Contact: Aimee Demilia Newsham
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“A KNIGHT AT THE PLAZA”
Knights of York Host 9th Annual Black Tie Gala & Auction to Triumph over Childhood Diseases
New York, NY, May 13, 2013 – As many as 1 in 50 children between the ages of 6 and 17 have some form of autism, according to the CDC data reported this year, significantly higher than the 1 in 86 children previously reported in 2007 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf). Paradoxically, as figures climb, funding declines to agencies that provide educational, recreational and residential services to autistic children. This situation is especially detrimental to those children placed on waiting lists for services because a delay in early intervention reduces the potential for improved development.
The Knights of York are devoted to supporting organizations that provide special programs and services to improve the quality of life for children in need. Pursuing the motto, “Every Knight for Their Tomorrow”, the Knights will host their 9th Annual Black Tie Gala and Auction, “A Knight at The Plaza”, on Friday evening, June 7, 2013 at The Plazain NYC. This time-honored tradition combines elegant celebration with charitable giving to support several worthy causes: The New York Child Learning Institute, The Phoenix Center, and Heavenly Productions Foundation.
Recipients of this year’s Lawrence Ferrara Children’s Advocate Award are two compassionate and caring people who have dedicated their lives to advocating for children in need, Dr. Kathy Reilly Fallon, Founder and Chairwoman, Heavenly Productions Foundation, and Mr. Bentley Meeker, President, Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc.
Dr. Kathy Reilly Fallon exemplifies the finest qualities in kindness and generosity of the Knight’s honor. She is a Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist in NYC, Chairwoman of Heavenly Productions Foundation, an Executive Board Member of the March of Dimes, and is on the Board of Trustee’s of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in NYC. In 2001, Dr. Fallon volunteered as a doctor at Ground Zero, where this life-altering experience inspired her to establish Heavenly Productions Foundation (HPF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to help children in distress (http://kathyreillyfallon.com). HPF sponsors many projects to raise money to help children in need: publishing lullaby CDs to aid babies and orphans of 9/11, producing lullaby books and CDs to help children affected by Hurricane Katrina, initiating a backpack project to help thousands of inner-city children, and most recently they have stitched together a teddy bear program to support various children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses.
Mr. Bentley Meeker has been a dedicated supporter of the Knights of York for over ten years. He is an extraordinary lighting designer who relies on his imagination and expertise to transform ordinary spaces into Nirvana for many private, corporate and social events. He is the owner of Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc. in NYC,http://www.bentleymeeker.com. A resident of Spanish Harlem, his work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Gallery Nine5 and Gallery 151, and in 2011 he authored a book, “Light X Design: 20 Years of Lighting.” Mr. Meeker, with his incredible team of designers, creates environments for countless charitable galas, with particular interest to the Knights of York; he has helped create environments conducive to raising millions of dollars for charities benefiting New Yorkers and the world beyond.
Past distinguished honorees included: 2012, Susan M. Vener, Ph.D., S.A.S., Director/Principal of NYCLI and Michael Lanza, Funeral Director, Colonial Funeral Home; 2011, Dr. Joan Fallon, CEO, Curemark, LLC, Lauren and Jim Watkins, TV News Anchor, Bob Hurley, Sr., Hall of Fame Coach, St. Anthony H.S., NJ, and Carol Laurenzanno, Director, New York Yankees™; 2007, Jose Velasquez, TLC and Joe Piscopo, Actor; 2005, Spencer Foreman, M.D., Montefiore Medical Center; 2004, Christopher Weldon, Past Executive Director of AABR/NYCLI; 2003, Maureen A. Henegan, Henegan Construction Co., Inc.; 2002, Joan Mazzu, Informed Security Solutions; 2001, the late Richard Addeo, ADCO Electrical Corporation.
The Knights of York, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a modern-day band of brothers who formed 17 years ago out of professional friendships and pursue one noble mission – to improve the lives of children in need. The Knights have generously donated time and money to support causes they believe in, and to honor those who do the same. To date, the Knights of York have donated nearly $750,000 to support medical research, educate autistic children and provide resources to worthy community programs.
Jim Watkins, http://jimwatkinsanchor.com the longtime New York TV news personality and advocate of autism education will be serving as the gala’s Master of Ceremonies. Jim is a three-time Emmy Winner for Best News Cast during his fifteen-year career with both WPIX and WNBC. When his son Liam was diagnosed with autism in 1999, Jim became devoted to educating the public of the issues affecting the autism community.
Brian Jaffe, of Independent Galleries http://www.independentgalleries.com, will orchestrate both a live and silent auction, with items fitting every purse string, including vacation trips, Rao’s Restaurant reservations http://www.raos.com, First Glass Wine Tours http://www.firstglasswinetours.com, New York Yankees ticketshttp://newyork.yankees.mlb.com, Long Island Ducks tickets http://www.liducks.com/home, autographed sports memorabilia, Heavenly Productionshttps://www.facebook.com/heavenlyproductionsfoundation CDs and books, theater tickets and jewelry. On top of that, everyone will take home a generous swag bag.
To learn more about the event, buy tickets, sponsorships and journal ads for the Knights of York, please visit