24 Sep

Cycling for Back to School Success


Come “Tap it Back” in Support of a Good Cause!

The LSA Junior Board invites you to Cycling for Back to School Success, a cycling fundraiser, on Sunday, September 24 at 1:30pm at SoulCycle East 83rd. Proceeds from the event will support children in early childhood education programs at LSA’s headquarters in East Harlem.


A $50 ticket includes a private SoulCycle class, spin shoes, water, and post-class snacks and coffee. 

24 Jun

Verano Verde raises $20K!

Scroll through photos from the evening by clicking the right and left arrows, below.

Verano Verde  Photos by Kaddy Tsang

June 22, 2017 — New York, NY — LSA’s Junior Board raised over $20,000 for LSA programs at Verano Verde: A Celebration of East Harlem.

Over 150 guests attended the event, which was held at the Frieda and Roy and Furman Gallery at the Lincoln Center Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater.   The evening included music by Sebastian Cruz and delicious food reflecting the flavors of East Harlem.

On behalf of the Junior Board, we thank all of the fantastic event sponsors and all the guests and donors who helped make this event such a success.  


If you couldn’t make it to Verano Verde, you can still make a donation to support LSA’s life-changing programs for families in East Harlem.



El Paso Restaurante Mexicano * Omni-Wine  * Rosa Mexicano  *  Siete Foods  *  Nocciola Housemade Pasta * Grano Gluten-Free  *  Greensbury Market  *  Hot Jalapeño Restaurant *  Nocciola Pizzeria e Trattoria *  Costco  *  The Film Society at Lincoln Center  *  J Cellan Florists  *  Imperial Vintner Wine & Spirits  *  At Your Service Event Planning  *  Kaddy Tsang Photography


22 Jun

Verano Verde: Junior Board Event

Verano Verde

Save the Date for

VERANO VERDE: A Celebration of East Harlem

Hosted by the Junior Board of LSA Family Health Service

Buy Tickets Now!


June 22, 2017
6:30pm – 9:30pm
in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Lincoln Center Film Society
at plaza level on the north side of West 65th Street
165 West 65th St

16 Jun

El Paso at Verano Verde

Verano Verde

VERANO VERDE : A Celebration of East Harlem, hosted by our Junior Board, is just around the corner on June 22nd!  (Tickets to Verano Verde are sold out, but you can still learn more and contribute to support LSA programs.)

We’re excited about the amazing line-up of food sponsors contributing tastes of East Harlem to the evening. The main sponsor is El Paso Restaurante Mexicano which will offer an authentic Mexican taco bar and its exotic signature cocktail, a fusion of tequila and tamarind.

Read the inspiring story of Rodrigo Abrajan, chef and partial owner of El Paso, below.

Other delights will be provided by:

Rosa Mexicano
Siete Foods
Hot Jalapeño Restaurant
Greensbury Market
Grano Gluten-Free

Along with the delicious eats, guests will enjoy a silent auction and live Latin jazz by the talented Sebastian Cruz.

Our thanks to the fantastic food sponsors and to all those contributing to make a Verano Verde a success!


About Rodrigo Abrajan, Chef at El Paso Restaurante Mexicano

Rodrigo Abrajan

Rodrigo Abrajan

Located in the heart of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem), El Paso Restaurante is recognized as one of the finest Mexican restaurants in the country. Its menu features classic regional Mexican cuisine prepared with authentic recipes and fresh ingredients, and includes a wide selection of tequila and mezcal.  Here is the story of El Paso’s chef, Rodrigo Abrajan, in his own words…

My name is Rodrigo Abrajan and I am part owner and chef at El Paso Restaurante Mexicano. I was born in Puebla State, Mexico, and when I was 11 years old, I use to wait tables at a restaurant there and help the kitchen prep small sandwiches. This was my first introduction into the restaurant world.

I came to New York City in the summer of 1990 at the age of 16 years old. At first I didn’t realize how far away New York City was or that I was going to end up in the biggest and most important city in the world. When I arrived it was hard for me to find a job as an underage, skinny boy from Mexico.

Finally, after two months, I got a job as a dishwasher at Pellegrino’s in Little Italy.  When I started there I would always look around and watch the chefs make pasta and ask if I can help. Some cooks didn’t like that I was always watching and asking to help, but others would let me put butter and oil in the pans. I remember one cook asked me if I liked to cook. At that time I didn’t realize cooking would become my passion.  I worked at Pellegrino’s until the middle of November.

After Pellegrino’s, I worked with a variety of food vendors and restaurants.  For a week I helped another guy selling hot dogs out of a pushcart. From November until the spring of 1991, I worked at a Chinese restaurant where I was a delivery boy and helped with prep. In the spring of 1991, I worked in an Italian kitchen. In the mornings I would help the kitchen prep and at night I was a coffee boy. Working there helped me become familiar with a lot of fresh herbs and ingredients that I didn’t know you could cook with. In Mexico, basil is used as a remedial herb. I had no idea it was such a huge part of Italian cooking. Shortly after, I was given the opportunity to be a cook for a small sandwich shop in Midtown.  I never had any formal training or schooling; as I worked my way through the many different restaurants, I would watch the chefs carefully and learn my techniques that way.

