Built in 1901, the settlement houses at 120 Jackson Ave. still serve teens and toddlers through afterschool services and numerous community outreach projects.
“The budget is year to year, and unfortunately we seem to be fighting year to year to get budgeting from the city,” said Rick Martinez, SSA program director. “The need is there and we’re ready to try and rebuild.”
Martinez is on the program for Saturday’s Ready Sett Dance! North Brooklyn Dance Competition, along with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, council members Antonio Reynoso and Carlos Menchaca, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna and many others.
Martinez explained that the center is in need of a complete overhaul, and that while millions of dollars have already been raised, they are still, “at a halfway point.”
Jose Leon, deputy executive director and event organizer with St. Nicks Alliance, said he expects the competition will bring out some positive energy and put the center in the right direction.
“This is a fun way to support an important community cause,” Leon said. “It should be a memorable night of local celebrities, dancing, and supporting our young people with a new community center.”
Reyna is teaming up with Reynoso for the “Dancing with the Stars”-inspired competition.
“I’m looking forward to a night of dancing and raising money for the School Settlement Associations' new community center," Reyna said.
Borough President Eric Adams said he is confident in Reyna’s team and looks forward to the benefit.
“Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna is a fierce competitor, on and off the dance floor,” Adams said. “I predict she and Council Member Antonio Reynoso will be twirling circles around the rest of the North Brooklyn competition.”
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, the winner of Legislative Idol, is also among the lineup of North Brooklyn celebrities on tap for the fundraiser.
“I welcome any chance I get to sing, and when I get to see my friends and colleagues dance too, it’s even better,” Lentol said. “The icing on the cake is when it's for a good cause.”