Chairperson/Founder Message
Dawn Strain

Dawn Strain
President, DJS Events
Founder, Long Island Elite


It feels like yesterday when I called my friends Rob Basso and Jeff Cohen about this unique idea I had, meshing networking and charity while filling a void in the Long Island business community. Now 16 years later, we are giving the largest donations in the organization’s history and making an incredible impact on Long Island nonprofits.

I am so proud of how the Long Island Elite (LIE) has evolved. We have donated funds to over 80 local charities, passed millions of dollars in business between members, and most importantly, grown lasting and profound relationships within the organization. As I look to the future with the incredible new leadership team, and to the $80,000 that we gave to our 2017 charity partner LIAF, I know the LIE has only scratched the surface. The efforts of our members will impact the Long Island community for years to come.

This year’s theme is based on 2017 film The Greatest Showman. As the movie unfolds, PT Barnum brings people who are usually at the fringes of society into the spotlight. He gives them hope and courage to face the people who have made them feel marginalized; he helps them become proud of themselves through performing in the circus. From that encouragement and success of the circus comes the song “This Is Me”. Its message is not listening to those who hold you back and being afraid of your differences, but embracing them as amazing qualities of which you should be proud. This message is a reflection of one of the many attributes the LIE instills within its membership, striving to spread these values out into the world.

I hope you will join us on September 27, 2018, for “The Greatest Giving on Earth”, an evening of majesty celebrating 16 years of accomplishments and benefiting the 2018 Charity Partner—ACLD