Rosenbaum receives Ditson Award

At a performance of the New York Virtuoso Singers led by Harold Rosenbaum at Merkin Concert Hall, Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia and secretary of the Alice M. Ditson Fund, presented the Ditson Award to Rosenbaum.

“Harold Rosenbaum is one of the most accomplished and versatile choral conductors of our time. He has developed outstanding choral organizations, such as the Canticum Novum Singers and the New York Virtuoso Singers, and is active in editing and publishing choral works. Through his courses at The Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Buffalo, he has instructed generations of singers and conductors in the art of choral music. He has given particular focus to contemporary music and commissioned many of America’s finest composers, thereby permanently enriching the contemporary choral repertory,” Lerdahl said.

“I hope that the Ditson Award will focus even more attention on the enormous number of extremely gifted composers in this country writing choral music and on the opportunities to hear these works performed. Frankly, it feels wonderful to be recognized for decades of obsessive devotion to this repertoire and to modern music in general,” Rosenbaum said.

The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University established the Ditson Conductor’s Award in 1945. It is the oldest continuing award honoring conductors for distinguished contributions to American music.

VNS Westchester to host gala

Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester (VNSW) is set to host an evening dinner and silent auction that will recognize the spirit of three community leaders, and inspire giving to support the not-for-profit agency’s home health and community health care services.

Its 16th annual Spring Benefit Gala, to be held May 15 at the Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, honors a champion of senior citizens, Rita Mabli, president and CEO of United Hebrew, New Rochelle; Anne Sweazey, executive director, Arc of Westchester Foundation; and the Westchester County Association (WCA) Healthcare Consortium, for its important work in all areas of health care in Westchester. Bill Harrington, chairman of the WCA, will accept the award on behalf of the consortium, which is composed of all segments of the $15 billion health care industry.

The gala is co-chaired by Karen Hererro, co-owner of the NY Hospitality Group, and Debra Swee, communications. Tickets for the event may be purchased for $250 each at vns.org. For information on sponsorship opportunities or contributions to the silent auction, please contact Joyce Infante, director of development, at JInfante@vns.org or 914-682-1480, ext. 649.

Good new-neighbor gesture

Stone Ridge at Fieldhome – based in Kansas – a senior living community soon to come to Westchester, donated $300 to the Food Bank for Westchester. The money was generated from a campaign on Facebook. For every “like” the Facebook page received, Stone Ridge at Fieldhome donated $1.

Citi Commercial banker promoted

Jonathan DeMarco, Citi Commercial Bank’s business banking area director, has had his regional responsibilities expanded to include Boston.

A 10-year Citi Commercial banking veteran, DeMarco now leads the business banking team in Boston, Connecticut, Westchester County and the Hudson Valley. He began his Citi career in 2003 as a vice president and relationship manager in Westchester and enhanced his commercial business banking experience through his own role as a partner in a restaurant.

DeMarco received an MBA in finance from Bryant University and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and political science from Wesleyan University.

Lin admitted to state bar

Tracy Lin, an associate in Goldberg Segalla’s business and commercial practice group in White Plains, has been admitted to the New York State Bar.

Lin’s experience includes working as a law clerk in the Illinois attorney general’s office antitrust bureau. As a judicial extern in the Cook County Circuit Court Chancery Division, she reviewed pleadings, motions, judgments and orders for compliance with the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law. Her experience also includes advising a Taiwanese medical-equipment company on its distribution agreement with a U.S. medical-equipment manufacturer; conducting due diligence for companies on stock purchases and on an initial public offering; translating various documents between Chinese and English; and working as an accounting manager for a sporting-goods company and as an auditor with Ernst and Young. In addition, she passed the certified public accountant examinations and is a chartered property casualty underwriter.

At DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Lin received an award for Best Memorandum and was a semi-finalist at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition. She was also certified in beginning-level courses of French language and culture at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

Green Chimneys adopts new program

Brewster-based Green Chimneys, a therapeutic day school and residential treatment center, has introduced a new program in animal interaction for its students. Through a partnership with Animals for Adoption dog shelter in Ulster County and All About Dogs Inc. training center in New York City, Green Chimneys students are now playing an important role in supporting the adoption of shelter dogs.

In the new program, students are involved in the care and training of carefully selected rescued dogs to help them become accustomed to human interaction, learn basic commands and become ready for adoption.

Funding supported construction of a “dog dorm” housing six dogs, as well as a dog park just steps from student residences. During a six-week socialization and training period, professional dog trainers will work with the students and dogs three times a week to teach proper care, grooming, handling and basic commands such as sit and stay, as well as walking on a leash.

After the six weeks and appropriate assessment, the dogs will be offered for adoption through a process coordinated by Animals for Adoption.

Champions for Children named

The Child Care Council of Westchester announced that Keith F. Safian, president and CEO of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center; Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano; and TD Bank are the recipients for Champions for Children Awards. They will be honored at a breakfast June 6 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown.

Each year since 2003, the Child Care Council presents the Champions for Children Awards to individuals and organizations that demonstrate an unwavering commitment to bright futures for children by creating or funding life-changing programs and initiatives.

Safian will be honored for his support of Phelps’ child care center, The Robin’s Nest founded in 1988, which provides vital services for hospital staff as well as working parents in the community.

Spano is honored for his work to raise expectations and outcomes for children in Yonkers, most notably through the Strive Cradle to Career Partnership. Strive was formed out of the Mayor’s Education Redesign Team, established in 2012 to recommend innovative education reforms.

TD Bank is recognized as a champion for its support of a large number of nonprofits that improve the lives of children, youths and families throughout Westchester County. TD sponsored the Child Care Council’s work to improve the quality of science education in both afterschool programs and preschool classrooms.

