September 17, 2016 For forty-five minutes on Thursday evening, a couple dozen people from the William Raveis Real Estate office, and their family and friends came together to attend “Spin for a Cure” at the Equinox gym in Business Park.
All the proceeds from the evening went toward the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Bill Raveis, founder, chairman and CEO of William Raveis Real Estate, is a board member of the cancer research foundation. His involvement began shortly after his wife Candy was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She remains hopeful to win her battle against cancer with the partnership between Raveis and Damon Runyon.
The foundation was founded in 1946 after the death of Damon Runyon, whose Broadway stories inspired the Broadway show Guys and Dolls. Founded and led by journalist and radio personality Walter Winchell, the foundation was supported by Hollywood celebrities Milton Berle, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
Since 1946, the Damon Runyon Foundation has focused on all cancers. Over $300 million has been awarded in grant research to over 3,500 of the “best and brightest scientists” in the nation to understand the causes of cancer, to transform cancer therapy, and to discover cures through research. Twelve of Damon Runyon scientists have received the Nobel Prize.
All the 140 Raveis offices and 4,000 agents nationwide are participating in a fund-raising event for Damon Runyon. The main fund-raising event is the William Raveis Ride + Walk that takes place on October 16 in Norwalk, CT.
Lisa Theiss, the vice president of business development; Robin Lechner, administrative manager; and Lauren Goldenberg, salesperson, thought it would be fun to organize a "training ride" leading up to the Ride + Walk. “This was our first “Spin for a Cure” for Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and hope it will become an annual event,” says Theiss.
Goldenberg got involved because cancer has touched many of her family and friends. She said she is now an empty-nester and finally has time to not only work, but to also give back to those in need.
"The event was a great way to bond with our co-workers, clients and friends while raising money for cancer research," said Goldenberg. “Lisa Gagliardi of Equinox provided a fun-filled, energetic class and we all had a great time. A special thanks to all who participated and to BeWies Holistic Market for their delicious smoothies immediately following the class.”
She added, “Last year the William Raveis charitable fund raised over $500,000 for the foundation. This year we hope to raise even more."
Sandra Scarano is also a William Raveis agent. She said, "With everything going on in the world today, it’s good to get together over fitness and to care about each other." Scarano is also a personal trainer and she knows that a positive attitude which is carried throughout a workout, allows fitness to become a natural medicine. She concludes, "This attitude helps you feel better about yourself."
The popular athletic competitions that use fitness as a fund-raising event draw a parallel between the attitude of the participants who should never give up while competing, just as those whom they support should never give up while suffering to fight cancer and other physical and mental ailments.
April’s Child Personalizes Social Work One Neighbor at a Time By Jackson Harrower
July 13, 2016 For over 34 years April’s Child has been reducing the instances of childhood abuse and neglect in Westchester County. Executive Director Laura B. Schwartz explains, “We strengthen families by helping parents understand their struggles and by helping them celebrate the joy of parenting.” The charity is named April’s Child in honor of child abuse prevention month and to connect to the new beginnings and growth associated with spring.
April’s Child separates itself by making the process as accessible and personalized as possible. The organization will send its volunteers to the homes of those who need help. Schwartz notes, “We remove the barriers for services. Also by being in the home environment we can allow the clients to use their own environment to make positive change. We can see them for who they really are.” April’s Child is also unique in that it is not a curriculum based program. Schwartz notes, “Our goal is to build a relationship with the family.” The volunteers and employees of April’s Child strive to first build a trusting relationship with the families and then develop personalized strategies to assist them.
Anyone is welcome to volunteer at April’s Child as a parent aide, in the office, on the board of directors, through grant writing, or by helping to fundraise. Parent aides (who must be 21 or older) go through a 12 hour training program and then spend an hour per week working with a family in need to discover their struggles, joys and barriers. Parent aides receive supervision and advice from professional staff as they work with the families. The volunteer program is extremely successful: April’s Child has a 90% success rate for enacting effective positive change in the families volunteers work with. The organization is always welcoming new volunteers in order to reach out to more families. Schwartz adds, “I started at April’s Child in 1993 because I wanted a job, but within a year of working with a family it ceased being a job and became a mission. Volunteers often get more out of the experience than even the clients themselves.”
