Thursday, November 30, 2017

Community and Opportunity

Erin Stewart, Natalie Williamson, Heather Hays, Georgina Bloomberg, Alex Hamer, Amanda Starbuck, and Perrine Meistrell at The Fresh Air Fund's Annual Fall Benefit and Silent Auction, “One Night in Rio."
On Thursday, November 16, 2017, The Fresh Air Fund held its Annual Fall Benefit and Silent Auction, “One Night in Rio,” at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Over 700 supporters and friends enjoyed cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction and raised over $540,000 to benefit The Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit organization.

The Benefit Chairs were Isabelle B. Krusen, Courtney Alexis Langer, and Tamie Peters Thomas & Richard D. Thomas. Vice Chairs were Amelie Lonergan, Marjan Mehrkhast and Alexandra & Edward Shaheen, and Ticket Chairs were David Mehlman and Amanda K. Starbuck.
Tamie Peters Thomas and Rich Thomas Wendy Flanagan and Isabelle Krusen
Silent Auction highlights included: three-night, four-day stay in Lake Como at the five-star Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni; whiskey tasting for six people with a whiskey specialist from Michter’s Distillery prior to dinner at Ben and Jack's Steak House; three nights at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen; set visit to Showtime’s hit-show “Billions” for two; two-night stay at The Betsy – South Beach; tickets to hot Broadway shows including “Frozen” and “Meteor Shower”; Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, Mets and Nets tickets; golf packages; jewelry;  spa packages; handbags and more.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Each summer, thousands of children visit volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada and at The Fund’s five overnight camps in Fishkill, New York.  Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs.  For more information, visit
Fatima Shama, DJ Rashida, and William Lauder
John Irwin and Brad Whitman
Lydia Carlston and Mats Carlston
Katelynn Gray, Jason Stojkovic, Margaret Warner, Emily Driscoll, Stevie Athanassiou, Jonathan Schuster, and David Mehlman
Benji Nwachukwu and Allison Lynch
Billy King, Melanie King, Erin Elmore, and Craig Spitzer
Edward Shaheen, Alexandra Shaheen, Amelie Lonergan, Isabelle Krusen, and Mike Sodikoff
Jacqui Cheng, Clint Ecke, and David Perpich
On November 20th, The Child Mind Institute held its 2017 Child Advocacy Award Dinner to honor those who have gone above and beyond to help children with mental health disorders. The event, held at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan, honored Joe Healey, Co-Founder of HealthCor Management L.P. and HealthCor Partners Management L.P., with the 2017 Child Advocacy Award. Dr. Felton “Tony” Earls, Professor of Social Medicine, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School, received the Sarah Gund Prize for Research and Mentorship in Child Mental Health. $7.1 million – a new record for this event – was raised to support the Child Mind Institute’s innovative clinical services and research, and also to support its Financial Aid Fund to help parents in need.

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos served as the emcee for the event.
Dr. Felton "Tony" Earls, Sarah Gund, and Dr. Harold Koplewicz
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at
Dan Neidich, Brooke Garber Neidich, Ali Wentworth, and George Stephanopoulos
Dr. Harold Koplewicz and Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Christopher Noxon, Jenki Kohan, and Dr. Harold Koplewicz
Brooke Garber Neidich, Preethi Krishna, Silke Tsitiridis, Christine Mack, and Amy Heilberg
Dr. Harold Koplewicz, Brooke Garber Neidich, and Joseph P. Healey
Laura Slatkin and Michael Aram
Nakul Krishnaswamy, Piyali Kothari, Preethi Krishna, and Ram Sundaram
Marjorie Kuhn and Elizabeth Planet
St. John’s President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., and his wife, Clavel Gempesaw, Ph.D., hosted St. John’s University’s 20th Annual President’s Dinner — the University’s premier fundraising event of the year — at the New York Hilton Midtown. This year, St. John’s University raised a record-breaking $3,302,597 for student scholarships.