For more information about the annual awards breakfast, including sponsorship opportunities and ticket prices, contact Dana Lawless at 914-761-3456, ext.127, or danal@cccwny.org or visit childcarewestchester.org.

Guiding Eyes prepares autism service dogs

This month, during National Autism Awareness Month, Guiding Eyes for the Blind will welcome six more families to its Yorktown Heights headquarters to meet their children’s new autism service dogs for the first time.

Over the past six years, Guiding Eyes has placed 49 dogs through its Heeling Autism program.

Heeling Autism dogs ensure safety for children with autism and help them to develop lasting emotional and social bonds. As a result, families are able to lead more normal, less stressful lives. Parents often report other life-changing benefits as well, including increased independence, confidence and social acceptance.

Nick and his dog, Kelso.

“Our April graduating class includes six very special dogs – Pekoe, Madison, Leila, Juanita, Loyal and Maple,” said Caroline Sandler, director of the program. “Each one has undergone extensive training to prepare for the road ahead.”

In many cases, having a Heeling Autism dog can be a matter of life or death; drowning is the leading cause of death among children with autism who wander away from a safe environment. Parents rank their children’s wandering or bolting as one of the most stressful of all behaviors.

Before receiving Heeling Autism dogs, parents tell Guiding Eyes how they fear for their children’s safety. Parents worry about their children’s isolation, because those with autism have little or no ability to bond with people, even their own parents. Heeling Autism dogs are allowing whole families to go to a school soccer game or the seashore or Disney World for the very first time.

Each child receiving a dog has experienced an improvement in one or more areas, such as bolting behaviors, verbal abilities, sleeping patterns and social interactions. Each dog is individually trained to meet the needs of a specific child. The sooner a child receives help, the more likely he or she is to break away from autism’s social barriers and emotional obstacles.

There are many ways to support Heeling Autism. Donate or find out how to volunteer your time at guidingeyes.org or call 914-245-4024.


April 11: The fifth annual “An Evening of Food, Wine, Martinis and Fine Friends,” to benefit Phelps Memorial Hospital Center is slated for Thursday, April 11, at 6 p.m., at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor. The wines of South America will be offered and paired with regional hors d’oeuvres. Tickets at $100 per person or $200 per person for a VIP pre-event private tasting, may be obtained by contacting Phelps Special Events Manager Marissa Coratti at 914-366-3104 or at mcoratti@pmhc.us. Reservations can also be made online at phelpshospital.org.

April 13: Professor Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard University will deliver the 10th annual Aronson Memorial Lecture, named for a devoted volunteer at St. Paul’s in the 1980s and 1990s Sunday, April 13, at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, 897 S. Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon. Gordon-Reed, the author of a landmark series of books that examined the controversial subject of the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings family, who were enslaved African-Americans on Jefferson’s Virginia plantation, will speak about that relationship. For more information, call 914-667-4116  or visit nps.gov/sapa.

April 17: The Hudson Valley Main Street Summit, “Downtown Redevelopment Strategies,” will come to the village of Ossining, Thursday, April 17. Presented in partnership with the Community Preservation Corp. (CPC), Historic Hudson River Towns and the village, “Downtown Redevelopment Strategies” is a free networking conference featuring local industry panelists analyzing the latest downtown trends and Main Street redevelopment throughout the region. The summit, with presentations by local officials and redevelopment experts, will be held at the Ossining Public Library, 53 Croton Ave, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will conclude with a walking tour of the village. Reservations are recommended. For more information or to register, visit communityp.com and click “Events.” To learn more about downtown and economic development in the village of Ossining, contact the Office of Downtown and Economic Development at 914-941-3554 or visitvillageofossining.org/economicdevelopment.

April 21: The Charter School of Educational Excellence, Westchester’s first charter school that has received state recognition for its academic achievement, will hold a Bits and Bytes fundraiser Monday April 21, at 42 Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in White Plains. In addition to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, guests will learn about the charter school’s technology initiatives with opportunities to purchase items on a growing wish list. For sponsorship information, time and ticket sales, contact Rose Cappa at 914-747-0519 or email events@cappacrucy.com.

April 22: Yonkers Chamber of Commerce holds its spring breakfast event at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 2548 Central Park Ave., Yonkers, Tuesday, April 22, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Networking, a freshly prepared served breakfast, a presentation on a giant screen in 4K video and digital audio and a program with compelling speakers will talk about benefits to business in Yonkers. Tickets for members $15, guests of members $20 and nonmembers $25. For more information and reservations, call 914-226-3082.

April 24: Family Services of Westchester (FSW) will celebrate 60 years of making a difference in Westchester County with its Diamond Anniversary Gala Thursday, April 24, at VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. The event will recognize honorary chair Penny Johnston-Foote, the daughter of FSW founder Marjorie Dammann as well as all former board chairs and CEOs for their achievements and impact on the agency and community. The gala begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the community. With advance registration, individual tickets are available for $350 and a variety of sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact Marianne Gordineer at (914) 305-6876 or email mgordineer@fsw.org.

April 24: Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will hold its 2014 Equal Access to Justice Dinner Thursday April 24 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains. Cocktail reception 6 p.m., dinner 7:30 p.m. Honorees are Noah J. Hanft, general counsel and chief franchise officer at MasterCard and Jerold R. Ruderman, of counsel, Wilson Elser Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker L.L.P. New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will receive the Advocate for Justice Award. For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, call Legal Services Development Director Marianne Delaney at (914) 949-1350 or email mdelaney@lshv.org. To purchase tickets to the event, call Jenna Donnellan at (914) 761-7111 or email jenna@hrginc.net.


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