The Cosmopolitan Review: May 18 - May 24

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 5/18/2017, 11:50 a.m.
A torrential rainstorm one day a week and trees are in full bloom—and so is my hay fever.

A torrential rainstorm one day a week and trees are in full bloom—and so is my hay fever. But hey, it’s May. If it’s May then it must be time for Northside Center for Child Development’s annual gala. This year’s theme was “Unmasking Our Future,” and what better way to walk the walk than to raise beaucoup bucks for one of the worthiest causes known to mankind.

For seven decades, Northside Center has given children and their families the support they need to not only overcome adversity but also continue to thrive, dream and accomplish things they once thought were out of their reach. The event began with a Champagne reception and red carpet photo op in the reception hall at the Pierre Hotel, located at 61st Street and Fifth Avenue. Guests were then escorted up the grand staircase into the grand ballroom. Accommodations were easily arranged as 350 people were expected and 450 people showed up. Master of ceremonies was the effervescent Maurice DuBois, who introduced the Northside Center Afterschool Drummers, led by percussion instructor, Baba Don Eaton, in partnership with Harlem School of the Arts. The youngsters, who drummed with perfection, began the unmasking as the beats reached down into the depths of what Northside Center is all about.

Building on the inherent strengths of children and families, Northside Center’s rich history began with Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark in Harlem, in 1946. Their dedication and social science research ultimately changed education in America when one of their projects, known as the “Black/White Doll Study,” was admitted as evidence in the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. The findings concluded that separate was not equal. The Clarks had unmasked the fact that poor self-esteem negatively affects the emotional and intellectual growth of children.

Today, Northside Center continues to unmask the layers that impede healthy growth, emotional stability and mental acumen. More than 4,000 children and families are served by Northside’s variety of programs, designed to meet the immediate needs and sustain future growth of all who pass through their doors. Speaking most eloquently was Thelma Dye, Ph.D., the Hilde L. Mosse executive director and CEO, who beams with pride about strides Northside has made over the years. First thanking her dedicated staff, she told of the myriad services that benefit children. From the Susan Patricof Head Start Center at East 111th Street, with centers also located in the Bronx and Brooklyn and at a new site on Allen Street, to the high-level enrichment programs partnered with American Ballet Theatre, to the 3- and 4-year-olds who are learning to code, Northside lives. Individual holistic services are provided for children from birth to age 5, unmasking the fact that nurturing makes a difference.

Gracing the stage was LaToya Tripp, a Northside parent from Brooklyn who brought her children to Northside at a very young age because of emotional and behavioral issues. She stated that after receiving the treatment, including nutrition for good mental health, her children are now thriving in mainstream classes and society. Being able to stand before a crowd and recount how she and her children went from hopelessness to fulfillment was the best Mother’s Day gift ever.

A Northside student told of how, with the help of Northside intervention, she rose from the ashes of despair to acceptance into Emory College, where there is no doubt she will succeed.

This year the 2017 Community Commitment Award was given to Barbara Bartlett Sloan and Howard Sloan (in memoriam) for being among the most ardent and longstanding supporters of Northside. The Corporate Community Achievement Award was given to Howard M. Lorber, chairman of Douglas Elliman. Cynthia Foster Curry and Bruce Mosler both received the Corporate Community Achievement Award. Curry is president of Office Brokerage for Colliers USA, the world’s third-largest publicly traded real estate service company. Mosler is chairman of Global Brokerage of Cushman & Wakefield Inc., the world’s largest independent real estate services firm.

Did you know that in February 1973, Elvis Presley met Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas and during that meeting Elvis gave Ali a robe emblazoned with the words “The People’s Champion?’ Ali, in turn, gave Elvis a pair of boxing gloves inscribed “You’re the Greatest.” Also in the news, congratulations to Eva Hudgins, daughter of A.C. Hudgins Jr., who got married at the family’s home in Sag Harbor. Who could forget Dorothy Hudgins, a wonderful hostess, who lived on West 95th Street in the house with an indoor swimming pool?

The building currently housing Chez Lucienne and Gin Fizz is for sale. With three stories, something fabulous could happen here. I am surprised there is even time for the for sale sign to go up.

Until next week … kisses.