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Tay Bandz 2Sue Matthews lost her daughter, Taylor, at age 16 to cancer, but she is keeping Taylor’s spirit alive with management of a charitable foundation, annual events and her new book.

The Taylor Matthews Foundation, was founded by Taylor, at 11 years old, when she was diagnosed with cancer. She attended Edgemont Schools K-11th grade until she lost her battle with pediatric cancer at age 16. Taylor dreamt that she could save the life of a child. The foundation has fulfilled her dream many times over.

Sue Matthews, as President of the Taylor Matthews Foundation continues Taylor’s mission and hopes to help other children with cancer.

The foundation funds innovative research and treatments that can reach sick children today, to improve outcomes and reduce the long-term survivorship side effects associated with pediatric cancer. Through their various fundraising initiatives, they are changing the course of pediatric cancer treatment at institutions such as Columbia University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The National Institute of Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The foundation has raised over $1.5 million for cancer research and is currently prioritizing raising funds for Precision Medicine which involves genome sequencing of an individual child’s tumor to identify mutations in their DNA.

Matthews actively lobbies Congress for legislation for increased childhood cancer funding and improved access to not-yet-approved adult drugs, as well as drugs approved for adult use.

Tay bandzTo continue Taylor’s legacy of helping others Sue Matthews, with her sister, Andrea Cohane wrote “Paint Your Hair Blue – A Celebration of Life with Hope for Tomorrow in the Face of Pediatric Cancer.”

In Paint Your Hair Blue, Sue Matthews recounts the heroic courage and devastating blows that characterized her daughter Taylor's odyssey through the world of pediatric cancer. This book serves in equal portions as an inspiring tale of the power of love and determination, and a cautionary tale of the need for parents and all caregivers to be their own advocates. It empowers readers, no matter what their circumstance, to take control of their own destiny, have a vivid understanding of how truly short and precious life is and a greater willingness to add more color as they go along.

The book shows how Taylor and her family learned to balance the necessity of her continuous medical treatments with the need for her to be a kid and live as normally as possible. There are tips and pointers, gleaned by trial and error, about navigating the maze of pediatric oncology through the lens of a layperson and better understand how to face fears with strength, fortitude and confidence while living life to the fullest.

A portion of the proceeds from Paint Your Hair Blue will be donated to the Taylor Matthews Foundation.

On May 20th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am Edgemont High School is sponsoring “Colors Against Cancer,” a 5k run in honor and memory of Taylor Matthews. Throughout the run volunteers toss non-toxic color powder on the runners shirts. From afar you will see a sea of colors. All proceeds will benefit the Taylor Matthews Foundation.

To learn more about the foundation, click here.

To learn more about Paint Your Hair Blue, click here.

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dunk your kicksThis past March and April, Scarsdale’s Dean Glucksman and friends collected gently used sneakers for the Max Cure Foundation and the Dunk Your Kicks (DYK) campaign. DYK’s initiative is intended to bring awareness to those families fighting pediatric cancer and to help the environment by keeping old “kicks” out of landfills. The money raised through the resale of this affordable footwear helps low-income and military families living in the U.S. with a child battling this disease.

This year marks the 4th annual sneaker collection. Dean took over this annual collection from his older sister Leah who graduated from Scarsdale High School in June, 2017. Last year, Dean and a couple of his friends collected close to 300 pairs of sneakers. In an effort to exceed what they did last year, he expanded the outreach and enlisted more friends to get involved. With the help of Scarsdale’s Marc Ifrah, Ford Lenchner, Aidan Mansfield, Jack and Max McEvoy, Ted Shearer, and Rahim and Rhomy Mohamed, who attend Ardsley Middle School, this year they collected 560 pairs of sneakers by setting up drop boxes at local and New York City institutions. Locations included Barry’s Bootcamp, FlyWheel Sports, Pushlab Fitness, Club Pilates in Scarsdale & Ardsley, Westchester Reform Temple, The Jewish Community Center of Harrison and Congregation Kol Ami, Temple Beth-El Synagogue Center of New Rochelle, and The Hitchcock Nursery School.

In addition to the sneaker collection, Dean reintroduced the 2nd annual March Madness NCAA basketball bracket and raised over $3,000 for the Max Cure Foundation.

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DSC01990The Scarsdale Bowl Dinner celebrated honoree Bev Sved and the spirit of volunteerism at their annual dinner on Wednesday April 25, 2018 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle.

Bev Sved’s long resume of volunteerism began with service on her neighborhood association in 1988 and from there took her to more volunteer roles than can be listed here, but included two terms as Scarsdale Village Trustee, Scarsdale Mayor, The Village Planning Board and ten years on the board of the Scarsdale Foundation. There is almost no community organization that she didn’t touch, serving on the Scarsdale Forum, the Scarsdale Procedure Committee, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling, the LWV of Westchester and the Westchester County Historical Society and many more.

Most notable was her ability as Mayor to forge consensus on a contentious downtown development project on Christie Place, which resulted in the Christie Place apartments, retail spaces and parking, now enjoyed by so many.