April’s Child will be hosting it’s Sparkle For A Cause dinner Tuesday August 9, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Crabtree's Kittle House in Chappaqua. 30% of every dinner tab will be donated to the organization. At the dinner there will be the drawing for the Fun Time Raffle. The grand prize is two tickets to Cirque du Soleil and a $150 gift card to Tao Restaurant. The second prize is two tickets to a New York Rangers game. Tickets are $5 each or $25 for six. For more information or to get involved, please visit http://aprilschild.org.
Susan Geffen, 2016 Citizen of the Year
May 29, 2016 An impressive group of family and friends gathered at the Whippoorwill Club on the evening of Monday May 23 to honor Susan Geffen, a 44-year Armonk resident, at the fourth annual
Armonk Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award dinner. In appreciation of all that she has done, the 140 dinner participants lifted their glasses and toasted Geffen and all of her accomplishments "that make our community a better place."
The first of the evening's speakers, Marian Hamilton, said she has great admiration for Susan and believes this tribute is deserved by not only as her close friend, but also as a valued community member. "She truly loves Armonk and demonstrates deep conviction by everything she does for the community," said Hamilton who has chaired the Armonk Outdoor Art Show for more than 15 years, with Geffen at her side.
Hamilton continued by saying that Geffen's involvement cuts across so many distinct aspects of our community, contributing to the way our town looks. Geffen, an interior designer "who cares about the aesthetics of the town," has been a member of many organizations including the North Castle Architectural Review Board for 10 years; the Residents Projects Review Committee Board to fast track applications to build and renovate projects; the Landmarks Preservation Committee; board member and twice president of the Friends of North Castle Library, Inc.; interior design consultant to the North Castle library; founder of the library's Steve Geffen Fund which provides books and funds in memory of her late husband; a 20-year involvement with the Armonk Outdoor Art Show; a founding member and continued participant of the stage productions of The Armonk Players; president of the Whippoorwill Association for 10 years; two-year board member of the Copland House; participation in the annual Frosty Day Parade in her decorated VW bug; and as the Butter Lady where she churns butter at The North Castle Historical Society’s Colonial Craft Days at Smith's Tavern.
Taking Hamilton's cue, the duo of Geffen's friends, Ed Woodyard and Judy Gilmartin-Willsey, took Geffen’s involvement in the groups, committees and organizations and created a "name that tune" as they Willsey sung rewritten lyrics as praises for Geffen. The songs featured the many ways Geffen has made Armonk and North Castle a more "Wonderful Town." The collected songs of praise included some classics as "You Gotta Have Friends," "House of the Rising Sun," and "Turn Turn Turn”. Woodyard then asked the question, "Why does Susan Geffen give so much of herself, and still keeps volunteering and giving back?" Willsey responded in song with a personalized version of "What I Did For Love" which brought everyone to their feet as Geffen approached the podium where Woodyard thanked Geffen "for being you - and for all that you do."
In accepting her award, Geffen thanked the Chamber and all who attended for the honor and then thanked all those who give back to the community with their time, energy and dedication. She said that she stood on the shoulders of previous winners (Evan Powderly, Skip Beitzel and Sam Morell) and then introduced her children and family, saying that they were the reason for all that she has done and continues to do.
When commenting on her award and the evening itself, Geffen spoke about how wonderful Armonk is and how this Citizen of the Year recognition speaks well of the town where "so many amazing people" have given to the community. "When you think of Doris Watson [the late Town Historian], Doris Sydney [late member of The Friends of the North Castle Library] , Betsy Sluder [former chairman of the North Castle Conservation Board], and Becky Kittredge [lifelong Armonk resident and late Town Board member], those ladies are an inspiration to me."
Others in attendance also commented on the award and the evening. "Susan Geffen is an icon in this community," said Robby Morris, Chamber board member. "We can do this forever," continued Morris, "as there are a lot of people who do a lot for this community and who go unrecognized. Whippoorwill Club provides the perfect setting of a beautiful golf course by day and exceptional dining by night."
Earlier that afternoon, 42 guests spent a fun, casual round of golf where, among many sponsored holes, was the Susan Geffen family's "Mom of the Year" hole.
