News + Views

Westchester Community College Hosts Fifth Annual Grow Conference on May 19; Business Leader John DeCicco, Jr. Provides Keynote Address



Westchester Community College’s Gateway to Entrepreneurship (G2E) Center will host its annual GROW Conference on Friday, May 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference that empowers and inspires Hudson Valley entrepreneurs and business owners will be held in the college’s Gateway Center. It will feature a variety of workshops and a keynote address by John DeCicco, Jr. – one of the most successful business owners in Westchester County.

The GROW Conference, organized by G2E and the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, is the region’s largest gathering of business owners and professionals for the purpose of training for small businesses. Last year’s event attracted more than 300 participants. GROW brings together local professionals through networking, mentoring, business development and marketing sessions for the purpose of building relationships to further their company’s growth.

DeCicco, President of DeCicco & Sons, is the newest generation of leadership in the premier supermarket’s forty-year history, retaining its mission statement of “Quality First” and its core values of superior quality products and service, a commitment to a healthy environment, and an allegiance to enhancing the lives of the individuals and families in the seven communities where their stores are located: Ardsley, Armonk, Brewster, Harrison, Larchmont, Millwood and Pelham.

“We are excited to have John DeCicco share his experience and insights into building a thriving business in this quickly changing economy,” says Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College. “This presentation by one of the County’s most successful business leaders is an excellent way to usher in our fifth GROW conference,” she says.

GROW workshop topics include: Branding: How to Get Positive Brand Engagement in a Multi-channel World, Financing Your Small Business, What Are Your Numbers Telling You?, From Manager to CEO: Experiences that Matter, Digital Marketing for the Real World, How to Effectively Manage Employees: Improve Motivation & Retention, Legal Strategies: How to make your contracts more profitable and more, including several workshops in Spanish.

Broadcaster Joe Connolly of WCBS News Radio 880 and host of the Small Business Breakfast will be joining us and conducting interviews of small business owners during the event.

Entrepreneurs and business owners may register by visiting us at Tickets to attend the all-day event are $35 per person before April 15 and $50 after April 15.

The annual GROW Conference is Gateway to Entrepreneurship’s signature event and is the go-to conference to achieve rapid growth and put dreams into action. The full-day forum offers the details of growing your business and maximizing success, with a focus on networking, mentoring, business development and driving revenue. Attendees are able to tap into a network of like-minded business leaders, potential partners and resources, and hear from marquee-name professionals and innovators from Westchester and beyond.

GROW Conference sponsors include: PepsiCo as our Platinum Sponsor, and the Westchester County Office of Economic Development as our Gold Sponsor. Associate Sponsors include A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp., the Business Council of Westchester, the Martinez-Lopez Family, Tompkins Excavating and Tompkins Mahopac Bank. “We are grateful to have these wonderful organizations contribute to this special event,” says Eridania Camacho, G2E Director.

