Northside Center for Child Development’s 66th Anniversary Gala Benefits Harlem and South Bronx Children and Families
On May 23, 2012, Russell Simmons, Marcus Samuelsson, George Faison and other friends of Northside Center for Child Development gathered at the Plaza Hotel for Celebrate Northside! The annual gala supports Northside’s educational, mental/behavioral and social services to children and families in East and Central Harlem and the South Bronx.
Guests filled the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom to celebrate the success of the families who come to Northside and to honor four distinguished individuals who reaffirm the belief that we all have the capacity to make a dramatic difference in the lives of others. Honorees were Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Lazard; Richard J. Rubino, Northside board member and former CFO of Medco Health Solutions; Ravi Sachdev, Managing Director, JPMorgan; and, the Honorable David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of New York City.
First Lady Michelle Obama sent a special greeting during the evening’s festivities: “Northside Center proves how much we can achieve when we unite around a common purpose. The spirit of service is an inspiration to us all, and I hope you take pride in all that you have accomplished.”
In his introduction of Kenneth Jacobs, Alan Patricof underscored Northside’s importance: “This organization deals with a very…very difficult problem in New York; it deserves all the help it can get.” The honorees expressed great joy at being a part of Northside’s success. Mr. Jacobs shared: “The mission of Northside is close to my heart and my wife’s heart. Northside helps the child. It goes everywhere the child needs it. I’m proud to be part of that community.” Mr. Sachdev echoed similar sentiments: “[After my visit at Northside] I walked out of the building and thought of my daughter. I hope my child could find professionals in her life who are determined to make her life a success.” Mr. Rubino added: “Northside is about results: proven results. You can see the smiles and sense the care. [There are] many happy endings, thanks to Northside.” Mrs. Joyce Dinkins spoke laudably on Northside’s dedicated service on behalf of her husband who was visiting Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
The highlight of the event came from a single mother who overcame her struggles of raising two young girls, and a poised 13-year-old teen who became an honor roll student thanks to the tutoring and therapeutic programs at Northside.
Northside Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Thelma Dye, offered great thanks to the community partners and donors who support Northside’s critical work. “For 66 years Northside has been a place of healing, academic enrichment and a lifeline to easing pain and suffering. Northside is a testament to what the human spirit can accomplish with vision, love and determination.”
Elvis Duran and Carolina Bermudez from Z100 radio’s Morning Show were the Gala emcees.
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 by saving lives, changing lives and building brighter futures. 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. At its East 110th Street headquarters, West 135th Street satellite, the Susan Patricof Head Start Center at East 111th Street and partner schools, 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.