Said long-time Armonk residents, Rich and Janet Ferrante, "Susan was the first person we met when we moved to Armonk. Wherever we go and there is an affair going, she is there as part of the foundation of Armonk."
Skip Beitzel, a past recipient of the award, said of the evening, "It's an honor to receive this award. Look at all these people. The response is getting bigger and better every year. I'm thrilled that the Armonk Chamber is hosting this, it's a testament to the Chamber, too.”
Added Chris Carthy, a Chamber board member, "When community members endorse each other, it makes events like this possible."
"This is another example of how extraordinarily tight this community is," said James Shelly, a local businessman and recent Chamber member. As a newcomer, he said that he "also sees the level of participation as impressive, just like at many of the other community events."
In summing up the day's events, Neal Schwartz, president of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, said that the Chamber is about giving to the community. "Today was a celebration of Susan's commitment to a variety of different communities for many years, with different organizations. Susan's effort exemplifies the effort of trying new things with her peers.”
Northern Westchester Hospital Honors Distinguished Nurses By Jackson Harrower
May 16, 2016 On Thursday May 12, Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) hosted its 2016 Centennial Nurse Recognition Awards Ceremony. The event was celebrated on the birthday of groundbreaking nurse Florence Nightingale. Senior Vice President of patient care services and CNO Lauraine Spano-Szekely opened the event by paying homage to Ellen Wood, the only nurse in Northern Westchester County at the turn of the century. Ellen Wood made a guest appearance at the ceremony as played by actress and Mt. Kisco resident Lauren Moore. Wood died of typhoid fever caring for soldiers in the Spanish-American War. To honor her, her family and friends started the District Nurses Association in 1900 to care for the community. The District Nurses Association eventually became the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley.
NWH opened in 1916 with only fifteen beds and one surgical suite. Current President and CEO Joel Seligman said, “I want to thank everyone for carrying on the legacy of patient centered care.” He and Board Chairman Nancy Karch both expressed gratitude to the community for the 100 years of unwavering support for the hospital.
Nursing Supervisor Kathy Melancon thanked the generous support of former patients, friends, and family before presenting the awards. The Sabita Karunes Scholarship was presented by Nana Banerjee to Christine Ludwig and Jean O’Connor.
Banerjee said, “I want to emphasize the sincerity, humanity, and dignity with which my mom was treated by the staff at NWH.”
Melancon presented the Joan Rizzo Scholarships to Kimberly Dutton, Maya Menon and Betsy LaRose. The Northwell Zuckerberg Family Award for Nursing Service Excellence was awarded to Enid Nwosisi. The Daisy Group Award was given to the Wedding Story Team for arranging a wedding within the hospital for the daughter of a terminally ill patient.
The final group of awards given were the Janet Harrower Nurse of Distinction awards. The awards honor the unwavering service of Janet Harrower, who was a beloved Nurse Supervisor at NWH. Harrower’s sister Donna Tompkins introduced the awards, saying, “Some say nurses are angels in comfortable shoes. Janet truly embodied the spirit of a nurse angel — showing care, compassion, kindness, intelligence and an incredible intuition to those in great need.”
The Up and Coming Nurse of Distinction Award went to Kevin Leonaggeo, who first worked as a transporter for NWH and slowly worked his way up to a nurse position in the emergency department. He was described by his colleagues as kind, patient, calm, good natured, responsible, reliable, easy going, eager, courteous, ambitious, and conscientious. Leonaggeo said regarding the hospital, “Thank you to the entire organization from the bottom to the top for providing me with such an amazing opportunity.”
Lisa Hesse received the Experienced Nurse of Distinction Award. She is extremely knowledgeable, incredibly hard working, and she always puts the well being of the patient first. Her colleagues also noted her “exceptional knowledge in the field of oncology nursing.”
The Physician Nominated Nurse of Distinction Award was given to Trinity Seward. Dr. Berliner noted, “She often works well into the night and keeps everyone together.”
Dr. Molinelli said, “Trinity is our go-to person. She carries a quiet, graceful and humble competency.”
Seward said, “Behind every nurse is a great team. I love you guys.”
