The Founder's Award
In 2016, Shauna Kamiel approached The Family Center with The Yellow Rose Project, a prom giveaway for NYC teens enrolled in high school and receiving our expert services. She wanted to honor her late mother and grandmother. At the age of seven, Shauna lost her mother to AIDS-related complications. Her grandmother, whom she developed a very close relationship with passed away in 2000. In memory of these two influential women, Shauna created an initiative specifically catering to young people who also lost their mothers to terminal illnesses. When she approached The Family Center with The Yellow Rose Project, we were delighted by the prospect of rewarding our hard-working youth with such a special opportunity uniquely created for them. For four consecutive years, Shauna launched fundraising campaigns for The Yellow Rose Project, which has covered all prom-related expenses for eight high school graduates. She remains in close contact with Family Center youth and serves as a mentor to them in their early college years and beyond. Shauna also supports other Family Center initiatives including our Annual Toy Drive and Holiday party.
Shauna is studying law to earn her J.D. at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro University.
The Sustainer's Award
The O'Callaghan Family
For nearly two decades, the O’Callaghan Family — Tony & Patti, with their children Tony (LT), Julie, and Bonnie — has been dedicated to the well-being of Family Center children and youth. In the summer of 2005, Tony hosted the first-ever Central Park Picnic & Softball Game for our clients’ children and families. This annual picnic tradition lasted over a dozen years and the entire O’Callaghan family pitched in playing games, serving food and spreading smiles to make each year a success. Come winter, the roles of Santa and his elves are always held by O’Callaghan family members at The Family Center Annual Holiday Party. Sisters Bonnie and Julie have served as TFC Leadership Council members for many years. Bonnie also served as Co-Chair to our first Harvest Ball in 2017. Many Family Center clients know O’Callaghan family members by their first names and greet them with a hug. Tony, Patti and their children attribute their drive to give back to the O’Callaghan Family Patriarch, R.A. (Tony) O’Callaghan, who passed away in 2021 after a life of service to others.
The Advocate's Award
In 2018, Owen Zerbib began studying to become a Bar Mitzvah, the Judaic tradition in which 13-year-old boys come of age and become a “son of the commandments”. He turned to close family friends, the Rudenstine Family, when making the decision about what charity he would work to support. His friends Aurelia and Ines Rudenstine, and their father Nick, told him about The Maite Aquino Program at The Family Center. This program provides legal counsel and representation to NYC women and families impacted by breast cancer in memory of the mother of Aurelia and Ines, and the wife of Nick: Maite Aquino. Owen raised over $30,000 for The Maite Aquino Program in a matter of months. Owen has also supported The Family Center Toy Drive and has joined our Youth Advisory Board. In his free time, he plays tennis and teaches the sport to community youth.
Owen is a sophomore at Mamaroneck High School.
Master of Ceremonies
Lauren is an Emmy-award winning journalist who has been a member of the Eyewitness News Team since 2000. Before joining WABC TV, she anchored and reported at stations in Akron, Little Rock and Minneapolis. She actually got her start in journalism as a teenager, reporting for the Main Street Wire, the newspaper on Roosevelt Island, NY. It was always her dream to cover her hometown of New York City. She is primarily WABC TV's feature and lifestyle reporter. You can watch her restaurant features, called Neighborhood Eats, most Fridays during Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. She is also a frequent substitute anchor. Lauren is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. She lives in Manhattan.
Lauren served on The Family Center Board of Directors from 2010 through 2012. She has graciously served as Master of Ceremonies for previous agency events and we are delighted to welcome her back for our 2022 Spring Soiree!
CNBC Contributor & Managing Principal, ButcherJoseph Asset Management
Kenny Polcari is a Managing Principal at Butcher Joseph Asset Management - an investment advisor providing successful individuals and families with tools and strategies to help them achieve the most from their wealth.
He came to Wall Street as a summer intern on the New York Stock Exchange during the summers of '80, '81 & '82 and upon graduation moved from Boston, Mass. to New York City where he began his career on the trading floor. He became a member of the New York Stock Exchange in August 1985 and remained a member for 38 years representing the interests of institutional asset managers that needed to access global equity markets.
His 30 years of experience has taken him from the birth of the greatest bull market, to the crash of '87, the roaring '90's, the .com implosion, decimalization, 9/11, Regulation NMS, the merger between the NYSE / ARCA, then NYSE/Euronext, then NYSE/ICE, automation, HFT, and fragmentation.
He writes a daily "Morning Thoughts" missive which looks at global markets and provides insight into the day's action. He is a board member of NOIP (National Organization of Investment Professionals) and a board member of the Headstrong Project – a Veterans philanthropic organization helping our 9/11 combat veterans suffering from PTS.