The President’s Dinner is an annual highlight at St. John’s, offering the University community the opportunity to come together to celebrate its Catholic and Vincentian values. The President’s Dinner raises funds each year in support of scholarships for the University’s most deserving students, especially those most in need.
Jerry Hajdarovic, Margaret M. Keane, John H. Hajjar, M.D., Sharon F. Hajjar, Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D., Clavel Gempesaw, Ph.D., Francesca M. Kurre, Frank L. Kurre, and Rev. Michael J. Carroll, C.M.
The event honors St. John’s Spirit of Service Awardees. This year’s honorees included: Rev. Michael J. Carroll, C.M., former Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians); St. John’s double alumna Sharon F. Hajjar and her husband, alumnus John H. Hajjar M.D., Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign Health Systems; Francesca M. Kurre and alumnus Frank L. Kurre, Managing Partner at Grant Thornton; and Synchrony Financial. Double alumna and St. John’s Trustee, Margaret M. Keane, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Synchrony Financial, accepted the Spirit of Service Award on behalf of her company.
President's Dinner Co-Chairs Antoinette O'Connor and Joseph O'Connor Sharon F. Hajjar and John H. Hajjar, M.D.
Founded in 1870, St. John's is a Catholic and Vincentian university that prepares students for ethical leadership in today's global society. There are three New York City campuses—in Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan. The University also has a campus in Rome, Italy. St. John's has academic locations in Hauppauge, New York; Paris, France; Seville, Spain and Limerick, Ireland. Students come to St. John's from 46 states and 127 countries. The University offers more than 100 associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in the arts, business, education, law, pharmacy, and the natural and applied sciences. Students benefit from academic service-learning activities, extensive global studies opportunities, and 17 NCAA, Division I men's and women's athletic teams. With more than 181,000 living alumni in the New York area and around the globe, students benefit from an extensive alumni network that opens doors. 
Simon Geir Møller, Ph.D., Russell J. DiGate, Ph.D., and Katia Passerini, Ph.D.
Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D. and Clavel Gempesaw, Ph.D.
Mr. and Mrs. Jorge Rodriguez Margaret M. Keane and Jerry Hajdarovic
Francesca M. Kurre and Frank L. Kurre
Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D. and Rev. Michael J. Carroll, C.M.
Members of the St. John's University President's Society
St. John's University students and members of the President's Society
Clodagh Design tonight hosted "An Evening of Art," a benefit in support of The Thorn Tree Project at Clodagh's Gramercy Park-area design Studio in New York City.  The event featured the works of 37 artists, photographers and sculptors.

100 percent of the art works' sales will support the education of students in The Thorn Tree Project, children of the semi-nomadic Samburu in Northern Kenya.
Peter Heywood, Shirley Lord, Clodagh, Ellen Sweeney, and Benjamin Huntington
The featured artists, photographers and sculptors included:  Andrianna Shamaris, Anne Brown, Billy Kidd, Clodagh, Daniel Aubry, Darren Haper, David Frieberg, David Link, Guy Humphrey, Hans Neleman, Jeffrey Beers, Keating Sherwin, Ken Gangbar, Liza Buzytsky, Lori Weitzner, Louise Crandell, Lyle Owerko, Manuel Pardo, Manuel Santelices, Maria Davis, Matthew Pillsbury, Michael DesRosiers, Michael Curry, Mike Elsass, Mirjana Ciric, Pablo Jansana, Peter Heywood, Peter O'Kennedy, Philip Levine, Purvis Young, Rachel Newman, Robin Huffman, Russell Sharon, Sarah Charlton Frank, Terence Main, Tony Conway and Walter Us.
David Ashen, Lori Lum, Linda Pagan, and Maja Serdarevic
Hat Shop NYC owner and Acting Chairwoman of The Thorn Tree Project Linda Pagan said, "Tonight was a great opportunity for our guests to beautify their homes or workplaces with pieces of art while at the same time benefiting the lives of deserving students. The Thorn Tree Project deeply appreciates the donations of these brilliant artists."

Designer Clodagh, who is a Board Member of The Thorn Tree Project and whose eco-conscious wellness design projects feature acclaimed international works of art, thanked all of the participating artists and quoted author/teacher healing expert Julia Cameron, who once said, "Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing."

To learn more, visit
Manuel Santelices and Hans Neleman Erik Rose and Joe Liana
Ellen Levine
Juan Meza, Michael curry, Allison Ewing, and Brian Maloney
Daniel Aubry and Terence Main Nancie Min and Tony Conway
Abigail Reedy and Emily-Cones-Browne
Peter Reiss and Peter O'Kennedy Brian Maloney with Brenda and Cameron Devine
Steven Sehm and Dirk Emery
Photographs by Jerry Speier (The Fresh Air Fund); Patrick McMullan (Thorn Tree); Ann Billingsley Photography (Child Mind Institute)