One final surprise award, the Daisy Leader Award, was given to Kathy Melancon, for her exceptional service in helping lead the nursing program at NWH. She said, “Thank you so much. I’m truly speechless.”
The ceremony was a heartwarming celebration full of laughter, tears and smiles. Spano-Szekely concluded, “NWH has a culture of care in nursing. When you’re a nurse at NWH, you have to provide both the art and science of nursing. Science because you must be clinically competent— you have to understand anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. The art is you have to understand that the patient is a whole person — mind, body and spirit. Putting those aspects together embodies NWH nursing, and that’s what Janet Harrower exemplified. She mentored hundreds of nurses in her Nursing Supervisor role. She was on duty for over thirty years as a mentor, coach, supporter and a resource in emergencies, in clinical situations, during tough times, through it all. This award in her name truly exemplifies NWH nursing.”
Making Their Stride Count
October 18, 2015 Byram Hills Junior Varsity and Varsity cheerleaders attended the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Manhattanville College on Sunday October 18.
Many participants from Armonk and all around Westchester County walked in the event at Purchase College, joining over 300 national communities to fundraise and to walk in support of those who are affected by breast cancer. The hundred thousands of dollars raised on this day goes toward finding a cure for breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society’s goal is to find a cure to end the disease. But until then, they provide support to help women to take steps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In the past, the Bobcat cheerleaders have walked as a team. This year, they took their support a step beyond that to do what they do best--cheering on participants.
For several hours on the brisk morning, the cheerleaders provided spirit and motivation, said Armonk mom Janet Segatti who walks the event every year.
Dad's Away on Father's Day By Alison Simon
June 19, 2012 Father’s Day fun was shared by all at a softball game and pizza party organized to offer youth separated from family a chance to celebrate the holiday. On Saturday afternoon, several teenagers living in youth
residences operated by Family Services of Westchester were treated to the holiday outing by the Dad’s Away Foundation. Armonk resident David Simon introduced the groups and coordinated the event to provide these young people some family-style fun; he also wanted to let them know that there are father figures out there who do care and can be relied on. Simon said “My dad left when I was two, and I always wished I had a father I could look up to and spend time with.”
Dad’s Away founder Anthony Gurino knows firsthand how confusing and difficult life can be when a parent is not there for you. His father was incarcerated for several years when he was growing up. “I want to help these kids find a better direction for themselves.” Gurino started Dad’s Away in 2011 to provide mentors and positive role models for children whose parents have been jailed and children who live in broken homes. http://www.facebook.com/dadsaway
The kids had a great time and, according to Jennifer Payne, a supervisor for group homes “most played a full game of baseball for the first time and loved the game.” She also offered “a special thank you to Dad’s Away for donating brand new gloves and bats to the kids.”
The teenagers that participated live in The Jerome Wagner Youth Residence for Boys and the Evelyn Sachs Steiner Residence for Girls, both located in White Plains and run by Family Services of Westchester. These residences are there for young people, from ages 13 to 21, who are unable to live with their families because of neglect, abuse, drug use or jail. They “are places of safety and support for adolescent boys and girls who, for a variety of reasons, cannot or should not remain within their family homes. Boys and girls come to us deeply troubled, having suffered hurtful neglect and abuse or serious conflict with their parents. Many have been abandoned and have never experienced what most of us take for granted: a stable and secure home. The Residences allow needed separation between parents and children in crisis, and give the children a safe place to live apart from their families.” http://www.fsw.org/our-programs/youth-programs/youth-residences
Simon said he plans on making this an annual event. He said, “ I want the kids to be excited about the day, and what’s more, I want them to be excited about being fathers in the future.”
Armonk Lions Annual Meeting
Updated March 25, 2012 The Armonk Lions Club’s annual meeting was held at David Chen's restaurant on March 20. After a smorgasbord of prepared special meals was passed around the tables, members listened to the Town Board’s presentation on current town events.
It gives the members an opportunity to hear about the town issues directly from the Town Board, said Armonk Lions President Doug Martino. Guest speaker and Supervisor Howard Arden attended the meeting, along with Councilmen John Cronin, Diane Roth and Michael Schiliro.
