When I was raising my four children and working at the same time, I always worried about what they were doing after school. Guilt was part of my everyday. But when they were engaged in after school programs I knew they were safe and I could relax.
So when I was invited to a fund raising luncheon for the Police Athletic League, a group that serves over 40,000 children annually, I was happy to attend.
As a bonus, the “Star of Stars” at our upcoming Rising Stars, Channel 5’s Greg Kelly, was also there to support the PAL programs. Although his dad is no longer the Police Commissioner, he is obviously committed to this group’s work. Ironically, at the same table was the new Commissioner, Bill Bratton’s wife Rikki Klieman, an accomplished woman in her own right.
The guest speaker was our newly elected Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James. It was good to see that she is reaching out and sharing her vision for her term. I was amazed that her office fields over 700 calls a day, but has had its staff slashed over the years to under 30 people.
One of her goals is to see her office restored to its pre-Bloomberg days. Her passion to make a difference in the lives of the people of our city rang clearly through her speech. For all of us, I hope she achieves great success.
I was happy to see John Catsimatidis there with his beautiful wife in a brilliant blue suit mixing with the crowd of 150 people. He was underwriting the cost of the lunch, so every dollar donated goes to the cause. Seeing him around the city leads me to believe that he’s not giving up on being in the public eye.
I wish he could become the cultural institutions’ “angel” that former Mayor Bloomberg personally was. He donated desperately needed dollars to permit many arts groups to offer programs not possible with cuts in government funding. We all worry now how we will fill that gap. Time will tell.
Arthur Aidala, Esq., FOX News; Maryann Bertuna, Esq.; Dr. Sal Cumella
Dr. Sal Cumella, Melanie Contreras and Rhona Silver
Congressmember Charles Rangel and Judge Bruce Balter
Dr. Sal Cumella and Public Advocate Letitia James
Melanie Contreras and Chuck Sullivan, former owner, New England Patriots
John Suma, Jon Blasi, former Governor David Paterson, Dr. Sal Cumella and Jamie Landi
Rikki Klieman and Dr. Sal Cumella
John Catsimatidis and his wife (right) with Betsey Seidman
Mark Simone and Greg Kelly, Channel 5