Speakers noted Bev’s intelligence and problem solving skills, which may have been a result of her engineering prowess. Bev was one of only six women to graduate from Renssselaer Polytechnic Institute and enjoyed a long career at IBM as a system engineer, analyst and corporate strategist. She was also credited for her wry sense of humor.

DSC01899Terri Simon and Evelyn StockIn her welcoming remarks, Scarsdale Bowl Chair Terri Simon noted Scarsdale’s unique culture of volunteerism, saying, “Although tonight is a celebration to recognize Beverley’s extraordinary service, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge all of you. In this room are so many people who are deeply involved in the tradition of volunteerism, who work hard on behalf of our schools, our village government, and the gamut of civic, recreational, religious, and social service organizations. You have helped to make Scarsdale the exceptional community that it is and that we love. Thank you for all you do and for sharing in our festivities tonight.”

Simon greeted Sved’s sisters, March Wyatt and Emily Walsh along with the seventeen past recipients of the Bowl who attended the dinner. She invited this group to stand for applause – if they were able. Also in attendance were:

State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
County Executive George Latimer
County Legislator Ben Boykin
Westchester County Family Judge Arlene Katz
Scarsdale Mayor Dan Hochvert
Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole
Village Justice, Jack Alemany
Acting Village Justice, Cindy Dunne
Scarsdale Library Director, Beth Bermel
Former Village Manager Al Gatta
Former Scarsdale Inquirer Editor Linda Leavitt

DSC01880The Scarsdale Bowl Committee

Simon thanked the members of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee for producing the evening and gave kudos to Treasurer Robert Jeremiah, who served four years as treasurer of the Bowl Committee.

Scarsdale Foundation President Randy Guggenheimer explained the work of the foundation that funds some community organizations, but primarily awards need-based college scholarships to Scarsdale students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. For the 2017-18 academic year the Foundation awarded over $120,000 in scholarships.

Evelyn Stock, herself the winner the 1997 winner of the Scarsdale Bowl spoke on behalf of her friend. Simon introduced Stock, saying that Evelyn “served as president and chair of virtually everything!” Stock called Sved a “dedicated, calm consensus builder … a proven team player who never micro manages … and solicits others points of view.” Most important she said Bev was “fun” to work with and a “has a wicked sense of humor.”

2015 Bowl recipient Peter Strauss worked with Bev as a trustee on the Village Board and was deputy mayor when she was the mayor. He said, “I have had the opportunity to serve with many kinds of leaders – you rank with the best of them.” He said Bev had a “backbone of steel,” coupled with “a gracious demeanor.” He complimented her on her courage and pioneering spirit and with “pushing the glass ceiling forward.”

Before presenting Sved with the silver Scarsdale Bowl, Simon said, “By exemplifying the value of unselfish devotion to the civic welfare of the community, Beverley, you have built a record of service that is truly remarkable. For almost thirty years, in parallel with a distinguished business career, you have consistently contributed to Scarsdale your perceptive intelligence, clear thinking, leadership talents and hard work with grace, humility, good humor, integrity, and personal decency.”

DSC01884The Board of the Scarsdale Foundation

In her acceptance speech Sved acknowledged all community volunteers, saying, “As I accept this award, I think of the hundreds of Scarsdale volunteers who may not be as visible as Planning Board Chairs and Mayors but are, without a doubt, just as deserving. I accept this award for all of us.”

She thanked Evelyn Stock, noting that “Luckily Evelyn, a former Bowl winner, was able to fit this into her schedule… she’s very busy picking up awards in the Village, County, and State for her volunteer contributions and of course winning recipe contests on National Public Radio for her lemon bars.”

Sved called Peter Strauss, “also a former Bowl winner, her deputy Mayor… Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps major cheer leader and, when he wasn’t riding around on snow plows scaring Al Gatta and Benny Salanitro to death, a consummate Trustee and later Mayor.”

She said, “Volunteerism is not just a Scarsdale tradition; it is a community-wide activity …. that shapes the character, personality and values of our community. Values such as our commitment to education and high quality services, our treating every resident with respect, and intolerance for anything other than civil discourse.”

Explaining why she volunteers, Sved said, “Volunteering has given me so much more than it has taken from me in time, attention, and yes a few stress-filled nights (hello Christie Place). I have been blessed to use my skills to solve problems, to mediate disputes, to take risks in areas that would otherwise never be open to me, and to develop long-term friendships with some pretty remarkable people. Along the way I gathered really great stories… most of which I can’t tell.”

She predicted that the recent changes in the tax laws would pose future challenges to Scarsdale and called on those in the room to step up to take on these issues.

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She closed by thanking Paul Sved, her husband of 47 years. She said, “This couldn’t have happened if you didn’t know how to cook dinner for yourself… this wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t so supportive. Thank you Paul.”

The evening was a well-timed, lighthearted, warm gathering of many neighbors who care so much about Scarsdale.

Thanks to the Bowl Committee and the Scarsdale Foundation.