Arden discussed the budget and current proposed development in town, which will represent a source of increased revenue. He said the Town Board is looking at a potential $150 million of development among Armonk Square, Sutton Court's assisted living, Brynwood Country Club, and the Car Club at Lakeview. Arden also said the town will be considering the latter two projects for smart development.
Roth focused on the town's beautification and recycling. She said the beautification committee is planning to hang flower baskets on Main Street. They are also working with the Green Acres Garden Club on the three hamlets(Armonk, North White Plains and Banksville) by designing a welcome sign, with landscaping. Roth has been involved with the town's recycling efforts, and described the new drop-off site for e-waste and scrap metals that will open every first Saturday of the month, behind Town Hall on Bedford Road.
The Armonk Lions’ biggest fundraiser is the ever-popular Fol De Rol Country Fair. In its 38th year, the Fol De Rol will be held this year from June 7 through June 9, rain or shine.
Officer Frank is Set to Retire By Alison Simon
Dec. 22, 2011 Today marks Detective Frank Kolarik’s last day of active duty on the North Castle Police Force. “Officer Frank”, as he is so fondly referred, will officially retire in early February, after 16 years on the force.
His retirement will mean the departure of an integral member of our community and our youth education network. Officer Frank is the Department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Instructor and Youth Officer. He is the School Resource Officer at H.C. Crittenden Middle School and Byram Hills High School, and he organized and administrates the Westchester Youth Police Academy. Detective Frank Kolarik will be recognized for his accomplishments by the Byram Hills School Board at a meeting to be held January 10, 2012.
Officer Frank leads the youth division of the North Castle Police Department, which is responsible for both the investigation of juvenile crimes and the planning and implementation of prevention programs in the Town's schools. Byram Hills School Superintendent Dr. Jackie Taylor said, “Officer Frank Kolarik has been a wonderful resource to our schools as the leader of the D.A.R.E. Program, as well as a terrific resource in terms of our Emergency Planning Think Tank and providing information and problem-solving techniques for students in our District.” Dr. Taylor indicated that the Town of North Castle provides D.A.R.E. service to the schools. The leadership of the D.A.R.E. educational program will be taken over by North Castle Police Officer Wes Mojica.
Officer Frank has taught the D.A.R.E. Program to fifth grade students at Wampus Elementary School for the last 14 years. The program has been an important part of the Wampus curriculum for 17 years. According to the Byram Hills Handbook, “D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug-and violence-free lives.” D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and is taught in 75 percent of U.S. school districts, as well as more than 43 countries around the world.
Officer Frank also devotes a lot of time to H.C.Crittenden School and Byram Hills High School, in his role as School Resource Officer. The Westchester Youth Police Academy is an internship program offered to high school seniors in the final quarter of their senior year. Officer Frank launched this program in 2005. He said “It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I put the program together from the ground up.” The program is modeled after the police academy and consists of 30 students from 11 different high schools. It offers them an opportunity to learn the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Students are exposed to all aspects of the criminal justice system, ranging from crime scene investigation to court proceedings to prisons. The students practice a police calisthenics program, visit correctional facilities and courtrooms, ride along with police officers during their rounds, participate in mock crime scenes and fire drills, and learn the basics of criminal laws. 2011 Youth Police Academy graduate Joseph Simon said the Academy was a great opportunity to learn how the system works, and gain an understanding of the many careers involved in the criminal justice system. Simon said, “Detective Frank has encouraged me and taught me how to be safe, ever since I moved here in 5th grade. Spending the spring of my senior year with him is an experience I will never forget. The Westchester Youth Police Academy was the best internship I could have participated in, because it was educationally and physically challenging. He will be missed!” The students were enamored with Officer Frank’s prowess at the shooting range, and they learned the intensity police officers confront on a daily basis, through the mock crime scenes.
Frank Kolarik began his career as a paratrooper in the United States Army and completed two combat deployments in Central America. He began his career as a police officer in Wappingers Falls. He worked there for two years, before coming to North Castle 16 years ago. He was a SWAT Team member, a member of the Department’s Scuba Unit and an FBI Certified Police Defensive Tactics Instructor. After two years on the force, he was asked to become the Department’s DARE Instructor and Youth Officer.
