Witnessing the end of an era can be a somewhat somber experience. It is most akin to actually being cognizant and totally conscious of crossing the threshold rather than realizing you have done so only after the fact. Such was the case as we approached the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, formerly known as the Triborough, that now charge your plate by taking a digital snapshot. Gone forever are the days of the toll booths as they have been removed as though they never even existed. It was a big deal when EZ-Pass came into our lives, replacing the tokens that you could buy in a package of 10, slowly eliminating the toll booth clerk. Now this change. As the saying goes, if they don’t catch you in the wash they will catch you in the rinse; the cameras for the return trip to Manhattan from Queens are positioned on the Queens side as soon as you drive onto the bridge.
Congratulation to Dennis Walto, who has assumed the position of CEO of the Children’s Health Fund. Appointed by the CHF board of directors, Walto is a seasoned and impassioned philanthropic leader who brings more than 25 years of senior management experience with not-for-profit organizations in the U.S. and around the world. The new leadership kicks off the 30th year for Children’s Health Fund, a nonprofit organization that ensures high quality health care for America’s children. Founded in 1987 by Dr. Irwin Redlener, singer/songwriter Paul Simon and program designer Karen Redlener, the organization has grown consistently in size and scope. Children’s Health Fund started with one mobile clinic (“big blue bus”) in New York City but now supports more than 50 clinics that serve more than 365 service sites in 24 communities across the United States. Included is the Harlem clinic with headquarters located at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue. Children’s Health Fund’s mission is to bring health care directly to those in places where doctors and health care providers are in short supply, primarily the homeless and low-income children and their families. By expanding access to comprehensive and innovative primary care and improving the health and well-being of children through advocacy and public education efforts CHF has reduced “health barriers to learning” that interfere with child development and school performance. Through Walto’s leadership, it is CHF’s mission to continue responding to the needs of vulnerable children affected by major public health crises.
Although most of the organizations have gone fishing for the summer there are still a few looming on the horizon who are seeking supporters for a very good cause. Jane Carter, founder/CEO and Sole Formulator, Jane Carter Solution, and Errol B. Taylor, partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy will host the 2017 “A Mind Is…” Hamptons Summer Benefit with all proceeds supporting the UNCF. It will be held Aug. 5-6, 2017, with an Aug. 5 reception and program, 6 p.m., and an Aug. 6 VIP brunch, 11 a.m. Events will be held at the private residences of homeowners in both East Hampton and Sag Harbor, so for those of you looking to get your Hampton swag on call 212-820-0140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information. Honorees are Frank Baker, co-founder and managing director, Siris Capital Group, LLC and Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, president, Clark Atlanta University. As always there will be great music, cocktails and conversation. “Please help UNCF enable this generation of college-bound youth to build on the accomplishments of their ancestors.” Who can forget when Lou Rawls used to host the weekend UNCF marathon with everybody who was anybody stepping onstage to pledge their support. There was definitely a party going on.
While you are in the mood for giving, don’t forget The Actors Fund, which among other services, provides professional dancers nationwide an array of specially designed services when they are unable to continue dancing because of an injury, age or other circumstances. They are there to support them every step of the way as they make the difficult transition into a non-dancer lifestyle. Most recently the Dancers for Good performed in the annual benefit to support TAF. The evening was hosted by Emmy and Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth and featured dancers from the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet, featuring fast and furious pop dancers steeped in ballet basics, and the New York City Ballet, who performed a Pas De Deux from “Diamonds,” an excerpt from “Jewels,” a three-act ballet choreographed under the auspices of the late George Ballenchine.
As many of my avid readers know, I am always reading other publications to keep abreast of other points of view. I was a little surprised to read an article in The New York Times on “How To Clean Your Bathroom.” If your mama was anything like my mama, if you don’t know anything else, you know how to clean a bathroom. Nonetheless, you never know, and it is never too late to learn. Although it was recommended that you use household products specifically for bathroom cleaning and let them do the work of lifting off the grime, what they didn’t mention (and I will) is it is important to use rubber gloves. The chemicals are somewhat toxic and can be harmful to your skin and seep into your pores, not to mention they wreak havoc on your cuticles and nails. It is also a good idea to step back and let the fumes from the scrubbing agents settle in before you dig in and start scrubbing; inhaling them can’t be good.
I recently bought a tub scrubber as advertised on TV You know the one where you let the apparatus with the long handle with the rotating brush on the end do the hard work and keep you from bending over to scrub the tub? Well, as my mom used to say, “There’s nothing like good old elbow grease.” In other words, it doesn’t work. Although it seems strong and powerful enough, and not to say that my tub is exceedingly dirty as with a husband and a pre-teen cleaning the bathroom is a daily ritual, the fact is, it doesn’t work. What it does do are the floors! No more mopping! The brushes get into all of the corners, a little Mr. Clean and Ajax for the first round and clear water to rinse and in a matter of seconds voila, clean and shiny. To get yours try Bed, Bath and Beyond on 125th Street, near the corner of Fifth Avenue. The article didn’t tell you about that either, but I did, and now you know.
Condolences to the family of Deacon Sydney Blake of St. Phillips Episcopal Church, who recently died. Best wishes to former St. Phillip’s Pastor Patrick Williams, who was joined by the congregation to celebrate his last Eucharist at the church. Father Williams has moved with his family to a new position in Tennessee, and will be missed. Having said that, the church is now searching for a new rector, one who is dynamic, sensitive to the needs of the community and faithful in prayer. Amen.
Until next week…kisses.