Evelyn & Mike Kormanik
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank (1929-1945)"
There is so much need, so I go with Martin Luther King’s philosophy that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.
Whenever we think ‘Volunteer Power Couple,’ two dear friends of Cabot come to mind - Evelyn and Mike Kormanik.
Evelyn and Mike both lived in several areas of New York City before meeting, marrying, and eventually settling in Staten Island some 28 years ago. Both worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and retired after lengthy careers. Today, most of their attention is focused on the Staten Island Giving Circle, a community outreach group they founded in 2008 to raise funds and lend support to various charitable organizations across the country.
“There is so much need,” Evelyn says, “so I go with Martin Luther King’s philosophy that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
Evelyn and Mike have been active in volunteering all their lives – including working with an orphanage in Slovakia through their church - but their most expansive undertaking was to establish the “Staten Island Giving Circle” in 2008. Mike works right alongside Evelyn in this venture, and he's affectionately referred to as the CEO – Carry Everything Out. Evelyn invited like-minded, altruistic friends to jump-start her grassroots community outreach initiative. The first meeting drew 24 participants, and today the group has grown to 800 like-minded volunteers.
“We assist underserved children, seniors, military and homeless in our own Staten Island community” Evelyn said. “Our work is hands-on, so we meet hundreds and hundreds of community people in need and connect with hundreds of others through collaborating organizations. Unfortunately, there is no lack of need. Local schools, organizations, and individuals contact us whenever emergencies or needs arise,” Evelyn said. “We continue to find unique and practical ways to help people in need. I’m also now a member of Soroptimist International and NYS Women, Inc., and Mike and I both work hard and are very active with the South Shore Rotary, so things are always busy around here.”
Celebrating its 10thyear, The Staten Island Giving Circle has instituted such projects/initiatives as Adopt-a-Pantry and collected $21,000 in 2018 to give each of 42 pantries $500 gift cards as its biggest initiative of the year. The Giving Circle also supports the Teachers' Closets initiative where it gives $500 worth of school supplies to underserved schools who declare a need. The Giving Circle supports School Enrichment Programs including Clothing Closets programs that receive $500 each when alerted to needs in the schools. They also fund birthday and holiday parties at the local children's homeless shelter for children from newborn to 18; award monthly $100 Random Acts of Kindness to people in need; hold an Annual Community Ice Cream Social; and they conduct an Annual Swimsuit Collection so underserved kids can swim in the public pools. Equally important, the Giving Circle established Junior Giving Circles in several schools so young people can learn the joy and value of "giving.”
Mike and Evelyn enjoy traveling together and Evelyn loves sewing and needlepoint, antiquing and tennis. Evelyn started a book Club in 2000 and reads whenever she can. And they both love Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar.
Joining us as 2019 Community Celebrity Cruise Alumni, this will be Evelyn and Mike’s fourth Celebrity Cruise. They previously set sail with Cabot in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Don’t hesitate to connect with Mike and Evelyn as they love to brainstorm ways to develop fundraising programs and help others. It’s what they do!