STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With the National Chapter of SCORE turning 50 this year, the Staten Island branch is following suit with a celebration at
the Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday.

A nationwide network of 13,000 working and retired business professionals from 354 chapters across the country, SCORE provides assistance to approximately a half-million business people each year.

The Dongan Hills-based SCORE offices were opened in 1980 and continue to help over 500 business people each year start or expand their companies. Staffed with 16 volunteers, SCORE Staten Island helped start 63 businesses and saw 40 clients grow their companies in 2013.

"These volunteers have an unparalleled, lifetime's worth of expertise and share it with those who are either starting a business or need to get their business on track," said Anthony DeFazio, Staten Island's SCORE chapter chairman, who is a retired manager for the Internal Revenue Service and the New York City Office of Child Support Enforcement.