April 15th marks 15 years since my mom passed of pancreatic cancer, that notorious Silent Killer, just a few days shy of her 70th birthday, also in April. I remember this difficult period well, from her diagnosis and hospitalization at Sloan Kettering to hospice care at Calvary Hospital where the palliative care at least helped fend off terrible pain. Over a brutal four-month period span, many family members and I stayed constantly at her bedside. I was also acutely aware of and had met others in my own community experiencing similar journeys–grappling with and reconciling the limited options for afflicted loved ones. Over the years, I have often wondered about the progress for earlier detection and more treatment options. Zabeen Mirza, whose father succumbed to the disease at age 40, had approached me about producing a story recognizing area families actively fundraising for key organizations like PanCan and the Lustgarten Foundation. I jumped on board and assigned the story to Robin Chwatko, and a cover story for Inside Chappaqua was born. Please know how grateful I am to the many in our community engaged in the battle.
In a similar vein, we also shine a light on efforts to fundraise to battle blood cancers by including a Greeley student’s most promising efforts via his personal campaign. In so doing, Spencer Katz honors his mom, Lisa Katz, a New Castle Town Board Member and a lymphoma survivor.
I’m continuously amazed and touched by our engaged and caring communities. With that in mind, I can point to several ‘engaged people’ profiles (and cover subjects!) we included such as one on Ronni Diamondstein, and of course, her beloved Maggie Mae. Megan Klein captures the essence of this ‘dynamic duo’ and their contributions, so enjoy.
In this same edition, Megan’s work is featured in a story by Stacey Pfeffer about under the radar bloggers. Time to discover ‘Operation Happiness’ if you haven’t yet! Keira O’Sullivan’s delightful Pizza Ratings also made the cut, and in the next edition, we have more bloggers to introduce, too!
A first-time book author, Zach Schonfeld, offers a behind the scenes account of 24 Carat Black, an under the radar ‘70s era funk group.
Our schools have been meeting their greatest challenges in their very histories in managing this pandemic. In Inside Armonk, and as our cover story, Ella Ilan finds out how one district in particular persevered!
Please don’t miss Jennifer Drubin Clark’s fun profile about Armonk’s favorite outdoors proponent and much beloved town figure. That would be Skip Beitzel, 2014 Armonk Citizen of the Year, and the owner of Hickory and Tweed for the past 36 years.
We also offer a forum to a much beloved figure at Breezemont Day Camp, Marnie Levy, whose transition to “Life Coach” could inspire many grappling with career choices to find their own path. If you are pushing yourself just a bit too hard, a must read are Marni’s self care tips too.
Per usual, there’s ‘much more’ to enjoy, a gorgeous poem by Tanvi Prasad that I’ll forever think of as a gift to Mother Earth, and our ‘Etcetera’ column by Dan Levitz on how the pandemic has changed things up dramatically but how we still as a community retain so much that’s meaningful.
Anna Young takes us into Briarcliff Manor for a glimpse of newly revitalized parks and trails. Fewer excuses not to hit the great outdoors!
If you are among the many thousands who miss planned and unplanned jaunts to the Burns, here’s a chance to catch up with Christine Pasqueralle on what they are up to and how they have made community comfort and safety a priority too with their virtual offerings.
Our advertisers share some exciting spring promises, too, as Shauna Levy relates.
And here’s my final Springtime promise: In our next set of editions, I plan to tip my hat to an array of some truly darling and community-minded moms and dads residing among us. We are planning just one more set of editions for this spring, doubling up on our Mother’s Day/Father’s Day coverage efforts, and already so much that’s wonderful is in the works. Happy Spring to you and yours.