Now that all of the holiday reveling is over, we awake to ask, “What time is it?” Well, it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions, but of course. Mine is, as always, to drink more water, and I must say I’m doing a much better job of it than I have in the past, if that’s any inspiration.
Going a step beyond just that, and speaking of inspiration, I was inspired by an article I just read on the former first lady of the state, Silda Wall Spitzer, that made me say, “I can do that.” What is it that she does that you can do too, you ask? She gives.
Growing up in Concord, N.C., participating in community service activities was very much a part of her daily life. Her grandparents baked wedding cakes for those who couldn’t afford the splendor, her mother taught neighborhood children how to safely cross the streets and her father was in charge of the local United Way campaign. Spitzer herself was a Girl Scout and visited senior citizens. She recounted, “Nobody asked if we wanted to do service, we just did it.”
She completed her education at Meredith College and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Upon moving to New York, she worked for the firm of Skadden, Arps and went on to become counsel to Chase Manhattan Bank until 1994. Somewhere along the way she met and married Eliot Spitzer and had three children.
Amidst it all, she clung to her roots, and what started out as just a conversation with her friends developed into “Children for Children,” a not-for-profit organization dedicated to getting youngsters involved in community service.
One thing led to another, as it usually does, and the organization grew and grew, eventually becoming known as generationOn, which enjoys a national presence. With hundreds of volunteers and children, services are provided to those most in need, from children’s hospitals to homeless shelters. As we know, these things can’t happen on their own-it takes big bucks, and plenty of them. What better way to raise revenue than to have a ball?
The 10th annual Art of Giving Benefit supporting generationOn not only raised oodles of cash but brought out Tonya Lewis and Spike Lee, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Lauren Bush and Maurice and Andrea DuBois, just to name a few, who also believe in caring, sharing and giving. All seem to agree that community service is such a rewarding experience for people of all ages.
GenerationOn has a website that suggests a wide range of ways to not only volunteer but to give and donate. Spitzer concluded, “The first service opportunity is very important and formative; once you’ve had a good experience, you will seek it out and do it somewhere else. It is about giving kids a chance to see that they have value.”
Does anyone know who Portia and John Gaitlin are-as in, what do they do, where do they live, what is their story? They are quite a dashing couple, invited to some of the most high-society events that only the elite of the elite are invited to while all the while seeming very approachable. If I ever get close enough, I will be sure to introduce myself and I’ll let you know what’s what.
Happy birthday, Anani and Jonathan Beene (twins!), Henry Dore, Harvey Young, Albert Mic Mitchell, Isabel Dennis Cummings and my dad, Wilbur DeLaney.
Thank you to Cyril and Deloris Poindexter, who hosted a very intimate New Year’s Day dinner-we laughed and laughed and laughed. Don’t ask me what we laughed about; I don’t remember, but I know it was funny. Fred and Joy Cooke used to host New Year’s Day festivities, at which you could always expect a full spread and more laughs. Guess they’ve passed the baton.
Seems as though the final frontier may be on the way toward new development-that is, the neighborhood from 132nd to 135th streets between Lenox and Fifth avenues. Let’s hope so. While we all tend to resist change from time to time, things often turn out better than they seem. Nothing in the universe stands still, so why should we? It promises good things to come. Let’s get it on.
Until next week…kisses.