A “Bella Notte” for the Foundation

YONKERS, NY (November 2017)—The St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation hosted its annual fall fundraiser, “Bella Notte,” on November 9, 2017 featuring special guest chefs Raffaele Ronca and Sandra Lee. Our most successful event to date for the benefit of the children served by the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, the John A. Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, “Bella Notte” was attended by nearly 300 guests.

The evening began with two very special performances. The first was from Italian opera singer, crossover artist and event producer, Luciano Lamonarca, which was sponsored by the Saint Pio Foundation. Because of his involvement in numerous charitable causes and his commitment to making art with a purpose, Lamonarca has been nicknamed “The Goodwill Tenor.” Guests were also treated to a duet of the song that inspired the name of our fundraiser performed by Pediatric Center resident, Stephanie, and John A. Coleman School alum, Matthew.

On the menu were mouth-watering, Italian specialties that were planned by special guest chef, Raffaele Ronca, and catered by his team from Rafele Ristorante, which Ronca co-owns. Ronca, a dear friend of the Foundation, competed and won on Food Network’s hit show, “Chopped,” in 2016 and donated his $10,000 prize to the children we serve. Addressing those in attendance, Ronca said, “It’s all about the kids because the kids are giving me as a human being the energy and the love to think about what we go through every day and to remain in our heart young and pure.”

Multiple Emmy Award winner Sandra Lee is an internationally acclaimed expert in all things life and style. Lee first became introduced to the Foundation after meeting Pediatric Center resident, Stephanie, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral during Pope Francis’s historic visit to New York City in 2015. Reflecting on this first meeting, Lee shared, “[Stephanie] and I immediately started talking and I immediately knelt down and we just became friends. She invited me to come here tonight and that’s why I’m here.”

Lee then introduced one of the Pediatric Center’s critical fundraising initiatives: Home to Home, our parent and sibling transportation program. “This community is creating a new initiative and that is to make sure that the parents of the kids who live here can come and visit. These kids are the kids that are truly in need of not only our caretaking from doctors and physicians, but they need their parents here,” Lee said.

“Can you imagine if your child was living in another state or in another place and you couldn’t financially afford to get to your child and visit them?” Lee asked. “So the next big initiative, the next big fundraising mechanism and where we need to put our investment, especially with the holidays coming up, is going to be toward that.”

Find out more about how you can contribute to Home to Home online here.

This event would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors. We’d like thank our Maestro Sponsor: Peter T. McKeever; our Buona Sera Sponsors: Andron Construction; Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; Michele & Benny Caiola; John & Beth Caruso; Cintas Corporation; Anita & Michael Hegarty; Opus Advisory Group and Robert Martin Company; our Buon Appetito Sponsors: Cain Brothers & Company; Clean Air Quality Service, Inc.; Egon Zehnder International, Inc.; Empress Ambulance Service, Inc.; Janet & Israel Franco; Dennis & Judy Kenny; Theresa & Stephen Macri; Medline Industries, Inc.; Nutricia North America; PKF O’Connor Davies and Vito & Mary Verni; and our Saluti Sponsors: Anonymous; Anthony Izzo and Associates; Adam Cole; Converged Technology Group; Michael J. Daly, III; D.P. Wolff Inc.; ESPC Senior Leadership in honor of Carla; Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Inc.; Michael & Shannon Gallagher; Grundman Mechanical Systems; Hinman Straub PC; Steve Korf; Loeb & Troper, LLP; Long Term Solutions, Pharmaceutical Consultants; Dr. Lisa Marrero; Masimo Corporation; NetConnect; The New York Foundling; PMA Companies; Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson, LLP; Riverdale Family Practice and Sterling National Bank.

Following the performance of “Bella Notte” (clockwise from left to right, beginning in the back row): Class of 2011 John A. Coleman School alum, Matthew, Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center resident, Stephanie, Assemblymember Shelley Mayer, Director of Creative Arts Therapies Kristen O’Grady, Assemblyman David Buchwald, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Sandra Lee, Raffaele Ronca and James Maxson, music therapist