The 2017 Rollstone Foundation Honoree Frank Maffei personifies humility, but his impact on the organization and the children and families it serves is powerful. A partner at the law firm of Jakubowski, Robertson, Goldsmith, Maffei and Tartaglia LLP in St. James, New York, Frank began his career in public service as an Assistant District Attorney for Suffolk County. Altruism characterizes his professional and personal life – in addition to serving on the Rollstone Foundation Board, Frank is current Vice President and former President of The Lions Club of the Islips, a volunteer for St. Mary’s parish Outreach offering free legal service to those with financial challenges. For the past decade, he and his law partners provide scholarships to students in five area school districts. Now in his seventh year on the Rollstone Board, where he is a member of the Grant Committee, Frank shares the rewarding – and often heart-wrenching — experience of working with this unique organization.
Q: Why did you join the Board of the Rollstone Foundation?
A: I have personally seen through adoptions in my extended family the absolute joy that occurs when families are united. Add the challenges of uniting special needs children with their family, and Rollstone and its members perform an incredibly rewarding and valuable service. This positive energy and dynamic drew me in immediately.
Q: What impact has being a Rollstone Board member had on you?
A: It has made me realize that my family and I are truly blessed and that we should share those blessings. I have been awed by the compassion and strength of families that adopt special needs children and the absolute courage and perseverance of these special children.
Meeting the families and children whose applications I have reviewed makes the experience with Rollstone vividly real and, quite frankly, humbling. I am a much softer person than before I joined the board. I am thankful for that.
Q: What do you find most challenging about your involvement with Rollstone?
A: I am a member of the Grant Committee. In that roll, three fellow Board members and I must face the financial realities of a charitable organization and recommend to the full Board that we say no to many worthy applications.
Q: No easy task to be sure. What do you find most rewarding?
A: Saying yes!
Q: What do you want others to know about Rollstone?
A: That through all our hard work to raise and distribute grants we have helped many families. At the same time, being a member of the Rollstone Board exposes me to the tremendous unmet need that exists. The number of applications consistently exceeds our ability to provide these much-needed funds to help special needs children. We need help. We need your help.
Rollstone is made up of incredibly dedicated, caring, compassionate people who I believe started out that way and it’s infectious! The contact with this vast world of special needs children and those who aid them has made all of us appreciate our blessings and has motivated us to help more. Rollstone not only empowers those it helps through the grants it distributes, it empowers all those who see it up close. The spirit and generosity of Rollstone has a life of its own. We love sharing it with as many people as possible.