Posts Tagged ‘Waldorf Astoria’

Meet Ted Staniecki, Catholic Charities’ Unsung Hero

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Old women with walkers shuffled towards the Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center in Harlem last month through a foot of snow and ice.  Moms with hungry children in tow herded towards its food bank.

Ted Staniecki, the center’s facilities manager, grabbed a snow shovel with Kennedy Center Director Rodney Beckford,  fellow staff Hector Estrella and Jose Crisostomo, and dug and scraped until they cleared a path.

Times like these are what Ted says he likes most about his job.

It’s Ted’s low key, hands-on approach facing down hurdles that make him a hero among those who know him best.

“I don’t think enjoying my job is work,” Ted says, “so I haven’t worked a day in my life.”

The son of a Waldorf-Astoria doorman, Ted, before transferring his talents to Catholic Charities, worked his way up from middle school teacher and coach to Washington Heights Incarnation School principal.

This was “back in the days,” wrote a Daily News reporter “when the streets outside were so dangerous team members would have to dive to the sidewalk when gangsters pulled out Uzis.”

Challenges Ted braved were so extreme that news outlets across the city covered them.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about how Ted, the founder, driver, assistant couch and all-around godfather of the Incarnation Angels girls CYO basketball team, brought them to city championship in 1997.  Meanwhile, the team shared their home court, the Fort Washington armory shelter, with 1,400 homeless men.

The same year, The New York Times covered a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing public school teachers to provide remedial instruction to students in Catholic school classrooms.  Sounds logical now, but for the prior 12 years, federal law forbid public school teachers from instructing students with special needs on Catholic school property.

So 200 of Incarnation School’s 520 students grades K – 8 would traipse out of the school for remedial help.  They studied in three trailers parked nearby as drivers idled the vans for power and lights.

“We finally got some common sense,” Ted told The Times.

After retiring from Catholic schools, Ted worked as director of the West Bronx CYO Center.  Then, five years ago, he came to Catholic Charities Kennedy Center.

Similar to its Harlem neighborhood, the Center, he says, needed reviving.

“Kennedy Center needed a paint job; it needed pictures; it needed people,” Ted says.

Deacon Rodney Beckford took over as Kennedy Center’s director, joining Ted and a host of supportive staff and administration to transform the once-sleepy center to one now exploding with activity.  From sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, activities ranging from Harambee dance to gospel choirs, from basketball games to social service programs, fill the four-story building with song and action.

Harlem, in turn, is undergoing a similar revival.  The famous Lenox Lounge reopened along with the Red Rooster restaurant.  Congressmen Charlie Rangel lives across the street from Kennedy Center.  Governor David Patterson and former Mayor David Dinkins live nearby.

“Kennedy fits in well helping the neighborhood heal from the tough times it’s been through,” Ted says. “Our staff is balanced – all nationalities – and people who come here just see someone who is here, who is going to help them, going to respect them.”

Read more about Ted in the New York Times.

Read more about Ted  in the New York Daily News.

Where None Are So Poor They Have Nothing to Give; None So Rich They Have Nothing to Receive

Friday, February 28th, 2014

L-R: Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Peter C. Georgiopoulos, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, John A. Thain, Pat Battle and Catherine Kinney


Check out the inspiring vision Msgr. Kevin Sullivan shared with a packed crowd on Wednesday, February 26, at Catholic Charities annual gala at The Waldorf-Astoria on Wednesday.

During the past year, stock markets have hit a new high.  New York City has a new Mayor. Tragically, new violence and ongoing civil unrest afflict countries with familiar and unfamiliar names, Pope Francis, whom everybody is quoting, has been named Time’s Person of the Year, and in case you hadn’t noticed it’s snowed a bit.    

And through all of this – daily Catholic Charities compassionately and effectively provided emergency meals, prevented evictions, counseled families recovering from Super-Storm Sandy, provided day care for working moms, welcomed immigrants by teaching  English and finding jobs and established a new youth wellness program – and much more. 

Your critical support for Catholic Charities helps to deepen and expand these services, meet unmet and new needs and strengthen a network of some 90 agencies that carries out this vital work in the communities and neighborhoods of greater New York.