He is a certified police instructor and has taught at multiple police academies, including NYPD, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Onondaga, and Monroe Counties. Officer Frank helped to develop and implement statewide training programs. He was a New York State School Resource Officer (SRO) Instructor and a member of NY State's D.A.R.E. Officer Training Staff. He later became the lead trainer/facilitator. Officer Frank was appointed as the NY State D.A.R.E. Coordinator by D.A.R.E. America. He is also a former President of the State of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association and the Westchester County Youth Officers Association.
So what’s next for Officer Frank? He’ll be teaching at Duchess Community College, and he also created an educational resource, geared to middle and high school students, called Listen Up Safety Services, www.listenupss.com/bio.shtml. He will continue to speak at schools, covering topics such as drug use and cyber-bullying. Officer Frank said he will truly miss interacting with the kids in our community. And of course, they will miss him as well.
North Castle Community Coalition By Amanda Kleinberg
May 30, 2012 On May 30, 2012, Byram Hills High School hosted the first Youth Speak Out, run by the new group, the North Castle Community Coalition. The North Castle Community Coalition “supports the health and safety of our youth by creating a community that affirms healthy decision making and seeks to reduce risky behavior, including substance abuse.”
Attending this meeting, I was able to gain insight into the planning process to ensure that the youth of the community is educated on drug and substance abuse, and provided with positive role models. About twenty students attended this meeting and discussed many aspects to the community. Each table consisted of two adults and four Byram Hills High School students. Each group sat down and enthusiastically discussed five significant questions:
1) What do you think this community is doing well in supporting young people? 2) What do you think is happening with teen alcohol and other drug use in this community and are you concerned about it? 3) What are the barriers to preventing/reducing use? 4) What can adults do to be most helpful? 5) What is the one message you would like to tell adults in the community about your discussion today?
One member from each group spoke in front of the crowd and stated the most important issue concerning our community; the relationship between parents and their children. This seminar helped reveal alternative methods to ensuring a safe and successful community relationship.
Diane Arditi, Coordinator of the North Castle Community Coalition says, “I feel that the student participation was very successful. We had about 20 students present and about 20 adults. The North Castle Community Coalition will use the information gathered this afternoon in our planning process and to facilitate upcoming events and programs.”
The North Castle Community Coalition would like to acknowledge Broadway North Pizzeria, Amore Pizzeria and Beascakes Bakery for their generous donation of lunch and dessert for our successful “Youth Speak Out” event held at the High School.
Cherylyn Salon Holds its 17th Annual Children's’ Cancer Foundation Fundraiser
December 9, 2013 Cheryl Lynch of Cherylyn Salon North thanked attendees on December 2 at the annual fundraiser held at 42, the restaurant located at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains. Many guests opened their hearts and purses for a truly great cause. The funds will support children fighting cancer and their families, as well as benefit the children’s cancer ward at the Maria Fareri Children's Foundation.
"The children who have cancer are the strong ones," says Cheryl. “The stress that the treatment brings to a family is challenging for both the parents and siblings. Many parents must ask themselves, 'Do I go to work or possibly spend the last days with my child?” said Kathy, the mom of a young man who is a seven-year survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and spoke at the event.
The support of the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF) with donating funds toward research has made a real difference. The survival rate for children with cancer who are treated early has increased significantly to 85 %, says Cheryl.
Kathy spoke about her family's challenges while coping with the disease. December 10 was her son's seventh year in recovery. She knows every day is a blessing and says, "We have much to be grateful for. It's a huge undertaking for the whole family, but the kids do really well."
As an involved parent, Kathy brought in some research about drug protocol to ask her doctor why he wasn't doing this with her son. Her research showed that the survival rates didn't look good. Her son's doctor replied, “The information you have is what we treat adults with. Kids are treated much more aggressively; they are more tolerant than adults, and their recovery is easier because their cells are still growing.” The litany of Kathy's son's treatment was heartbreaking. "We were fortunate because we could keep up with two years of medication, treatments involving 60 days in the hospital, and 14 spinal treatments. And we are lucky: My son is here."
