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The Haven

Haven: a safe or peaceful place

The Haven Story: Equity First Foundation has spent years working with individuals and families facing economic hardship caused by illness, death, addiction and more. Equity First Foundation works with numerous not for profits, charities and support groups offering financial literacy programs. We educate them through our workshops, training, development and hands on programs designed around each specific need. We focus on the daily details and short / long term financial goals. We have partnered with several organizations (see attached list) to provide selected families or groups this wonderful opportunity to “getaway and relax” in this all-inclusive retreat. It gives us great pleasure to be able support these families through your kind donation.

Mission Statement: To provide families facing hardship a place to retreat, relax and enjoy.

Packages include: Accommodations for up to 12 people

Features: All bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, washer/dryer, BBQ all within 1 block walking distance to beautiful Lake Oneida. Walk to beach, shops, restaurants, amusement park, fishing, hunting, ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling and more. Only several miles from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. Summer and winter activities are available.

Visit: or Also check out The Haven Facebook Page.

View our current needs list: Needs list

Sponsorship Prices:

• Sponsorship A: $500 - 1 day
• Sponsorship B: $2500 - 5 days

• Sponsorship C: $3000 - 7 days

The Haven Retreat Story

By Priscilla Arena
Founder SASI

Every so often you meet someone that leaves an impression behind so deep that it compels you to want to know more. That was my impression when I met and befriended Rhonda Klch of the Equity First Foundation. My relationship began when we met as parents with children in the Mt Sinai School District. My son was invited to a birthday party at her house. I attended and was drawn in by the hospitality and warmness of her family. It has been a few years now and our friendship has evolved not only on the personal side but on the business as well. I recently spoke with Rhonda who enlightened me about her upcoming project called The Haven at Sylvan Beach.

Syvan Beach As a mother with a special needs child and co-founder of SASI, I spend a lot of time discussing the struggles of the families we serve. Many of the families are not only financially distressed, unable to pay basic bills because they chose to pay co-payments, doctors and specialists not covered by insurance and seek additional therapy (just to name a few). As I discussed the days of warm vacations, weekend retreats, and overnight stay’s of many years ago, Rhonda sat back and put a smile on her face and said, "I have an idea." She changed the subject and we continued our discussion at the time.

Push forward a few month later, I received a call from Rhonda. She proceeded to tell me about a "project" she was working on with her foundation. Equity First Foundation works with families ( and many not for profits, charities and support groups ) that are experiencing financial distress due to a recent hardship. The EFF teams hears stories just like mine from all different organizations, not just SASI. Rhonda said, “ I knew that if I can figure a way to support my love for real estate, passion for helping others and create opportunity to run my programs that I would be on my golden journey.” That day has come and I am so excited that she has shared the details with me so I can help spread the word.

As a real estate investor, Rhonda comes across many opportunities to purchase homes at reduced prices. The Haven project was just that! On a weekend getaway with her family, they drove through a small town called Sylvan Beach, a beachside community filled with a huge amount of summer and winter activities. Sylvan Beach is located on Lake Oneida, upstate NY. “You ever just go somewhere and walk away with that feeling, the one that says your home” that was the feeling that Rhonda and her husband had when leaving for the day. They drove home and talked about the beauty of the location. A day later, after searching the local market, they found their opportunity, knew immediately that this was the plan and made an offer to the bank right away- a week later they were in contract and the journey began.

The Haven, a name that "felt right said Rhonda" for what it means, a safe place, was born. The concept, as described to me was to offer sponsorship opportunity to individuals and corporations. The sponsors would purchase either a day, mini retreat or week away and that time would be donated to one of the participating organizations. The sponsor dollars immediately allows the families who have been selected to go on vacation, a much needed mental reprieve, and additionally supports the funding for Equity First Foundation to continue to run their programs, workshops and other community events.

The Haven is a 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom house with all amenities provided. The property sleeps 12-15 people and offers families the time they need to relax, bond and enjoy.

The Haven Housewarming Event

On Monday May 15th over 50 local committee members of the Equity First Foundation gathered at Recipe 7 in Miller Place for The Haven Housewarming event. People came and dropped off items needed for the retreat house. We are so pleased with the gratitude and turnout from everyone. The house will have its first family and official launch on June 1st 2017. If someone would like to sponsor or nominate a family, they can email us at :