Meet the Committee: Long Island Brain Tumor Walk

Saturday, October 3, 2020, Field 5, Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY

Meet our Walk Volunteer Planning Committee

Lisa Dippel, Team Recruitment/Team Retention Sub-Committee

“My life forever changed when I learned I had a brain tumor in July 2015. Four years later, I feel amazing and thankful for all the gifts I have received. I believe everything happens for a reason and realize how precious life truly is! Lisa participated in the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk for the first time last year. She was inspired to join the walk planning committee and formed her own team, Mind Over Matter. A full-time working mom, Lisa is actively engaged in reaching out to past team captains and promoting the walk by sharing materials in her community and with local brain tumor support groups. She is also recruiting new sponsorship funding and secured the support of Posillico in 2019.

Amy Kitay, Sponsorship & Public Relations Sub-Committees

Amy has been participating at the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk since 2014 after her father, Cal, succumbed to GBM in 2012. She joined the committee in 2014 and recruited her employer, Geico, to sponsor the event and provide greatly needed volunteers. Amy and her team, Cal’s Crusaders have consistently held local third party events to raise funds to support brain tumor research and she is usually on our list of top fundraising individuals annually. In addition to captaining her team, she continues to obtain local press coverage for the walk and procures many in-kind donations. Amy’s hope is that by sharing Cal’s story, we will build greater awareness about brain tumors. “One day, with additional research and better treatments, a cure will be found so that no one will have to suffer as my Father did. Cal left a lasting impression on those that knew him. This is why we are Cal’s Crusaders and we will continue to walk and raise funds in his memory until a cure is found.

Kara Retenski, Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Sub-Committee

Kara has been part of the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk committee since 2014. She is currently leading volunteer retention and recruitment efforts, connecting with all past walk volunteers and working to recruit new volunteers that are desperately needed to help with set up on the Friday before the walk and on the day of the event.  “I volunteer so I may honor the memory of a near and dear loved one. Volunteering helps me heal and let off steam in a positive environment, connected to an otherwise very tough topic.  I hope my efforts, combined with those of countless others, helps create awareness and ultimately, leads to finding a cure for glioblastoma. ” If you’re interested in learning more about our walk volunteer opportunities, please reach out to Kara at

Renzo Martinez, Sponsorship & Public Relations Sub-Committees


Eleanore Slobodny, Sponsorship & Public Relations Sub-Committees

Eleanore joined the planning committee this year and has been participating at the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk since 2018 after her husband Joe “Slobo” passed away a little over a year after being diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Her thoughtful niece Victoria wanted to honor her Uncle Joe and formed TEAM SLOBO and invited her to walk together as part of the healing process. “So much of the sadness comes from wanting to do anything and everything we can to help our loved ones, and simply feeling helpless against this awful disease. Raising awareness and much needed funding to work towards a cure for brain cancer is something I feel very strongly about.”  Her husband fought so hard and now she wants to continue his fight for those in need. There is always hope when we keep fighting.

Samantha Hall, Team Retention Sub-Committee

Samantha recently moved to Long Island from Newburgh, NY. She joined the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk committee because she lost her 28-year-old cousin in March of 2019 to a brain tumor and colon cancer. Her cousin grew up battling leukemia and then developed brain cancer. Samantha has been sharing her passion for the cause by vigorously reaching out to past team captains and walk participants and asking them to join us again at Jones Beach.  In addition to connecting with past participants, Samantha is volunteering at the walk, assisting with set up and at the registration tent. “I want to raise money, volunteer my time to help the cause, and do whatever I can to find a cure for brain tumors. Nobody in this world should ever have to suffer the way my cousin did.”

Linda Diamanti, Survivorship Sub-Committee