WHITE PLAINS, NY (June 2014)—On June 4, 2014, the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation, which is Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York, hosted “A Celebration of Gratitude,” a ceremony to honor North Street Community Partners for their generous donation of the 317 North Street building and property, which houses the John A. Coleman School and Children’s Rehabilitation Center.
His Eminence, Timothy M. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, was on hand for the celebration, along with Sen. George Latimer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-N.Y.), State Assemblyman David Buchwald, White Plains City Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona and the former mayor of White Plains, the Honorable Joseph M. Delfino. In addition, our sponsors the Sisters of Charity, North Street Community Partners, staff, dear friends and supporters and, of course, our children, were also in attendance.
The program began with a welcome from Patricia Tursi, the President of the John A. Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center. “If it wasn’t for the generosity of the North Street Community Partners, we would not be here today,” Tursi said, adding, “the John A. Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center provide critical educational and therapeutic services to over 5,000 of New York’s most medically complex children and we are relieved that we now have a permanent home to continue to provide care for many more children in the future.”
Following this, Sr. Marie Morris, S.C., Vice Chairperson of the John A. Coleman School Board of Trustees, said a prayer of gratitude and then Sr. Dorothy Metz, S.C., the Chairperson of the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation Board of Directors, Sr. Carol A. Barnes, S.C., the Chairperson of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center and our special friend, Stephanie, who receives services at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, recognized the gift made by North Street Community Partners with the presentation of three pieces of “wheel art” – one-of-a-kind works of art that our children create using their wheelchairs.
After, Miss Jenny, a music specialist, led our children in a chorus as they joyously performed “All I Really Need” for Cardinal Dolan. His Eminence then addressed the audience with a moving speech, noting that the multi-million dollar gift made by North Street Community Partners was miraculous. The presentation closed with Daniela Janniello, a teacher at the Coleman School, Caroline Mason, an art therapist at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center and Hamid, a resident of the Pediatric Center giving a piece of art they titled, “Journey of Love” to Cardinal Dolan.
His Eminence then toured the Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, blessing children, staff and even some families along the way. Dr. Maria A. Pici, the Children’s Rehabilitation Center’s Medical Director, described the sight as an amazing experience. “His Eminence was very loving toward the children and spent lots of time with them. It was very emotional to see how he embraced our kids and their families,” Pici said.
Maureen Tomkiel, Executive Director of the John A. Coleman School, was also very touched by the day’s events. “This was such a special day for us,” Tomkiel said. “The support for the Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center was palpable; we are so grateful to have received blessings from the Cardinal and the commendation of the community to continue to better the lives of the children we serve.”