entertained with kid-friendly activities. Magician Mike Paladino will also be in attendance, so there really will be something for everyone.”
Something for everyone—this is the mission of Lodestar, the organization all of this tasty fun will support, in three words. Through Regan and his team’s work, Lodestar works to make sure that there really is something for everyone—even for those who, historically, have had nothing.
“I just took a big hit last month,” says Regan. “I found out that two kids I worked with about three years ago overdosed on heroin and are not with us anymore. It’s easy to go back and pinpoint all these holes in the existing programs that failed these kids. Maybe no program would have saved them. But sometimes agencies focus on the wrong things. I know these flaws intimately, having worked in this field for so long, and I know how to avoid them. I think it boils down to two things. First, do you have good people with good skills on your team? And second, do they actually want to make a difference? My team and I really do. We want to help families succeed. We want to keep their kids safe. We want to have tough conversations so nobody gets lost.”
Want to join the conversation? Tickets to Cocktails & Canapés start at $65 per person. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit Lodestar’s website. You can also enter to win a set of two tickets by entering the giveaway below.
Can’t see the form? Enter here.