Foundation Hosts Successful Cherish the Child Luncheon!

YONKERS, NY (May 2017)—The St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation hosted its third annual Cherish the Child Luncheon honoring Larchmont resident Michele Caiola on May 4, 2017 at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, N.Y. The luncheon, which was attended by more than 160 guests, surpassed the Foundation’s fundraising goal.

The day began with a tour of the Pediatric Center and a VIP sneak peek at its new 32-bed technology-dependent addition, which, when it opens in June 2017, will make the Pediatric Center the largest children’s subacute care center in the entire country. Guests were introduced to our children and staff and learned what makes our programming unique and our care unparalleled.

Following this, everyone reconvened for the start of the program where a fabulous three course lunch was catered by dear friend of the Foundation and restaurateur, Peter X. Kelly of Xaviar’s Restaurant Group. Barbara Rossi, Director of Institutional Advancement, welcomed attendees and shared that the proceeds from the day would benefit two, critical fundraising efforts with family at the heart of the matter: the Hummingbird Campaign, the Foundation’s $6 million philanthropic effort in support of its expansion, and the Pediatric Center’s Home to Home (parent and sibling transportation) program.

Then Rachel Amar, a grateful parent and Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center Board Member, spoke about the life-changing impact the Pediatric Center has had on her family. Amar’s experience navigating the complex landscape of pediatric health care with her son, Max, who became the first ventilator-dependent child admitted to the Pediatric Center’s Ventilator Care Program back in 2006, inspired all. “It was so important to tell my story because it gave me the opportunity to share all the wonderful things Elizabeth Seton does for Max and my family,” Amar said. “These children are loved and cared for by devoted staff. This is their home,” she said.

After Amar’s touching words, Pat Tursi, CEO of the Pediatric Center, presented Michele Caiola with the St. Elizabeth Seton Legacy Award, which is given annually to honor a person or a community organization that has made a significant contribution to the Foundation’s Continuum of Care through their time, actions, talent and dedication. “Michele, your passion and deep affection for our children is a gift that we cherish each and every day and we are filled with gratitude for your unwavering generosity,” Tursi said. “Michele leads by the Mother Seton quote: ‘Do your best and leave the rest to our dear God.’ She has a deep faith and a deep grace in meeting ‘the call’ and her providence led her and her family to us – from White Plains to New York City to Yonkers,” she continued. “Wherever else the future takes us, I trust that Michele will be there with us.”

Michele Caiola holds the St. Elizabeth Seton Legacy Award

Caiola graciously accepted the award and shared her gratitude. “My first impression when I visited the John A. Coleman School was how fortunate these families were to have such a dedicated group of individuals who make sure each child’s physical and spiritual needs are met,” Caiola said. “And although I didn’t have a personal struggle to relate to, any mother can relate to needing quality medical care at some point in our children’s lives. It was this appreciation that inspired me to help out in my own small way,” she said. “Ten years later, I am here.”

This event would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors. We’d like to thank Empire Merchants for their generous donation of the wine served at the luncheon. We’d also like to acknowledge our Hummingbird Sponsors: Benny and Michele Caiola and Bettina Equities Management, LLC; our Bayley Sponsors: Luigi Caiola and Family, The Caruso Family and Tom and Linda Devine; our Betsy Sponsors: Catherine Franzetti, Kaback Enterprises, PK Electric Inc., Rockefeller Group, Steven and Joyce Rosenthal and Vito and Mary Verni; and our Butterfly Sponsors: Michael and Shannon Gallagher, Francesca and John LaGumina and Family, Dennis and Judy Kenny and TF Cornerstone.