The nonprofit group Response of Suffolk County is hoping for a response from the community at its upcoming fundraiser: a Zumba event on Saturday at North Shore Montessori School in Stony Brook to support its mission of suicide prevention and crisis intervention. The event starts at 10 a.m.
Response director Meryl Cassidy said in a recent interview with Patch that the organization has an operating budget between $350,000 and $400,000 each year to keep its hotline and educational programs running. It relies heavily on fundraising and grants to keep going strong.
"It’s an ever changing budget because it keeps shrinking," Cassidy said.
What's more, potential budget cuts to youth bureau services in the Town of Brookhaven are also threatening the ability of the organizaation to keep providing the services that it does.
In 2011, Response handled more than 20,000 calls from Long Islanders in crisis.
On Saturday, a $20 donation at the door for the Zumba class will directly benefit Response of Suffolk County. Lottery tickets are also being sold for $5. Donations can also be made online at responsehotline.org.