The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Director Sherry Wolf epitomizes ‘spirit, mission’ of Community Center

JOHN ROCHE PHOTO

The Community Center of Northern Westchester’s executive director, Sherry Wolf, stocks some fresh produce on the shelves of the center’s food pantry.

 
By JOHN ROCHE

Sherry Wolf, the executive director of the Community Center of Northern Westchester, says she prefers working behind the scenes at the center and in particular in planning its annual fundraiser.

At this year’s fundraiser, however, Ms. Wolf will be in the spotlight, if somewhat reluctantly, as the honoree of the center’s 18th Annual Cocktail Party and Auction Benefit on Oct. 15.

“I’m usually on the other side of the table, helping to decide who to honor at our fundraiser each year, so this is a very unusual and very, very humbling experience for me,” said Ms. Wolf, who has served as executive director since 2008, after a nine-year tenure as president of the Community Center’s board of directors. “When I was approached about being honored, my initial reaction was that someone else should be recognized. But I realized that all our previous honorees had expressed similar thoughts, and I realized that I am representing the efforts, work and dedication of a lot of other people who do so much for the center.”

The theme of this year’s fundraiser is “Building Partnerships,” and will focus on the relationships and connections throughout the community that Ms. Wolf has helped to foster to expand the center’s programs and enable it to continue serving individuals and families in need.

Fran Dowling, a member of the center’s board and head of the fundraising committee, said that Ms. Wolf would be deserving of recognition at any time because of her longtime leadership and commitment to the center, but is a particularly fitting honoree given this year’s theme.

“Sherry draws tirelessly and passionately from her wealth of gifts and talents to improve the well-being of our neighbors in need,” Ms. Dowling said. “Sherry epitomizes the spirit and the mission of the Community Center of Northern Westchester.”

Since it was founded in 1992, the center has consistently grown in both numbers of clients served and services provided. From its location at 84 Bedford Road in Katonah, the center helps local residents in need by providing food, clothing and access to other resources, including health care, educational assistance, job training and social services.

The center is sponsored by 29 churches, synagogues, schools and civic groups called community partners, and operates with substantial volunteer support from throughout northern Westchester.

Ms. Dowling said that the key aspect of the center’s mission remains “neighbors helping neighbors,” characterizing the support received from the community in terms of monetary donations, food and clothing donations and volunteer hours as more vital than ever.

“From the very beginning of the center, local residents and the organizations we now call community partners and other benefactors are the very reason the community center has been able to exist and meet the needs of countless people and families throughout the years,” Ms. Dowling said. “The community created the center, and it’s the community that keeps the center going.”

Ms. Wolf agreed, and said she hopes that neighbors and friends will continue to support the center by attending next Saturday’s benefit as well as throughout the year. “We’re always dependent upon the generosity from the local community,” Ms. Wolf said. “The support we receive from the community is the mainstay of all that we’re able to do, and in these difficult economic times, that support is more crucial today than perhaps at any other time.”

Visits to the center have increased approximately 10 percent this year, and the number of families the center serves has risen by 9 percent this year, according to the executive director. “The significant increase in visits to our food pantry in particular indicates that not only are people still struggling because of the economy but more families are being impacted,” Ms. Wolf said. “So we’re doing all we can to keep up with that higher demand and need for food and clothing.”

Ms. Wolf said the center continues to offer classes and programs aimed at helping individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency. Partnerships include working with groups such as Sesame Workshop, Northern Westchester Hospital, Open Door Health Services, the Summer Camp, the Elephant’s Trunk and others, to offer an array of interesting classes, programs and opportunities for those in need.

“We also received a generous grant from the MBIA Foundation that will enable us to offer fresh produce at our pantry throughout the winter,” Ms. Wolf said. “But it’s the donations and support we receive year-round from our community that allows us to help those most in need.”

The center’s cocktail party and auction benefit is set for Oct. 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Fellowship Room on Route 22. Tickets are $95, and can be reserved at www.communitycenternw.org or by calling Sue Brofman at 763-8342.


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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center;
    294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center;
    280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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October 7, 2011