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American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter Announces 2024 Red & White Ball Co-Chairs, Committee, and Honorees

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The American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter announced Connie Anne Harris and Lauren E. Walsh as Co-Chairs of the 2024 Red & White Ball. This highly anticipated event will happen on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Riverside Yacht Club. The 2024 Red & White Ball honorees are: Lieutenant General Steven W. Gilland, 61st Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Suzanne Packer, American Red Cross MNYN Chapter Board Member and Philanthropist; and Chief James J. Heavey, Greenwich Police Department.

“We are so excited to celebrate the Red & White Ball in April. With Connie Anne and Lauren continuing their leadership and support of the Ball into 2024, I am certain this signature fundraising event for our Red Cross chapter will be spectacular. This event provides vital support for mission to provide care and comfort to neighbors in need after disaster strikes,” said Stephanie Dunn Ashley, CEO of the American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter.

“It is my honor to once again serve as Co-Chair of the Red & White Ball and to continue working with such dedicated community members and volunteers who deliver help and hope every day after disasters and emergencies,” said Connie Anne Harris.

“The Red & White Ball brings people together in collective support for the American Red Cross and our humanitarian mission. I am excited to serve as co-chair for a third year to help support the amazing work that happens in our community each and every day,” said Lauren E. Walsh.

The Red & White Ball is the signature fundraiser for the American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter, serving Greenwich, Conn., Westchester and Rockland counties, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The event will feature cocktails and live music, as well as dinner, dancing, and a live and silent auction.

The 2024 Red & White Ball will feature three honorees who reflect the core values of the Red Cross and its humanitarian mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering. This year’s honorees are:

Exceptional Service Award: Lieutenant General Steven W. Gilland, 61st Superintendent, United States Military Academy at West Point

Humanitarian Award: Suzanne Packer, American Red Cross MNYN Chapter Board Member and Philanthropist

Lifetime Service Award: Chief James J. Heavey, Greenwich Police Department

The 2024 Red & White Ball Committee Members are: Amy Andrews; Suzanne Armstrong; Sarah Bamford; Peter Barhydt; Sondra Barlow; Ted Berenblum; Christine Calzolano; Bob Capazzo; Anna Cappucci; Peter Carlson; Laura Cody; Lisa Cooper; Geri Corrigan; Jill Coyle; Carolyn Crabtree; Jen Danzi; Alexandra DeBourcy; Carolyn Dewing-Hommes; Kathleen Dyke; Morgan Edge; Katie Fortunato; Jennifer Freda; Patti Glassford; Kia Heavey; Colleen Hempleman; Leila Horn; Jackie Hvolbeck; Denise Eagan Jewell; Janine Kennedy; Olivia Walker Lemieux; Whitney Marciano; Alec Miller; Andres Moreira; Billy O’Shea; Suzanne Packer; Pamela Pagnani; Tatiana Reeves; Natalie Stein; Chrissy von Oiste; Sonia Waters; and Michele Wolfram.

ABOUT THE BALL CO-CHAIRS

Connie Anne Harris is a retired publishing executive who now advocates and passionately fundraises for causes in health, women’s issues, and historical preservation. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Hospital for Special Surgery as co-chair of development as well as the board of the Greenwich Historical Society as co-chair for the Christmas Market and a member of the development committee. Connie Anne is a graduate of the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Penn., and of Boston College. She resides in Greenwich, Conn., with her husband and their two beloved labs.

Lauren E. Walsh is a philanthropist and community leader. She is deeply involved in several Greenwich nonprofits, including the American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter, the Greenwich YWCA, and the Greenwich Emergency Medical Services. In addition, Lauren actively supports the Greenwich First Responders, including the Police, Fire and EMS Departments, and she is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children and families through Greenwich Hospital’s pediatrics and NICU campaigns. She received her B.A. from Pine Manor College and has worked in retail and visual merchandising, including positions at J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Kate Spade.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Exceptional Service Award: Lieutenant General Steven W. Gilland, 61st Superintendent, United States Military Academy at West Point

Lieutenant General Steve Gilland commissioned into the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1990 and served in a variety of tactical assignments in Air Assault, Armor, Mechanized Infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations units. He has commanded at multiple levels throughout his career, most recently as Commanding General of the 2nd ROK-U.S. Combined Division in Korea and has participated in numerous operational deployments to the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan. He holds a Master’s Degree in Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Force Command and Staff College and has received awards including the Distinguished Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters) and many others. Lieutenant General Gilland has been happily married to his West Point classmate Betsy for more than 32 years and is a proud parent of three children.

Humanitarian Award: Suzanne Packer, American Red Cross MNYN Chapter Board Member and Philanthropist

Suzanne Packer and her husband Craig moved from Manhattan to Greenwich in 1999. They have spent the last 20 years raising four kids. Suzanne has worked on fundraising for the Red Cross, Greenwich Hospital, Bruce Museum, Kids in Crisis, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Mayo Clinic. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Red Cross and the Board of Advisors for Kids in Crisis.

Lifetime Service Award: Chief James J. Heavey, Greenwich Police Department

Jim Heavy was born and raised in Greenwich, where his father Bart was a 10-gallon blood donor and his mother Debbie still volunteers at Red Cross blood drives. Jim joined the Greenwich Police Department after graduation from Northeastern University and has served as Chief for the past twelve years. He served as a military police officer prior to commissioning in the U.S. Army Reserve, and is a veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm as well as served as a battalion operations officer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jim’s 50-year relationship with the Red Cross began at age 14 when he took an Advanced First Aid course, and he is now certified as a First Aid and CPR Instructor for the Red Cross and recently donated his 100th pint of blood. Jim also volunteers with the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company, Boy Scouts, and American Legion Post 29. He has been married to his wife, Kia, for almost 28 years and they have two children, Ana (a registered nurse in Boston) and James (recently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve).

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Garner Arts Center Presents “Lure of the Rails” Until July 21st

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Gallery Hours:
Fridays, 2-5 PM Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 PM, Building 35. Only until July 21st.

“Every artist’s journey begins with a source of inspiration. My creative ventures in art and photography began at age 9 when my Dad gave me my first camera.

The photography on these walls is the result of that “gift” that I was given and a new opportunity to “see” things in a variety of new and exciting ways.

Model trains were in my life from age 2 while living in our families Brooklyn apartment, before moving to Haverstraw, NY in 1964…”

”It is my hope that by viewing my photographs, you may travel along with me to places you’ve never been, experiencing the power, romance and majesty of trains and ultimately, the Lure of the Rails…”

Ken Karlewicz   May 17, 2024

                                          Ken Karlewicz

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Events

Juneteenth Is Our Country’s Second Independence Day

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On the evening of January 1, 1863, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered and all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom in Confederate States. The Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery throughout the United States.

But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. 

Juneteenth is our country’s second independence day. This occasion has been celebrated by African American communities for over 150 years. Yet some Americans are not aware of this monumental event. On June 17, 2021 a bill was signed making Juneteenth the 11th American federal holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated every year on June 19th. 

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