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Teen boutique 1On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, more than 200 low-income girls had the chance to shop for new clothes thanks to the efforts of volunteers who gather twice a year to run a daylong “Teen Boutique.” This clothing “pop-up” shopping experience, sponsored by The Sharing Shelf of Family Services of Westchester, provides low-income girls ages 13-19 with an opportunity to select from thousands of new and gently used clothes and accessories. The event, held on April 21 at the Westchester County Center, was made possible by more than 150 volunteers, who created the atmosphere of a trendy boutique by setting up racks of donated clothing.

Teen boutique 2Donated Pants in All SizesAlthough Westchester County has one of the highest median family incomes in the country, many Westchester families live in poverty. Approximately one-third of all households spend at least 35% of their income on housing, leaving fewer resources for other needs. In such circumstances, new clothing and school supplies are a luxury these families cannot afford. The Sharing Shelf helps meet that need by organizing two Teen Boutique events—one in the Spring and another in the Fall—and by collecting new and gently used children’s clothing and other items which are distributed to families in need through social service agencies, schools, hospitals and other non-profits.

“Our biannual Teen Boutique has been a vast success because it empowers the teen girls to choose the essential items they need to thrive, enabling them to feel valued and more confident,” said Deborah Blatt, Program Director and Founder of The Sharing Shelf of FSW. “With each Teen Boutique, we see the power of the Westchester community coming together to make it happen, and we look forward to the continued support of those who need it most.”

teen boutique 4A Happy ShopperBlatt added that the Teen Boutique wouldn’t be possible without the help of the entire community, including event partners from the Junior League of Central Westchester. Other key supporters included the Westchester County Government, Westchester County Center, Delivering Good, Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, Bra*Tenders, Inc, Church of Saint Pius X, Kneaded Bread Inc, Costco, Trader Joe's, I AM MORE Scarsdale, and the many community members who ran clothing drives.

FSW Board Chair Lisa Copeland, who volunteered as a personal shopper for a girl with special needs, called the event “rewarding and memorable.” She credited her fellow volunteers with creating a fun and meaningful experience, adding “everyone was so enthusiastic and there was a spirit of camaraderie as volunteers worked together to assemble outfits and find just the right clothing for each of the girls. We all had a great time!”

Excess merchandise from the event will be donated to The Summer Camp, a camp serving 150 low-income girls, and Neighbor to Neighbor, a food pantry and clothing program based in Fairfield County.

 

For more information and ways to get involved with future Teen Boutiques, click here.teen boutique 5A Successful Day at the Boutique teen boutique 3More Happy Shoppers

About the Sharing Shelf
Founded in 2008, the Sharing Shelf of FSW collects new and gently used children’s clothing and other items and distributes them through social service agencies, schools, hospitals and other non-profits to families in need.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving our community since 1954. Headquartered in Port Chester, FSW runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs that reach 30,000 children, teens, adults, and families a year. Programs include adoption and foster care for children; Head Start and Pre-K programs for Westchester's youngest students; Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other mentoring programs for teens; social support for the elderly; assistance to veterans; and educational and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. We are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive mental health services at seven Family Centers (Hastings-on-Hudson, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, and Yonkers) and five school-based mental health clinics. For more information about FSW, click here.

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steamlogo

STEAM Day at Scarsdale High School is on for Saturday April 21 from 11 am to 4 pm. The event is open to the public and it’s a special opportunity --not to be missed. There are 28 workshops planned for students in grades 4 to 8 covering everything from coding, to designing an app, robotics, math and even time travel and kids should pre-register online. There is something to excite every kid.

Online registration is now closed, but tickets and workshops will be available for walk-ins on Saturday. Learn more here:

Kids ages pre-school to 8th grade are $25. Children 3 and under, High School Students and adults are free. This is a great opportunity for adults in the community to come in, see what is going on with STEAM education and also to listen to the keynote presentation on artificial intelligence by two Scarsdale residents who work at Microsoft.

The CBS (Channel 2) Mobile Weather Lab will be outside the school and you can stop by and discuss meteorology with the crew.

In addition to the workshops there will be a maker space with more than a dozen stations for children of all ages to build, learn, explore, as well as a “made” items exhibit and take apart zone. Westchester Children’s Museum will be on hand to help young engineers make their own flying machines and hovercrafts in a wind tube. Our young makers will also have the opportunity to help build a bicycle to be donated to a child in need.

This STEAM Day will focus on human and artificial intelligence.

Meidcal professionals from the Neuroscience Department Chair at Einstein College of Medicine will use an amazing inflatable mega brain to demonstrate brain functioning, trauma and disease. The inflatable brain is 18 feet long, 14 feet wide and 12 feet high, and visitors can step inside the mega brain and participate in interactive activities. A team of medical experts will explain how the brain works.

inflatablebrain

At 3:00 pm Scarsdale Residents Pascal Belaud, Technical Sales Director for Data Platform, Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft and John Langford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft, will give a presentation about artificial intelligence (AI); where we are now and what is coming next in this AI wave.

A team of high school students will discuss and app they created to track teacher absences, Also find the Nerdy Derby-- miniature car construction and racing on a 50 foot long track and the Museum of Math as well as many vendors who are coming out to support this event (free of charge) with workshops, activities and more.

Bring the kids to the high school on Saturday April 21 from 11-4.... it's sure to be an interesting day.

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