March 22, 2017 |

New Rochelle Opera to Honor Maestro Anton Coppola-Friday, April 21, 2017


Friday, April 21, 2017 – 6:30 pm
The Fountainhead, 55 Quaker Ridge Rd., New Rochelle, NY
New Rochelle Opera, celebrating 32 years of bringing quality opera to
Westchester County, will honor Maestro Anton Coppola at its Annual Spring Gala on Friday, April 21,
2017 at 6:30 pm at The Fountainhead, located at 55 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle, NY. The annual
event is the Company’s largest fundraiser.
“The Maestro will turn 100 years old on March 21, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to honor him for his life’s
work at our gala this year,” said NRO Artistic Director Camille Coppola of the event. “He exemplifies the true
meaning of being an artist, having worked in all of the major fields of the performing arts—opera, dance,
theater and film.” Maestro Coppola is the uncle of Academy Award® winner Francis Ford Coppola, but is not
related to NRO’s artistic director.
New Rochelle Opera has previously honored other entertainment notables such as Robert Merrill, Licia
Albanese, Tony Randall, Roberta Peters and Barbara Cook, to name a few.
Maestro Coppola started his career at the age of eight with the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus. He
served as an army bandmaster during World War II, conductor at Radio City Music Hall and director of both the
Symphony and Opera Departments at the Manhattan School of Music. Among his works are a violin concerto,
a symphony, and Sacco and Vanzetti, an opera in both Italian and English about immigrants Sacco and
In the 1950s and 1960s, Coppola was the musical director of six Broadway musicals, including Silk Stockings,
Bravo Giovanni and The Boy Friend. He conducted two film scores, 1990’s The Godfather Part III (also
appearing conducting Cavalleria Rusticana in the Teatro Massimo of Palermo) and 1992’s Dracula. He debuted
with the New York City Opera in 1965, conducting the world premiere of Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden, and led
performances of Carmen, La Traviata, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Madama Butterfly during the same year. At
the Seattle Opera in 1970, Coppola led the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men.
Coppola helped to found Opera Tampa in 1996 and served as its Founding Artistic Director. Among his
numerous productions with the company was the world premier of Sacco and Vanzetti on March 17, 2001. He
retired from the position in 2012. Coppola was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Puccini
Foundation and recognized by the Italian government as Cavaliere, Gran Ufficiale.
Tickets for the event are $150 each ($65 tax deductible), the cost of which includes a cocktail hour, concert, full
dinner, dancing and live auction. Tickets can be purchased online at or by sending a check to
New Rochelle Opera, P.O. Box 55, New Rochelle, NY 10804. All tickets will be held at the door. For more
information, please call (914) 576-1617 or (914) 576-0365.
New Rochelle Opera Company was formed for the purpose of presenting imaginative and appealing operatic
productions to the Westchester community. It serves to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of live
opera, and make it accessible and affordable to a diverse audience. The company presents the art form in various
capacities–fully staged performances, concert, school programs, workshops and demonstrations–engaging aspiring
young artists as well as experienced professionals.

Honoring Maestro Anton Coppola
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm
The Fountainhead
55 Quaker Ridge Road
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Tickets: $150 ($65 tax deductible)
Tickets can be purchased online at, or by sending a check to:
New Rochelle Opera, P.O. Box 55, New Rochelle, NY 10804
For more information, please call (914) 576-1617 or (914) 576-0365


March 20, 2017 |

Young Musicians Battle to Open the 2017 Pleasantville Music Festival


The Pleasantville Music Festival is excited to invite local young musicians to compete for a chance to open up the 2017 festival stages on July 8th. Musicians up to 26 years-old who perform original music, can sign up to participate in the festival’s Battle of the Bands. All configurations are welcome, including everything from full bands to solo artists.

The competition, being held for the third consecutive year, is designed to showcase young talent is New York’s Backyard and is open to residents of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Fairfield, Bergen and the Bronx. “We want to showcase local talent at our festival and make it easier for young performers to be heard. Often these young artists don’t have the resources or opportunities to be seen by audiences in our area.” said Bruce Figler, Executive Director of the Pleasantville Music Festival.

Submissions for participation are due by April 14th. Musicians interested in participating should visit for more information.

Performers chosen from the submissions will compete in front of a panel of judges at Garcia’s in Port Chester on April 30th and at Copper Face Jacks in White Plains on 
May 7th. The top finishers will then be invited to compete in the Finals at Lucy’s Lounge 
in Pleasantville on May 21st. At least two winners will be selected to open up the 2017 festival, set to take place on July 8th at Parkway Field.

March 20, 2017 |

The Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County Welcomes Guest Speaker Matthew Sandusky at Champions for Children Breakfast


In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County is proud to present its inaugural Champions for Children Breakfast on Monday,   April 3, 2017, from 8-10 a.m. at the Putnam Golf Course located at 187 Hill St. in Mahopac.

Guest Speaker Matthew Sandusky was sexually abused from the age of 8 to 17 by his adopted father, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the subject of one of the most publicized child sexual abuse cases in history. Matthew will share his powerful story, and his journey from victim to survivor.

