Friendship, Charity, and a Passion for Prevention

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Morgan Borer, Gretchen Mathews, Maribel Lieberman, Mimi Rupert, Barbara Regna, Lauren Vernon and friends at the New York Center for Children's Spring Celebration “Passion for Prevention.”

The New England Society of New York recently held their annual Founder’s Day Celebration at a private club on the Upper East Side. The New England Society is one of the oldest social and charitable organizations in the United States, and was founded in 1805 to promote “friendship, charity and mutual assistance” among and on behalf of New Englanders living in New York. Today, NES focuses on a philanthropic mission, offering scholarships to college-age students from New York City attending colleges in New England.

L. to r.: Jay Sherwood, Michael Kovner, and Jean Doyen de Montaillou; Eva McCarron and Richard Smiraldi.
Schuyler Neuhauser, Shelby Carr, and Katherine Johnson.
Heather Hilgers and Nicholas D’Angelo.
Jan Whitman Ogden, Matthew von Barton, and Katherine Johnson.
David Shapiro, Matthew von Barton, and Richard Smiraldi.
Lauren Silberman, Mark Pearson, Tom Krouwer, Stephen Dombroski, Geoffrey von Barton, and Mark Spears.
Jay Sherwood, Anne Elsner, Joy Goodwin, and Neil Goodwin.
Richard Johnson, Sunny Hayward, Coleen Hills, and Tom Hills.
Matthew von Barton, Daisey Pearson, Mallika Akhtar, and Heather Hilgers.
Lauren Silberman, Geoffrey von Barton, Leslie Middlebrook Moore, Matthew von Barton, Jan Whitman Ogden, Heather Hilgers, and Tom Ostrander.
Singing around the piano.

The New York Center for Children (NYCC), with its mission of offering healing services to many of New York’s most vulnerable children, hosted its Spring Celebration “Passion for Prevention”, on May 23rd, 2022. The Annual event was graciously hosted and sponsored by the city’s elegant five-star Fifth Avenue luxury hotel, The Peninsula, New York. Barbara Harrison, the nationally recognized veteran television journalist and pioneer of the NBC4 award-winning Wednesday’s Child series, served as the Honorary Chair of the event.

Approximately 75 supporters gathered to raise more than $75,000 for NYCC’s vital mission of healing and preventing abuse. These proceeds will be utilized directly to help thousands of NYC children and families, as it has done over 25 years. The services help children, such as “Melissa” who was so isolated in her remote learning environment due to the pandemic that she began connecting with “new” friends, online. Unfortunately, she later was sexually assaulted by one of these individuals. Deeply traumatized, NYCC’s therapy services helped Melissa commence healing; and enabled her to return to in-person learning and a more optimistic future.

Barbara Harrison and Dr. Katherine Grimm.
Samir Ibrahim.
Michele Herbert.

This story and so many more inspired Barbara Harrison to engage NYCC and connects directly to her life’s work. Honored with multiple Emmy and many other National awards, Barbara is well-known for shining a light on the health and welfare of children. She has also been honored by the New York Film Festival for outstanding achievement in reporting and has won countless national citations for her more than 40 years as a news anchor and reporter in the Nation’s Capital. She is currently producing children’s programming and specials that have been picked up for broadcast by both the U.S. Department of Education and United Nation’s “UNITAR” division. She is President and CEO of Barbara Harrison Media, and the Founding Producer and Host of “Kids Speak Out.”

Called a “Champion for Children,“ Barbara believes “That as a community we need to embrace the notion that it takes a village to support and protect children and families. I encourage all New Yorkers to help end the horrors of child abuse by embracing and supporting the NYCC theme: Passion for Prevention.”

The event featured lively music by The Cara Trio …
… a silent auction and Call for the Cause.

Barbara brought her 40 years of television writing, reporting, anchoring, and producing to share the NYCC’s important mission of providing trauma-focused therapy services to victims of child abuse, free of charge, for as long as their healing requires.

In welcoming this year’s Honorary Chair for the Spring Event, Christine Rales, NYCC Board President shared, “Barbara’s unique ability to convey how important the NYCC organization’s efforts are toward delivering vital services, from a human impact perspective, is invaluable.”

For more information, visit

Nina Doherty, Christine Rales, Barbara Harrison, Lauren Vernon, Amy Bluestone, and Gretchen Mathews.
L. to r.: Yvonne McNeil; Gretchen Mathews, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, and Hillary Latos.
L. to r.: Maribel Lieberman, Barbara Regna, Alessandra Emanuel, Aleksandra Cragg, and Gretchen Mathews; Wai Lin Yip and Ella Mountbatten.
Eric Kobrick, Diane Pearl, Christine Crowther, Allison Kobrick, and Bradley Pearl.
Right: John and Alexandra Stewart.
Linda Wu, Shana McCormick, Eva Hatzaki, and Tom Sarellis.
L. to r.: Greg Matthews and Sergio Nicolosi; Barbara Harrison and Dr. Katherine Grimm.
Sarmad Uddin, Vikrant Sanghvi, and Puneet Xah.
Lauren Vernon, Robert Stilin, Raji Khoury, Christine Rales, and Samir Ibrahim.
Caption/Description: Hannah Elfant, Gillian Guide, Bonnie Gerard, and Christina Simmons.

On Sunday, May 29th, Jim Brasher, board member of, hosted a fundraising screening of the award-winning film, OUT OF ALEPPO, in support of the work BYkids does to give kids a way to feel and fix global problems by using the films and educational material to catalyze student engagement.

Mohammad Shasho (age 17) made the perilous journey from Syria to Berlin and struggles with his family to set up a new life. Mentored by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Anja Baron, Mo finds his own voice and gives voice to his fellow refugees. He explores loss, art and hope in his debut film.

The guests, including many teens, were deeply moved and related to Mo’s story of leaving Syria and settling in Germany. Please watch the film here.

Marc Cantone, Holly Carter, Allyson Wiener, and Kristie Lutz.
Saskia Keeley, Sammy Chadwick, and Stephanie Apt.
Carolyn Williams, Stephanie Apt, Melanie Grisanti, Holly Carter, Connie Tu, Sammy Chadwick, Aria Martinelli, Allyson Wiener, and James Brasher.
Keiko Kato, Yuju Yen, and Jessica Koenigsberg.
Connie Tu, Aria Martinelli, and Zoey Cohen Chazin.
Watching BYkids: Out of Aleppo

Hillary Suchman, Yuju Yen, Andrea Kantor, and Stephanie Apt discuss the film.
Jonah Wiener reflects on the film.

Photos by John Sanderson/ (NES); Rob Rich (NYCC); Richard Lewin ( 

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