This June, North Salem resident Richard Sgaglio was appointed to the board of Friends of Karen, a local nonprofit that provides financial and emotional support for critically ill children and their families.

While originally from Westchester County, Sgaglio spent 10 years living in Las Vegas, where he co-founded the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, an organization that provides homeless children with food, shelter and other necessities. This experience kindled a passion within Sgaglio for helping children of need. 

“Despite not having children of my own, they’ve always been my soft spot,” Sgaglio said.

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Because of this, when Sgaglio moved back to Westchester County he took an interest in Friends of Karen.

As a board member of Friends of Karen, Sgaglio hopes to use his experience as a marketing and healthcare professional in order to contribute to the organization’s mission.

“Help shine a light on the organization and help with fundraising, those are the two things I’d really like to do for Friends of Karen,” Sgaglio said. 

Sgaglio is excited about many of the programs the organization already has in place. One of these programs is the Sibling Support Program, which helps the siblings of sick children understand their sibling’s disease, as well as to help them cope with their sibling’s diagnosis and create a dialogue within the family.

“I love that Friends of Karen’s mission goes beyond just the child that’s affected by illness. They help with the whole family, including doing great work with siblings,” Sgaglio said.

He also took note of a back to school program, which helps families of an ill child prepare for the upcoming school year. Specifically, this program raises money in order to provide a new backpack, school supplies, and a $25 gift card for the siblings of sick children.

Sgaglio lives in North Salem with his partner and when he isn’t working, he spends time at their cabin in the Berkshires. In addition to his work with Friends of Karen, Sgaglio enjoys volunteering at other area non-profit organizations including Second Chance Foods, an organization that repurposes fresh foods for distribution at food pantries in Westchester and Putnam Counties, and the Putnam County Humane Society, which is a no-kill shelter. 

Currently, he is the Vice President of Marketing for a senior living community, the Osborn in Rye. Previously, he served as Vice President for the Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains.

“We are so very fortunate to have Richard join us on the board,” said Paul Smadbeck, Friends of Karen Board President. “In addition to his enthusiasm for Friends of Karen’s mission, which is palpable, he’s exceptionally accomplished and his professional expertise will be instrumental in helping us further our mission and strengthen our ability to help more families caring for critically-ill children in the tri-state area.”