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NYCA Opens While the Boy’s Club Brings Art to the Armory

Originally Posted: January 11, 2006

Laura Slatkin, Chancellor Joel Klein, and Harry Slatkin at the
NYCA cocktail reception. Photos by Patrick McMullan Photogra-
phy courtesy of R. Couri Hay CPR.

NYCA (New York Center for Autism) Charter School celebrated it's opening as the first charter school in New York State dedicated exclusively to educating students with autism on November 17th. A cocktail reception was held in the school, housed in P.S. 50 in East Harlem, with over 150 guests in attendance. The new school will be a model program for the New York City public school system, providing students with autism, their families and public school educators with access to high quality, state-of-the-art, science-based educational programming.

New York City's School Chancellor Joel Klein was gracious in his address, but made a point in letting guests know that not only was he excited about the project but could not wait to push for more charter schools that focused on autism in the New York public school system. He said, "Tonight's a perfect night, and this is a perfect project because I knew it would be resisted in every possible way. We need to create schools that fit the needs of the kids and stop trying to make kids fit into schools. I want these kids to get a good education...that's what it's about. It's about kids who need an education." He stated that the New York City public school system consists of over 4500 students with autism.

Southampton residents Jimmy Finkelstein and Pamela Gross-
Finkelstein at the NYCA cocktail reception. Photos by Patrick
McMullan Photography courtesy of R. Couri Hay CPR.

Other guests included such luminaries as Council Member Eva Moskowitz, Suzanne Wright (the wife of NBC Chairman Bob Wright), WB11's News Anchor Jim Watkins and Lauren Thierry, Pamela Gross and Jimmy Finkelstein, Jill Brooke and Gary Goldstein, Barbara and Alan Glatt, Chappy Morris and Melissa Stanley, Lisa Jackson, Michel Witmer, Manuella Nelson (the wife of the artist Prince), Executive Director Jaime Pagliaro, Ophelia and Bill Rudin, and Harry and Laura Slatkin who was one of the founding members of the NYCA Charter School. Laura spoke to the crowd saying, "It was a bumpy road getting started, the only way to make an impact is to create a model school and we established NYCA. The only answer is to provide these children with the finest education available." She said that 10 out of every 166 kids are autistic.

The evening was a success in bringing the workings of this charter school first hand to the benefactors and friends. A wonderful video was showcased the teachers and the students. The guests were also able to mingle and speak to one another over hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

The mission of the NYCA Charter School is to establish a model school that will provide science-based treatment and education to children with autism, offer on-going professional development opportunities for public and private educators and professionals serving the autism community and serve as a site for on-going research into effective interventions and treatment.

Ashley Constable and Melissa Berkelhammer at the Antiques &
Fine Art at the Armory opening night party. Photo Manhattan
by Gregory Partanio courtesy of R. Couri Hay CPR.

The Opening Night Preview party for Antiques & Fine Art at the Armory was successful in raising $100,000 for The Boys' Club of New York on Wednesday, December 7th. Over 500 guests attended the glamorous event held at The Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue at 67th Street, all of who enjoyed the special Chefs' Tastings, which were set up on tables between the rows of fabulous antiques and gorgeous fine art. Some of the delicious offerings included The Central Park Boathouse's crab-cakes, where a large crowd formed a line. Other restaurants that served up their specialties included, Aureole, Fiamma, One If By Land, Two If By Sea, Park Avenue Café, and Payard who helped guests round out their palates with bite-sized chocolates. However, if you were not a chocolate fan, you were able to make a bid on one of the magnificent homemade Ginger Bread Houses featured in the silent auction.

Kirk Henkles and Linda Hickox at the Antiques & Fine Art at the
Armory opening night party. Photo by Nancy Phelan C2005
courtesy of R. Couri Hay CPR.

The Honorary Chair was Jamee Gregory. The Co-Chairmen were Friederike Biggs, Linda Hickox, Jay Keith, Simone Mailman, Lindsey Pryor. Guests included Former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Keane, Mario Buatta, Catherine Cahill and William Bernhard, Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross, Peter Gregory, Martin and Audrey Gruss, Michel Witmer, Christopher and Simone Mailman, Hermes Mallea and Carey Mailman, Patricia Patterson, Charles and Anne Smithers, Mai Harrison and Ridgely W. Harrison, Melissa Berkelhammer, Carey Malmen, Diane Van Amerongen, Patricia Patterson, Scott Salvator and Geoffrey Bradfield.

As the nation's oldest and largest organization of its kind, The Boys' Club of New York has been at the vanguard of youth development for more than 125 years. It is rooted in a tradition and history of community service, outreach and philanthropy to some of New York City's most socially disadvantaged and economically troubled neighborhoods.

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