Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HMESF Five Year Anniversary Party

I'd like to send a heart felt thank you to all those who attended, supported, and were a part of HMESF's 5 Year Anniversary Party at the Stellan last evening. The night was such an overwhelming success on so many levels. As I looked around the room, I felt so proud that the friends of HMESF, guests, early childcare providers, and leaders, all came together to celebrate one thing; my mother Helene Marks.

As I reflect back on the past five years, I am in awe of all the hard work and dedication put forth by the HMESF family.  I said in my speech that "it has been an interesting, challenging, and fulfilling journey, as we worked tirelessly to make our mark in the early childcare arena." I am thrilled that we have been able to continue doing great work to honor my mothers vision of improving the quality of affordable childcare. Despite some of our accomplishments over the past few years, it is really the childcare professionals that deserve to be recognized. These providers everywhere work hard every day to develop children, to provide them with a healthy environment to achieve social and emotional well being, and academic success. 

The Stellan was bustling with activity, great raffle prizes, and Dana's macaroons. We were honored to have two amazing key note speakers that portrayed the challenges faced and victories achieved in the early care world.  First,  Dr. Dana Friedman of the "Early Care Institute," spoke about the importance of early intervention, play, and social interaction.  She highlighted how books and reading have a direct effect on a child, "the more you read to children from an early age, the more positive the perceive the reading experience." Next, we were thrilled to hear from Mark McGrath, the director of Hale House Center, and the recipient of the first HMESF scholarship program. He discussed how HMESF and our donations have positively impacted their center.  

It was a very special night for HMESF.  We appreciate your generosity.  Please follow us on Facebook, twitter, and visit our website at to see what we have in store for the remainder of 2013.

Thanks for celebrating with us. We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Jaime Marks (President), Richard Marks (Vice President), Matthew Konieczny (Board Member)
Some of the HMESF Team Elizabeth Ballantyne (Board Member), Joey Kotler, and Melanie Arnold 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2 Days Until Our Fifth Anniversary Party!

Our Five Year Anniversary Party is just TWO days away! Haven’t RSVP-ed yet? You definitely don’t want to miss this event! The entire HMESF team is excited to celebrate the past five years, thank all of our supporters, and welcome new members with open arms--what a great way to kick off 2013!

There is so much in store for Tuesday’s anniversary event: fantastic raffles, prizes, and delectable macarons from Dana’s Bakery! If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, we have two speakers: a researcher in the early education field and a representative from one of the childcare centers HMESF supports.

Dr. Dana Friedman of The Early Year's Institute, is a nationally-recognized researcher and policy analyst for children, family and women's issues. She has worked for several national organizations and served as a consultant to major corporations, government agencies and foundations. Before founding The Early Years Institute, Dana was Senior Vice President at Bright Horizons Family Solutions where she led the firm's work/life consulting practice; Co-Founder and Co-President of the Families and Work Institute (FWI), a national, non-profit research firm; and a Senior Research Associate at The Conference Board, where she created the Work and Family Information Center in 1983.

Dana is currently on the boards of the New York State Early Care and Learning Council and the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls. She is a member of The Conference Board's Work/Life Leadership Council and the Port Washington Child Care Partnership. She serves on the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council which oversees the development of the New York State Work Group on Quality Rating Systems, for which she was the original co-director.

Joining Dana Friedman with a few words is Mark McGrath, Director of Development for Hale House Center, Inc., a nationally-recognized non-profit organization dedicated to building better futures for children and families in need. Hale House Center, Inc. was awarded the HMESF Scholarship last Fall, and as a result of this grant, two additional children are receiving the benefit of Hale House’s nurturing and stimulating environment.

Founded in 1969, by Clara McBride Hale, Hale House delivers child-centered, family-focused programs that are responsive to the unique circumstances of each family served and the evolving social needs within their community and beyond. The current initiatives include a state of the art learning center for children ages six weeks to five years and a supportive transitional housing program for single parent families. Hale House believes in providing unconditional love, care and understanding to children and families in need of support. Their Harlem-based programs offer a safe, nurturing environment and an opportunity for a better future through individualized support and educational services.

Without the overwhelming support over the past five years, our accomplishments would mean nothing. So please join us Tuesday night to honor the supporters of HMESF and acknowledge many of the childcare providers who help carry on the tradition of Helene Marks' mission to create opportunities for bright young futures. It will be a night you won’t want to miss!

Don’t miss out at your chance at the remaining tickets for our anniversary part, RSVP here. We hope to see you all Tuesday night!