Contractors for Kids throwing Friday night beach party fundraiser

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Hyatt Place East End at the L.I. Aquarium and Exhibition center during a bridal showcase last October. Friday's fundraiser theme is beach party.

Children’s charity Contractors for Kids is ditching the black ties for this year’s annual fundraiser at the Long Island Aquarium.

Friday night’s reception is a beach-themed dance party, with no tuxedos allowed.

The charity, which assists families with seriously ill children pay for medical expenses, will host the reception from 7 p.m. to midnight in the aquarium, and will hold a separate dance party for the public at the Sea Star Ballroom next door from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The party will be DJ’d by disk jockeys from across Long Island, as well as That 70s Band.

Tickets to the party will cost $20 at the door, and all proceeds from the event will go towards Contractors for Kids. The charity expects more than 1,000 people to attend the event.

During the reception, charity leaders will also recognize several people who have worked to improve medical care for children on Long Island, including Tom Archer, a board member at New Beginnings Community Center for Brain Injury rehabilitation and a founding member of the Family Advocacy Group at Stony Brook University Medical Center, and Susan Walsh, the founder of Tristin’s Wish Foundation and a supporter of Smithtown Children’s Foundation.

The charity will also honor the memory of Jim Bissett III, the co-owner of the aquarium and a driving force in Riverhead’s downtown business district. Mr. Bissett was found dead of an apparent suicide in Mattituck last December, drawing an outpouring of support from local business owners and community leaders.
Founded in 2005, Contractors for Kids has raised more than $2.6 million from over 300 local builders, architects, engineers, real estate firms, and other businesses, according to the organization. For reservations, check their website at or call 1-888-208-KIDS.