$1.6M For Charity
A host of Putnam County people attended the 68th Annual Cardinal’s Christmas Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, where Elizabeth Ailes of Garrison received the “Christmas Angel” award. Last week’s event raised a record $1.6 million to help women and children served by programs affiliated with the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.
Attendees from Putnam included included the PCN&R and Courier staff, Diana Roda and Mary and Jerry Tomassio of Garrison, George Whipple, Fr. Brian T. McSweeney, formerly of Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, builder Ray Memmel and his wife Angela, Frank Lucente, and Nora and Ed Preusser, among others.
In addition to the Ailes’ award, Pat and Lou DiCerbo were honored with the “Spirit of St. Nicholas Award.” The luncheon drew 1,500 people, with overflow seating not only in the ballroom but two tiers above it. Ailes is publisher of the Putnam County Courier and its sister paper, the Putnam County News & Recorder. She was joined at the gathering by her husband, Roger Ailes, and their son, Zachary. The Christmas Angel award recognized her selflessness of spirit and goodness of character.
The event was an astounding display of Christmas spirit in a sometimes jarring world. As columnist Liz Smith wrote at NewYorkSocialDiary.com, “If half of Americans no longer celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, as reported in yesterday’s headlines, you couldn’t prove it by me or by the handsome crowd jammed into the Waldorf Ballroom for the 68th annual Ladies of Charity Luncheon this week.”
The luncheon is an annual affair, and draws some of New York’s most influential politicians and business people. Included last week were Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his wife Veronica, among many others. She’s involved with extensive charity work herself, especially at the Bowery Mission and its programs for women.