Northside Center for Child Development’s 65th Anniversary Gala
Benefits Harlem Children and Families
On June 7, 2011, friends of Northside Center for Child Development gathered at the Plaza Hotel for the Northside 65th Anniversary Gala. Over $900,000 was raised to support Northside’s educational, mental/behavioral and social services to children and families in East and Central Harlem.
“We want to help and heal children until there is nothing left for us to do, until we have removed the threats to our children’s educational, emotional and economic well being, until children no longer live in poverty,” remarked Northside Executive Director, Dr. Thelma Dye.
Guests filled the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom to celebrate the success of the families who walk through the doors of Northside Center for Child Development and to honor three distinguished individualswho embody the goals and vision of this great institution; who reaffirm the belief that we all have the capacity to make a dramatic difference in the lives of others. Honorees were Robert Calderoni, Chairman and CEO of Ariba, Inc., Ann Bailen Fisher, one of the first women partners at the prestigious law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and Sheila C. Johnson, entrepreneur, philanthropist and co-founder of BET.
“Northside is a place where hope survives and thrives,” noted Sheila Johnson during her acceptance speech. Ann Bailen Fisher remarked, “I wish every child and parent could have a Northside in their lives.” Robert Calderoni closed the event expressing great pride at being a part of Northside’s success. Ms. Johnson received the Mamie Award, given in tribute to Northside’s co-founder Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark. Mr. Calderoni and Ms. Fisher received the Northside Corporate Community Achievement Award.
The Gala’s emcee, Maurice DuBois, morning anchor for WCBS-TV 2 News and Z100 Radio’s Elvis Duran set the tone for the evening by underscoring the critical importance and impact of Northside’s longtime commitment to the children of Harlem.
But the highlights of the evening came when gala guests were captivated by the emotional personal stories of three Northside children. A mother spoke about finding Northside – a place where her special needs daughter could achieve academic success after a number of other schools had failed. A standing ovation followed a college-bound teenager’s inspirational story of overcoming traumatic brain injury. The final speaker was a courageous and poised ten-year-old who described finding happiness and the transformational path of her life before and after coming to Northside.
About Northside Center for Child Development: Building on the vision and courage of its founders, the pioneering psychologists Drs. Kenneth B. and Mamie Phipps Clark, the Northside Center for Child Development continues to meet the challenges of poverty; saving lives, changing lives and building brighter futures. At its East 110th Street headquarters, West 135th Street satellite, the Susan Patricof Head Start Center at East 111th Street, partner schools, and service organizations throughout Harlem, Northside annually serves over 3,000 impoverished children and their families. Northside is and remains a cornerstone of hope for the Central and East Harlem community. Providing an array of services with attention not only paid to the individual child, but also to their families, schools and the community that surrounds them, Northside’s holistic approach sets it apart from other organizations. The Clark’s ground-breaking research was critical to the historic 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that banned segregated public schools in America.