In addition to raising awareness, Matthew is committed to empowering and educating children to use their voices and to help protect them against abuse. Through the Peaceful Hearts Foundation, which Matthew co-founded with his wife Kim, he advocates for child sexual abuse survivors and campaigns for stronger legislation to fight child sexual abuse.

Eric Gross, a long-time sponsor of the Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day and a founding member of the Friends of Putnam CAC, Inc., will be presented with the Champion for Children Award in recognition of his extraordinary service to the children of Putnam County. A renowned local journalist, Eric writes for both the Putnam County Courier and its sister paper, the Putnam County News & Recorder.

“Child abuse is preventable. Each day people make choices that will change the outcome of not only their lives, but the lives of others,” said Marla Behler, program coordinator of the Child Advocacy Center. “For change to happen we must all make choices regarding our everyday actions as part of our community. Eric has been an inspiration and an example of the impact one person can have on the lives of many children.”


Tickets can be ordered online at for $25.00 or purchased for $30.00 at the door.

The Putnam County Department of Social Services is the lead agency in Putnam County dedicated to protecting children. Along with Child Protective Services and Child Welfare Services, the Child Advocacy Center is deeply committed to serving children with professionalism, sensitivity, and compassion.

The Child Advocacy Center is a program of the Putnam County Department of Social Services and provides an immediate coordinated response to child abuse allegations while supporting child victims and their families. For more information on how you can help prevent child abuse, or on prevention and education programs offered by the Child Advocacy Center, please contact or call (845) 808-1400.


March 17, 2017 |

Northern Westchester Hospital and Lexington Ave. Gym Present: Keep Parkinson’s on the Ropes



Keep Parkinson’s on the Ropes:

for those with Parkinson’s AND their caregivers.
Friday, April 7, 2017
1:30pm – 3:30pm
Lexington Avenue Gym
350 Lexington Avenue
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549


Free parking.
The event is free. Space is limited. Reserve your seat today!

Northern Westchester Hospital and Lexington Avenue Gym have been making strides in bettering the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s. Please join us on April 7, for 
an enlightening discussion on exciting and innovative 
treatments and exercise regimens, as well as tips 
for caregivers.
LSVT BIG® & Physical Therapy Treatment

An approach to exercise therapy to help patients use bigger movements throughout daily life.
• Kathy Giaccio, MS, PT, CPI
• Jeanne Spano, PT

LSVT LOUD® & Speech Language Pathology Treatment

A therapy solution aimed to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s disease on speech patterns.
• Veronica Cea, MS, CCC-SLP
• Julie Goldstein, MS, CCC-SLP

Rock Steady Boxing Program

Empowering those with Parkinson’s to fight back.
• Nina Preizler, Owner, Lexington Avenue Gym and certified Rock Steady Instructor
• John Wieland, certified personal trainer and Rock Steady Instructor
• Percy Thomas, certified personal trainer and Rock Steady Instructor

March 17, 2017 |

Governor Cuomo Proclaims March 20th Fresh Air Fund Day




In recognition of The Fresh Air Fund’s 141st summer of bringing together New York City children and volunteer host families in New York, Governor Cuomo has proclaimed March 20th “FRESH AIR FUND DAY.” This summer, The Fresh Air Fund will once again allow thousands of boys and girls to enjoy the simple joys of summertime!

Families who participate in The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program open their hearts and homes to New York City children in the summer. “Participants are given the opportunity to explore new environments, meet people from different cultures, and have enriching experiences,” said Fatima Shama, Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund. “On Fresh Air visits, children may visit a farm, milk a cow, engage in the arts, go swimming, learn about the wonders of the nighttime sky, and pick vegetables from a garden. Our participants discover and learn in an outdoor setting, building skills that can be utilized year-round, and unlock their limitless potential.”