Children receive outpatient treatment at the Infusion Center at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. The off-hospital campus is almost twice the size of the treatment room in the hospital. Kathy says it gives the kids more room to stretch out and provides the family with a more relaxing atmosphere. They can even watch TV to relax and reduce the stress of the ordeal. Chemotherapy treatment can run from six to eight hours.
At the center, there's a family of three teenagers: one of the girls is undergoing treatment for leukemia, the most common form of pediatric cancer, and the mom is battling breast cancer. It might seem frivolous, but Cherylyn Salon is providing the family members with a makeover. It should provide them a temporary escape from their dilemma with daily battles. And every little bit helps when struggling with life-threatening diseases.
The luncheon featured a couture fashion show for the guests, who were primarily women. The fashion show was hosted by Armonk's RuthieZ and Lilies & Lace, and with the help of some familiar faces modeling the festive fashion designs.
A Day of Hope By Alice Levine
Dec. 2, 2011 Cheryl Lynch of Cherylyn Salon North of Armonk will host her 12th annual fundraiser and luncheon this year with Churchill's CMK to benefit the Children's Cancer Fund at the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Program at Westchester Medical Center. "Let's start the holiday season in a glamorous and giving way," said Cheryl. This year's luncheon will be held on Monday, December 5 from 11:30am to 2:30pm at the Brynwood Golf and Country Club at 568 Bedford Road in Armonk. The luncheon will include a 3-course meal, fashion show and holiday boutique.
The Children's Cancer Fund (CCF), founded by Dr. S. Jayabose, is an all volunteer-run organization. Its mission is to fund research to help find a cure for children's cancer. CCF also helps improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families. Cheryl has been an avid supporter and volunteer for 15 years. Over the years, she has hosted fashion shows, luncheons and other fundraisers for CCF. Cheryl explained, "Some of the money raised by the organization will be used for research, and some of it will go to small, but important things like buying Gameboys for children with cancer. Anything that helps make things easier for these brave kids and their families is beyond worthwhile."
The cost of the luncheon is $80, and all the proceeds go to CCF. Last year's event was held at Moderne Barn Restaurant in Armonk. The highlights of the luncheon were the words spoken by Susan Balsamo, whose 15-year-old son Carlo was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 14. Susan gave an emotional and inspiring account of Carlo's battle with cancer, which has included surgery and more than 30 radiation treatments. "No parent ever wants to hear the words from a doctor, 'Your son or daughter has cancer.' And that's just the beginning." She added that, unfortunately, there are few organizations to support fundraising efforts for children's cancer. Susan asked, "How many people know what a pink ribbon stands for?" After all the hands went up, she then asked, "How many people know what a gold ribbon stands for?" No one at the luncheon knew the significance of the gold ribbon, which represents children's cancer awareness.
But Susan's story was also one of hope and determination. Susan explained that along with all the suffering that cancer brings come the many blessings and rewards from friends, family and other people she has met. Carlo was visited by Make-A-Wish Foundation, and chose to make a rather unusual and selfless wish. "His wish was to have a fundraiser to help find a cure for Medulloblastoma, a type of children's brain cancer. The representative from Make-A-Wish tried to explain to him that his wish was supposed to be something special that he wanted, but a fundraiser to support this cause was really his wish," Susan explained.
During the lunch, Cheryl thanked her guests, as she said with tears in her eyes, "Thank you so much for coming and helping these amazing children."
To make a donation to CCR, please visit their website: childrenscancerfund.org or to donate please send a send check payable to The Children's Cancer Fund to Cherylyn Salon North, 430 Bedford Road, Armonk, NY 10504.
Cheryl said, "We are looking forward to seeing you again this year for a truly worthy cause."
Click for Emergency Preparedness Info from NC4
When Disaster Strikes, Being Prepared Counts
North Castle Citizen Corps Council (NC4)
NC4 is a group of North Castle citizens just like you who receive training by the American Red Cross to establish and operate an emergency shelter in North Castle should the need arise. They also provide community awareness programs so town residents can be prepared to protect their families in case of a large scale emergency.
Consider two kits: one with everything you will need to stay where you are and a second that is a lightweight smaller addition you can take with you. NC4's web site provides suggestions for items that could be included in your kits. In addition, North Castle's local Cable TV provides information on a Public Safety segment.