Happy belated Veterans Day to all of the veterans. I find this, along with Memorial Day, to be one of the year’s most solemn holidays, a time to really reflect and give thanks to all of those who are committed to serving our country. With the world in a constant state of chaos, now more than ever, Americans must be mindful of the sacrifice veterans make to protect our lives, freedoms and the pursuit of happiness.

Originally, Veterans Day was called Armistice Day. The holiday was created after World War I during the reign of President Woodrow Wilson. It wasn’t until after the Korean War that the name changed to honor veterans from that war and World War II. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the change into law in 1954.

Continuing to celebrate their happiness are Mr. and Mrs. Stanley “Sockie” and Julie Ross, who just celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary and 34 years


A lot of folks are happy now that Red Lobster has opened on 125th Street.

We all are also happy to know that Phoenix House hosted its 2013 Fashion Award Dinner. The benefit, which is the organization’s largest fundraising event, honored leaders in the fashion, beauty, retail and media industries. More than 600 people filled the room at Capriani, where the evening’s event was held, and raised $1.5 million.

Funds will be used for Phoenix House initiatives aimed at raising awareness about substance abuse and addiction and pioneering treatment and recovery programs. Among those in attendance were designer Tory Burch, John Forte and Leonard Lauder (son of Estée Lauder, the late cosmetic queen). Grand prize winners were awarded with gifts in little blue boxes from Tiffany & Co. Now just what was in that little blue box?

While it’s always all about the children, ’tis the season to show your love and support. Several organizations supported and loved and did what they do best: raise that loot to make sure our little ones get the care, protection and mental health services they need to help them grow into strong, healthy, well-adjusted adults. To begin the series of events recently held to promote child advocacy, the World of Children Award hosted its 16th annual awards ceremony. The event attracted nearly 500 guests and raised $800,000. Over the past 15 years, World of Children Award has set the gold standard for child advocacy, having invested $5 million in programs that serve vulnerable children in 140 countries worldwide, including the United States.

Receiving the 2013 Advocacy Award was Lauren Bush Lauren (granddaughter of former President George H. W. Bush, niece of former President George W. Bush and wife of David Lauren, who is the son of fashion designers Ralph and Ricky Lauren), who is co-founder and chief feeder of FEED Projects. The 2013 World of Children Health Award went to C. Mead Welles, co-founder of A Leg to Stand On, which helps children in the developing world who have lost limbs.

This award really touches me because I remember viewing a documentary featuring Princess Diana, who was then the spokesperson for the International American Red Cross, as she traveled through war-torn Rwanda. The courageous princess was speaking with and visiting children who had lost limbs when they were caught in explosions while walking through mine fields.

Triveni Acharya received the 2013 Humanitarian Award for transforming the lives of victims of child trafficking by co-founding Rescue Foundation. Susie Krabacher of Mercy & Sharing received the Alumni Award for her organization, which provides care and education to children in Haiti. The 2013 World of Children Youth Awards went to Chaeli Mycroft for her work with children with disabilities as part of the Chaeli Campaign. Joshua Schulman (president, Bergdorf Goodman) and Jim Conley (Global Partner Education, YouTube) were honorary event chairs. Entertainment included a performance by the Children’s Aid Society Chorus.

Megha Mittal, chairman of the designer clothing line Escada, joined with Saks Fifth Avenue to host a luncheon benefitting the organization New Yorkers for Children. It was her first public appearance in the United States, and what a grand welcoming it was! Guests were treated to a fashion presentation of the Escada Resort 2014 collection, followed by an intimate lunch and a few hours of personal shopping. New Yorkers for Children works in partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services. Together, the two organizations focus on getting young people in foster care to engage in educational and social programs that promote “sustainable relationships with caring adults,” according to their mission statement.

This event comes on the heels of New Yorkers for Children’s 2013 gala, which also benefited youth in foster care. The event raised over $1.2 million. Former Police Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta was honored.

I was surprised to learn that a donation as little as $9 can be made to the Back-to-School Package program, a campaign that provides school supplies to foster care children who are attending a New York City college. A monthly donation of $25 helps to support the 14,000 youth in foster care. If you have it, give it. Visit the website at newyorkersforchildren.org