This year, we are looking for new host families in New York. Fresh Air Host Families simply want to share what they have with New York City children and introduce them to the joys of suburban or country life. Fresh Air host parent Scott said, “It is an opportunity to enrich somebody’s life and your own family’s life at the same time. It’s simply an incredible opportunity.”

First time Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 12 years old, who live in New York City. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children since 1877.

For more information about hosting this summer, please call Jacqueline Shapiro at 516-702-1203or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at





March 16, 2017 |

More Powerhouse Talents Join Make-A-Wish Broadway Concert




List of Powerhouse Performers Continues

To Grow for Frank Wildhorn & Friends Broadway Concert to Benefit Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley

Five More Talented Hit Broadway Show Actors Will Take

To the Tarrytown Music Hall Stage April 7 to Help Grant Wishes

For Local Children with Life-Threatening Medical Conditions

Five more talented Broadway show performers have been announced for the much anticipated Frank Wildhorn & Friends Broadway Concert that will benefit Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley at 8 PM, Friday, April 7. The special performance will be staged at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main Street, Tarrytown, NY.

Joining the growing list of powerhouse performers—headlined by legendary Broadway composer/songwriter Wildhorn—and Constantine Maroulis (American Idol, Rock of Ages, Jekyll and Hyde) and Carrie Manolakos (Mama Mia, Wicked) will also be:

Carly Rose Sonenclar (Singer/songwriter who played Chloe in Frank’s Wonderland on Broadway, Young Cosette in Les Miserables and then went on to become the runner-up on The X-Factor in 2012)

Sasha Allen (Singer who began her career in the music industry as backing vocalist for Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Usher. Later was in Hair on Broadway and rose to fame as a finalist on the fourth season of The Voice in 2013).

Kevin Kern (Performs frequently with Wildhorn in concert, and recently finished tour of Finding Neverland in which he played the lead role of JM Barrie. Other Broadway: Finding Neverland, The Bridges of Madison County, First Date, The Wedding Singer, Les Miserables.)

Maddie Baillio (Played the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s live Hairspray broadcast last fall. Just a year ago, the up-and-coming star performed as a member of the chorus of college students in Wildhorn’s first benefit concert for Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley).

Nina Howland (Featured in the recent Broadway Kids Against Bullying: I Have A Voice music video and is scheduled to sing the song with Carrie Manolakos at the April 7 concert.)

The concert will mark the second year-in-a-row that Wildhorn is “devoting his time and talents to help the chapter reach the goal of granting the wish to every eligible child in the Hudson Valley for which we are deeply grateful,” said Thomas J. Conklin, President and CEO of f Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley.

Conklin noted: “Given the cash cost of granting a wish for each child ranges between $7,500 and $10,000, the generosity of our supporters for these signature events is so critically important to fulfilling our mission of making a difference in the lives of the wish kids and their families.”

Known for both his musicals and popular songs including the number one international hit song, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”—made famous by Whitney Houston – and the song “Gold”, heard at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wildhorn was the first composer to have three Broadway musicals running on Broadway simultaneously: Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War.

Ticket prices for Frank Wildhorn & Friends Broadway Concert (with all proceeds to benefit the Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley) range from $35 to $200. Premium tickets ($200) also include a meet and greet with the performers after the show. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or by calling 877-840-0457.

There are also four levels of sponsorship opportunities for individuals, companies and organizations to support the Frank Wildhorn and Friends Broadway Concert.

To purchase tickets or become a sponsor, visit


About Make-A-Wish ® Hudson Valley


Make-A-Wish® grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The wish experience is a community effort involving volunteers, staff, donors and medical professionals working in tandem to make each wish come true. Since its inception in 1986, the Hudson Valley Chapter has granted wishes to over 2,500 children in the community it serves.  The Chapter’s territory spans eight counties of the Hudson Valley, including Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. The Chapter is a proud participant of the Better Business Bureau Charity Seal Program, which indicates that the organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Additionally, a recent independent audit of the chapter reported that 80% of all funds raised goes to program services. For more information about the Hudson Valley Chapter visit



March 16, 2017 |
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