In the summer of 1993, my best friend asked me to join him in selling tacos on the street. I put in my two weeks notice at my job and started selling tacos out of a wood cart. We bought the wooden cart for $800 from an old Puerto Rican man who used to sell alcapurrias out of it. We ran that cart on 104th Street and 3rd Avenue. In 1994, we got our stainless steal pushcart. Two years later we opened our first food truck, which we operated from 1996 to the spring of 1999. Then we opened up our first Taqueria on 104th and Lexington Avenue and a second location on 97th Street. When we opened, it was a big change for me because I never worked with a food menu before. Selling tacos on the street didn’t require a menu. I didn’t have anyone to turn to for help, so I would call my mom in Mexico and ask her what ingredients to use for my recipes. This was when I really found out I had a passion for Mexican cuisine. Then I opened El Paso in 2009, and I have been there ever since.

Coming here at a young age and not knowing anybody or having a lot of money, I was able to work my way up through this business. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities that have been given to me since I arrived in this country and I will never forget the people who have helped me learn and succeed.

El Paso Restaurante

El Paso Restaurante


13 Dec

Junior Board Holiday Happy Hour

Join the Junior Board and our network of young professionals at The Folly for a holiday themed happy hour. Half priced drink specials will be available.

The Folly is located at 92 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012.

19 Mar

Easter Arts & Crafts

Easter Arts & Crafts

A direct service event with LSA’s Junior Board and the Church of St. Francis de Sales

Volunteers are needed to help with fun spring arts and crafts activities for children in LSA programs, including an “egg hunt.”

Please RSVP to Trish at tgough@ lsafhs.org by Monday,  March 14th

Please bring a healthy snack to share!   A suggested $10 donation to cover the cost of the event will be gratefully accepted.

12 Dec

Volunteer Opportunity: Holiday Arts & Crafts, with Junior Board

Get into the holiday spirit!

The LSA Family Health Service Junior Board invites you to our Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts event with children from LSA’s Youth programs!
Saturday, December 12th from 11am – 1pm
Location: 333 East 115th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
We’ll be making Christmas tree ornaments and afterwards will decorate the LSA lobby tree, as well as create holiday cards with the children, plus other fun holiday-themed activities!
Please be sure to RSVP to Trish Gough no later than Thursday Dec 7th so we have an accurate head count (tgough@lsafhs.org or (646) 672-0434).
We look forward to having you join us!
16 Apr

Junior Board Event Raises Over $10K

Moscow in Manhattan, the inaugural event for LSA’s new Junior Board, raised over $10,000 for LSA Education and Youth Services.

April 15, 2015 — Over 70 guests filled Moscow 57 on the Lower East Side for “Moscow in Manhattan,” a fundraising event hosted by LSA Family Health Service’s newly established Junior Board. The goal of the Junior Board is to create an opportunity for young professionals to become more deeply engaged with the organization and prepare them to take on greater leadership roles.

LSA’s Junior Board is an extention of the New Friends Committee, a group of young dynamic NYC professionals who want to be involved in LSA’s work in East Harlem. Throughout the year, committee members participate in volunteer activities with LSA families, such as a recent Spring Arts & Crafts event. They also raise funds through social networking events at popular hotspots like Moscow 57.

The success of this approach to recruiting future leaders can be seen in the current Chairman of the Board of Directors, Scott DePetris, who became involved with LSA 15 years ago through the New Friends Committee.

“As a Junior Board member, I know that I’m part of large extended family that includes LSA clients, staff, board and the greater East Harlem community,” said Peter Stonbely, who Co-Chairs the Junior Board with Zia Heller. “It’s an amazing opportunity to feel connected with others in the city and to feel like we’re really making a difference in this neighborhood.”

“Moscow in Manhattan” raised over $10,000 through ticket sales, a raffle and silent auction. The funds raised will be used to support LSA Education and Youth Services, which include after-school tutoring, summer programs and a girls mentoring program.

One of the evening highlights was when Karla, a 12th grade high school student, spoke about her experience in LSA education programs. Karla’s family immigrated to East Harlem from Mexico when she was 5 years old. “I didn’t know a speck of English,” she said. “I didn’t even have friends because of the language barrier. LSA formed a community for me. I was able to learn English and excel in my academics. My mentor, Megan Newman, has exposed to me so many things I would have never thought I would be able to do. She taught me that, no matter what my background and circumstances are, I can always do anything I put my mind to.”

Today, Karla has been accepted to 12 of the 13 colleges to which she applied, thanks to the guidance of her mentor and the LSA Director of Education and Youth Services, Martha Andrade-Dousdebes. Funds raised at Moscow 57 will help LSA continue to support the educational and personal development of children like Karla.

Special thanks to auction donors:

54 Below
Brooke Charlesworth
East River Wines and Spirits
Evelyn’s Kitchen
Harley’s Smokeshack
J. McLaughlin
King’s Carriage House
The Linen Shop
Nocciola Ristorante
Peter Stonbely