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Local insurance agent will venture in for a swim with the sharks to raise money for Aid to the Developmentally Disabled

Beth Hanlon practices for her shark dunk at the aquarium. Photo: Katharine Schroeder

Riverhead Rotary president Beth Hanlon is wondering what she’s gotten herself into.

When she saw the Crowdrise page for the Aid to the Developmentally Disabled Shamrock Shindig fundraiser, she thought it would be fun to take a dunk with the sharks at the Long Island Aquarium and at the same time raise money for a cause close to her heart. But after a visit to the aquarium and a look at the sharks, she jokingly feigns terror at what she plans to do.

“I forgot how big they are. What did I get myself into?” she says with a laugh.

Hanlon, an Allstate Insurance agent with offices in Riverhead and Wading River, is a past board member of ADD and is currently president of the Riverhead Rotary Club. So far, she has raised $1,175 in the shark tank fundraising contest and is well on her way to being the lucky winner of an up-close visit with the sharks in the aquarium’s 120,000-gallon Lost City tank.  (Click here to help Hanlon win the chance to go swimming with the sharks.)

The Third annual Shamrock Shindig takes place on March 16 at the Long Island Aquarium and features an evening of Irish charm, great food and live music. All proceeds will go to ADD, a nonprofit human services agency that provides the highest level of quality services to all individuals with developmental disabilities.

Visit ADD’s website to purchase tickets and/or donate.


Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1980 by family members who were concerned about the physical and emotional decline of patients who lived in crowded institutions. These family members believed that appropriate treatment and training in a warm, sheltered, homelike environment would enhance their physical and emotional growth. With the support, funding and licensing of New York State’s Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH), Aid to the Developmentally Disabled came to life.

In 1984, ADD opened its first residential program in Riverhead and has grown into a multi-service organization providing residential programs, supported apartments, clinical supports and case management services for the mentally challenged, mentally ill and dual diagnosed adults. ADD presently operates 30 residential programs in locations throughout the North and South Forks of Eastern Long Island, with several additional programs in the planning stages.  Source: ADD.org