The New York Foundling celebrated its First Annual Fall Fête, held on November 19th at the NoMad Hotel, by honoring two heavy hitters of philanthropy and hands on involvement with the issues faced by children and families in need. It was an auspicious start for what is sure to become one of the most important nights of New York City’s charitable season, as The Honorable Michael A. Corriero and TD Bank were honored for their tireless work on behalf of at risk youth and disadvantaged urban communities.
Judge Corriero was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from The New York Foundling and The Sisters of Charity in recognition of his years long work and dedication to issues faced by young offenders caught up in the New York City criminal justice system. For 16 of the 28 years that he served as a Judge in the criminal courts of New York State, Corriero presided over Manhattan’s Youth Part, a special court created by the Supreme Court of New York State designed to focus attention and scarce resources on young offenders prosecuted as adults pursuant to New York’s Juvenile Offender Law. Under Corriero’s leadership, the Youth Part became a model for treatment and social services for children prosecuted in adult courts. In 2006 he published “Judging Children As Children: A Proposal for a Juvenile Justice System”, in which he drew upon his sixteen years experience in hearing the cases of troubled children and children (as young as 13) in trouble with the law. The book has been called a blueprint for juvenile justice reform. From 2008 to 2010, Corriero served as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and previously served on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Committee on the Judiciary and on Governor David Paterson’s Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice in New York. He has received numerous awards, including the New York State Bar Association’s Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare and the American Bar Association’s Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award.
TD Bank, N.A. President and CEO, Mike Pederson, accepted the Corporate Citizenship Award on behalf of TD Bank for their commitment to education and community-building—they have frequently visited Mott Haven Academy—The Foundling’s charter school for kids involved in the child welfare system. In addition to their work in the community and with kids, TD Bank supports programs that provide safe, clean and accessible housing for older adults. “TD Bank is proud to receive the Corporate Citizenship Award and to support The New York Foundling’s educational services. We work side by side with our neighbors and local organizations to bring change that makes a positive, lasting impact in our communities, supporting the causes that matter most to our customers and employees” Pederson states. Pederson is responsible for leading TD Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations in the U.S., and he has a long and ongoing involvement with charitable organizations that are focused on strengthening disadvantaged urban communities and on sustainability and the environment.
The evening’s program was emceed by Emmy Award-winning host of NBC’s Talk Stoop and USA Daytime, Cat Greenleaf, who spoke about her personal connection to The Foundling and National Adoption Month. Greenleaf shared how the organization supported her and her husband, Michael, ten years ago as they embarked on their journey to adopt their two sons, Primo and Truman. “When I’m here telling our success story, I think we never would have pushed through the miasma of the adoption world if it wasn’t for people who helped us guide our rudder and our compass along the way,” said Greenleaf.
The Foundling’s President and CEO Bill Baccaglini, presenting the awards, said “The New York Foundling ensures that every person regardless of their background enjoys the safe, stable and supportive relationships needed to reach his or her full potential. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who joined us this evening to recognize the critical work The Foundling has been doing for 146 years, and to bring awareness to the communities we serve.”
Greenleaf introduced the evening’s musical performance by encouraging everyone to have fun, and the assembled business professionals, community leaders and philanthropists did not need much encouragement to that end. New York City native Rachel Brown, an exciting newcomer to the musical scene, who has appeared in some of the city’s hottest venues, such as Ginny’s Supper Club under the popular Red Rooster in Harlem, gave the night some serious soul, rock ballads and r&b. The fête was buffet style, with the NoMad’s staff moving constantly through the crowded rooms to refresh drinks and serve sweet and savory appetizers to go with tables that were stocked with some of the specialties that has made NoMad one of the hottest reservations in town.
The New York Foundling reaches 27,000 children and families each year in all five boroughs of New York City, surrounding counties, and Puerto Rico. Established in 1869 by the Sisters of Charity, The Foundling provides evidence-based and evidence-informed programs that focus on keeping families together, preventing abuse and neglect, providing academic support for children, and giving people with developmental disabilities the tools and training they need to lead independent lives. For more information visit www.nyfoundling.org.