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Luxury shopping center raises $900,000 for charity in 3 days

The Americana Manhasset, with shops including Hermès, Chanel,

The Americana Manhasset, with shops including Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Cartier, has raised nearly $15 million over 25 years through the Champions for Charity fundraiser. Credit: Americana Manhasset

A luxury Long Island shopping center raised $900,000 for charity in three days by encouraging its customers to shop.

Through the Champions for Charity program at the Americana Manhasset, 25% of designated full-price purchases made Dec. 3-5 was donated to the organization of the shopper’s choice. The Americana is home to 60 shops, including Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Cartier. Many stores allowed customers to shop remotely and offered curbside pickup.

The collaborative initiative between Americana’s shops and their patrons has raised nearly $15 million over its 25-year history, said Catherine Castagna, president of Castagna Realty Co., Inc, parent company of Americana Manhasset and nearby Wheatley Plaza.

"This is a particularly poignant year to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Champions for Charity," Castagna said. "The past nine months have been extremely challenging for so many in our community and for the not-for-profit organizations that serve them. It’s more important than ever to do what we can to help."

The fundraiser was begun in 1996 by Castagna's father, Frank Castagna, who helped transform a strip mall into a luxury shopping destination. Frank Castagna died in July at 91.

This year more than 140 not-for-profit organizations participated in the program, including local hospital initiatives, medical research institutes, food banks, mental health organizations, youth groups and family services, animal rescue groups, and educational and cultural institutions.

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