Boys & Girls Village celebrates 70 years

Boys & Girls Village will celebrate 70 years of providing services to at-risk children and families at the first Shining Star Gala on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Trumbull Marriott.

The evenings program will include New York Times best-selling author, broadcaster, BBC host and Booker Prize Judge Frank Delaney as the guest speaker, and marketing guru, author and president of NYC-based marketing firm MEIER, Diane Meier, as the emcee.

National Public Radio refers to Delaney as “the most eloquent man in the world.”

Meier’s clients have included top companies such Neiman Marcus, DeBeers, Maximilian Furs, Kohler, Elizabeth Arden and Pierre Balmain.

At the event, Delaney will moderate interviews with two former Boys & Girls Village children – now both successful adults.

According to BGV President/CEO Steven M. Kant, “We decided to host an event to celebrate our past 70 years of successfully providing services to at-risk children and families, and to showcase our future plans for continuing success. To us, everyone attending this event is a shining example of the many individuals, businesses and corporations who support us through donations, in-kind and volunteer services, and grants – thus, everyone is a Shining Star.”

One of the Founders of Boys & Girls Village was the grandfather of Gina Carloni Hart, a volunteer on the board of directors. She also serves as development and gala event chair.

“The reason my time is devoted to BGV is because my grandparents were founders of this wonderful agency,” Hart said. “I am the third generation to sit on the board and volunteer my time ensuring that the integrity of BGV continues in a positive direction and we continue to help ‘at risk’ children.”

Hart’s grandfather, Daniel Adley, became committed to creating a place like Boys & Girls Village due to his own personal tragedy. At a young age, his father was accidentally killed before his eyes by a passing train while he, his two siblings, and pregnant mother looked on. Shortly afterwards, his mother died after giving birth. This left four children without anyone to care for them, propelling them into four separate orphanages.

Heartbroken yet hopeful, he vowed to find his siblings and reunite his family. He was successful, and moved on – with his wife Yolanda at his side — to devote his life to helping children facing similar difficulties at what is now known as Boys & Girls Village.

“Another mission of the Shining Star Gala is to reach people who may need help and spread the word to others who might be of support to an amazing organization doing wonderful work to help others,” Hart said.

For event tickets, information on benefactor opportunities, or to donate an item for the silent auction, visit or call 203-877-0300 ext. 103.