|The Central Park Conservancy hosted its Playground Partners Annual Family Party in Central Park’s Heckscher Playground at 62nd Street on Wednesday, May 24th. A beautiful summer day provided the backdrop for an afternoon of food, games, music, and more. This is the only event of the year held inside a Central Park playground, offering a special opportunity for New York City families. The party raised over $325,000.
This year’s Honorary Chairman was Bridget Moynahan. Party Co-Chairmen Katherine Birch, Teri Freidman, Stephanie Hessler, Christy Messina, and Elizabeth Villar and Grandparents Committee Chairmen Cathy & Bill Ingram were joined by Playground Partners Co-Chairmen, Ranika Cohen and Shana Gary, Women’s Committee President Suzie Aijala, and Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO, Central Park Conservancy, and Central Park Administrator.
|The event, sponsored by Goldman Sachs Gives and Brooks Brothers, attracted over 1,200 parents and children. This year marked the Family Party’s 25th year, and the event included an array of family-friendly activities. Guests enjoyed cupcake decorating by Sprinkles Cupcakes, a soccer relay by Super Soccer Stars and Kick & Play, Bulldog Ball Club fast pitch, chess games and demonstrations by Chess at Three, slam dunk with Dribbl Basketball, photos with Activity Sponsor Classic Kids Photography, Mommy + MiniMe Yoga with Activity Sponsor Sweaty Betty, a Builders’ Lab by Activity Sponsor Basis Independent Manhattan, and much more. Special thanks to Media Sponsor Modern Luxury MANHATTAN.
Proceeds from the Annual Family Party support Playground Partners and its mission to keep Central Park’s 21 playgrounds safe, clean and well-maintained.
|Even a torrential downpour couldn’t keep away almost 300 supporters and friends from the Dutchess Land Conservancy’s Annual Spring Barn Dinner Dance. Held at Bonnie Stedt’s gorgeous Foxrace Farm in Amenia, co-chairs Terry and John Regan, Victoria and Yuri Salnikoff, and Nancy and Bill Stahl pulled off an amazing evening – despite the Nor’Easter that swept through the countryside. Celebrity Auctioneer Gordon Elliott charmed the crowd into placing maximum bids for a variety of live auction items and after a delicious dinner by Gourmet to Go caterers, the dance floor filled as Harlem Line played under twinkling lights.
The Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC), a private, nonprofit land conservation organization, is dedicated to preserving the scenic, agricultural, and environmental resources of Dutchess County, New York and the surrounding area. Since 1985, the DLC has protected more than 40,000 acres of open land.
|Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA) and JCC Greenwich partnered on a world class medical symposium “Taking Action Against Breast Cancer: Genetic Testing, Screening and Lifestyle Prevention” at Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase. A panel of leading experts in the field discussed new advances, findings and technology that can play a significant role in improving risk assessment, prevention and early detection for breast cancer, helping inform women about how to be proactively diligent in their own health care. A video of the panel discussion and Q&A will be available in June and can be accessed at Breast Cancer Alliance, www.breastcanceralliance.org, or JCC Greenwich, www.jccgreenwich.org.|
|On Tuesday, May 16th, The Child Mind Institute hosted its 2017 Spring Luncheon, featuring a panel discussion about the changing role technology is playing in families and specifically how it alters communication. The event was moderated by Ali Wentworth and featured Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age and clinical psychologist and research associate at Harvard Medical School; and David Anderson, PhD, clinical psychologist and Senior Director, ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute.|
|Technology is transforming the way we communicate with friends, colleagues and even with our own families. Screens now affect everything from the way our toddlers learn and develop to the way our teenagers connect with their peers, parents and the world.
"I think we are psychologically dependent on our phones at this point…we have a condition that resembles an addictive relationship to technology," said Dr. Steiner-Adair. She noted that "we lose empathy" when we are texting, and that kids take risks and trust people who they should not trust on social media. "We are different when we are on these devices." Dr. Steiner-Adair advised parents that "it's important to learn to self-regulate" their own use of devices at home. "The way we behave sets the norms for them." And, perhaps most importantly, they should avoid allowing their kids play on devices at the dinner table. "Kids learn empathy at dinner," added Dr. Steiner-Adair.
|Panelists discussed how to reap the benefits of technology while reducing the risks it poses to children at each stage of development. Dr. Anderson suggested several parenting strategies and talked about the impact of technology on children with emotional and behavioral challenges.
It's critical for parents to have discussions with their kids about the influx of information they are consuming, according to Dr. Anderson. "Talk to kids about what they're seeing on Instagram, what they're seeing on YouTube, watch their shows with them, play their video games with them, and really talk about the themes that are coming up," said Dr. Anderson. "Ask questions that get to good discussions."
The luncheon was co-chaired by members of the Child Mind Institute Board of Directors, Christine Mack, Valerie Mnuchin, Debra Perelman and Zibby Schwarzman and the host committee included Roxanne Bok, Ellen Cohen, Desiree Gruber, Tania Higgins, Eve and Ross Jaffe, Tammy Levine, Julie Minskoff, Eileen Riano and Sara Weiner.
|The event was a part of the Child Mind Institute's Speak Up for Kids campaign held each May to promote children's mental health. The campaign this year also expanded with the launch of the organization's first ever #MyYoungerSelf social media initiative which has brought together over three dozen actors, professional athletes, fashion designers, authors, politicians, advocates and other influencers to share personal videos about the advice they would give their younger selves on how to persevere over a mental health or learning disorder. These empowering messages help to eradicate stigma and show children struggling that there is a brighter future ahead.|
|Photographs by BFA (CPC); Mary Hilliard (DLC); Ann Billingsley (Child Mind Institute); Chichi Ubina (BCA)|