Also we have a new buzz word: “inequality.”  For Catholic Charities inequality is not a spiritual catchphrase, nor a political slogan and certainly not a mantra-like wedge to be used to divide us from each other.  For Catholic Charities, inequality is the sad reality that our staff and volunteers encounter every day in our neighbors – a reality that urgently challenges us to come together to build a common good in which the basics – decent housing, nutritious meals, a good job and a supportive and loving family – are had by all. 

Our core belief that every person is made in the image of God demands no less from us.  

Catholic Charities works with individuals who, along with being poor and struggling, have remarkable strengths.  We envision a world of greater solidarity which builds on, and draws from, the strengths and resources of us all -  a world in which none are so poor that they have nothing to give and none too rich that they have nothing to receive.

Find out more about the event and its honorees

Check out these just-released gala photos.

Looking for more inspiration? Watch our just-released video, “Stories of Help & Hope” now.

Catholic Charities Gala Benefit: Creating Partnerships Among New Yorkers

Friday, May 24th, 2013

L-R: Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Pat Battle, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Eugene M. McQuade, Stephen J. Brogan and Catherine Kinney

May 24, 2013, New York, NY – His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan and the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York honored Eugene M. McQuade, Chief Executive Officer, Citibank and Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner, Jones Day at its Gala Benefit at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City yesterday, May 23, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. 

“The Catholic Charities Annual Gala permits us to create stronger partnerships among New Yorkers,” stated Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan. “Our outstanding honorees, their colleagues and friends along with generous Catholic Charities donors come together to ensure that New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike – are helped with meeting basic human needs so that they might live their lives in greater dignity.”

This signature black tie dinner convened a dynamic group of New Yorkers from the worlds of business, philanthropy, culture, fashion, law, media, politics and religion who share a deep concern for the well-being of our fellow New Yorkers in need. It raised close to $2.3 million.

Pat Battle, anchor for NBC 4 New York, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Award-winning actress, singer and recording artist Liz Calloway, who held leading roles in several Broadway productions including Miss Saigon and Cats, performed live.

Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, honoree Eugene M. McQuade distinguished himself as a business and industry leader. Before joining Citi as Chief Executive Officer of Citibank in 2009, he served as Vice Chairman and President of Merrill Lynch Banks (U.S.) and previously had been President at Freddie Mac, Bank of America and Fleet Boston Financial. He is a Trustee to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Ireland Fund.

“Tonight is a celebration of the terrific work Catholic Charities does every year to ensure that our neediest New Yorkers, regardless of faith, get the support they need to improve their lives,” said Mr. McQuade. “I’m gratified and humbled to be recognized, but tonight is about shining a spotlight on the enormous positive impact Catholic Charities has on our city.”

Fellow honoree Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day since 2002, began his career with the firm while still a student at Notre Dame Law School. He worked as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1981-1983. He serves as Chair of the Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Clinic.

“The long history of Catholic Charities’ dedicated and selfless service to people in need in the City of New York is a very important manifestation of the Catholic Church’s commitment to social justice and to the care of the less fortunate,” said Mr. Brogan.

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
Catholic Charities, a federation of approximately 90 agencies and programs located throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York, helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike – with services that protect and nurture children, resolve family crises, assist the hungry and homeless, support the physically and emotionally challenged, and integrate immigrants and refugees. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesny.org.

Hear the Voices of Help and Hope

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Hear stories of hope — directly from just a few of the people whom Catholic Charities has helped over the past year. This short film premiered at our Annual Gala Benefit on March 21, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria.

This year’s gala was a record-breaker in terms of both fundraising and attendance. Nearly 1,000 guests helped to raise more than $2.5 million to provide help and create hope in the lives of our neighbors in need.

Inside the Catholic Charities Annual Gala

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The Catholic Charities Annual Gala from Catholic Charities New York on Vimeo.

Moving speeches by Gala honorees Roger C. Altman, founder and chairman of Evercore Partners, H. Rodgin Cohen, senior chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, made the annual Gala of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York an unforgettable evening.

Check out exclusive photos of the grand event, held in New York’s historic Waldorf=Astoria, on Facebook.