YONKERS, NY (May 2016)—The St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation hosted its second Cherish the Child Event, “Let’s Do Lunch!” on Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, N.Y. The event raised more than $60,000 in support of the children who receive services across our Continuum of Care at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, John A. Coleman School and Children’s Rehabilitation Center.
The event was sold-out and attended by over 160 guests. The day began with a tour of our Yonkers home, which includes the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center and the Yonkers campus of the John A. Coleman School. Attendees had the opportunity to meet the medically complex children and employees of the Pediatric Center and learn why the care we provide at our pediatric long-term care facility is unparalleled.
Following this, guests reconvened for the start of the program. MaryLou Pagano, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, began by thanking all those who made the day possible, including chef Raffaele Ronca of Rafele Ristorante in New York City, a dear friend of the Foundation, who catered the luncheon. Ronca recently won on Food Network’s hit show, “Chopped,” in January and donated his $10,000 winnings to the Foundation. On the menu was seafood salad, cavolfiore, rollatini, polpettine, braised meat lasagna with béchamel pesto, ravioli with butter and spinach and the chef’s famous cheesecake bites, perfectly prepared by the chef himself and his team and served by Christa Tomasulo-Maldonado and her staff from enVious Events, LLC.
After lunch, Pat Tursi, CEO of the Pediatric Center, presented Shannon O’Neill Gallagher, Esq. 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. O’Neill Gallagher graciously accepted the award and shared her passion for the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center and its devotion to those she called “God’s most fragile beings.” “The heroic is the everyday here,” she said. O’Neill Gallagher described a music therapy session that she observed while visiting the Pediatric Center. “There was a young boy who was lying on an acoustical bed. He was being cradled by one of the therapists on his upper body and another therapist was strumming, ever so gently, with a paddle on the side of the bed,” she said. “Both of these women were tuned into every physical and verbal cue of this child, literally nurturing his dignity and his humanity; it was a gift to behold for this is the true essence of Elizabeth Seton. Every child here is esteemed and respected. They’re glorified in a matter that is befitting all of God’s children. And that is why I am here today.”
Following O’Neill Gallagher’s moving sentiments, Brian Harrington, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement, expressed his gratitude for O’Neill Gallagher’s deep-rooted, family-wide support for the Foundation. “Shannon, you grew up in a family that not only embraced faith but, more importantly, lived it,” Harrington said. “Your family legacy is ‘Compassion in Action.’ You, in turn, continue that legacy and have clearly passed it on to your own children.” O’Neill Gallagher’s father, Richard O’Neill, serves as a member of the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation’s Board of Directors and her son, Michael, raised nearly $4,000 for the children of the Pediatric Center last fall.
The afternoon concluded as Pagano revealed the winners of our raffle baskets. This event would not have been possible without the support of our generous partners. We’d like to thank Kerry and Raymond Bello for their generous donation of the wine served at the luncheon. We’d also like to acknowledge our Flower Sponsor: The Feeney Family; our Luncheon Co-Sponsors: The Arena Foundation, Arthur J. Semetis, P.C., Benny and Michele Caiola and Michael Gallagher; our Printing Sponsor: John L. Vorbach Company Insurance Brokers; our Table Sponsors: Ann Cacase, Beth Caruso, Catherine Franzetti, Meaghan Janedis, Dennis and Judy Kenny, Richard O’Neill; and our Individual Sponsors: Suzanne Delane, Courtney Donohue, Lynn M. Mara, Patricia Meyers, Donald McAllister, Jr., Maureen McAllister, Dawn McMahon School of Dance LLC, Maria Pici, M.D., Joanne Shapoff, Sue Suttlehan and Doretta K. Tarangioli.