June 3, 2016
Children's Non-Profit to Honor Dr. Adam Levy of Montefiore and Lydia and Neil Singer of Armonk
CNN's John Berman

Friends of Karen, which supports critically-ill children and their families, will hold its spring gala benefit, A Summer Soirée, on Friday, June 17, 2016 at Brae Burn Country Club (Purchase, NY), hosted by CNN anchor John Berman.   

Dr. Adam Levy, Co-Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, will receive the organization’s Humanitarian Award in appreciation of his outstanding care of Friends of Karen children. The Sheila W. Petersen Award, named in honor of Friends of Karen’s founder, will be given to Lydia and Neil Singer of Armonk in recognition of their exceptional leadership and service to the organization.

A highlight of the event will be hearing a Friends of Karen family share their very personal story. Their daughter, Sophia, was just three years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As she began treatment – Dr. Levy was her primary physician – her parents struggled emotionally and financially with the reality of caring for a child with a life-threatening illness, and her three siblings reacted in different ways to the dramatic changes in their family life. Sophia’s family credits Friends of Karen with helping them all get through this crisis.


John Berman, co-anchor of CNN’s “Early Start” and “At This Hour” returns as Master of Ceremonies.  In his two decades of television news reporting, Mr. Berman has covered stories ranging from the milestone 2008 Presidential election to the war in Iraq, from the steroids scandal in American sports to the best way to catch catfish barehanded. He has won the Edward R. Murrow Award for best broadcast and the James Beard Award for best television segment.

Proceeds from the gala will benefit the hundreds of children battling a life-threatening illness in the New York Tri-State area whose families turn to Friends of Karen for help every day to help them get through this heart-breaking journey.


Tickets and sponsorships are still available. For tickets and more info, please contact Gwen Salmo at (914) 617-4051 or


Friends of Karen is the only organization in the New York Tri-State area that provides comprehensive support, at no cost, to families caring for a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illness. Its team of social workers, child life specialists and creative arts therapists ensures that each family – and each family member – receives an individualized program of emotional, financial and advocacy assistance throughout their child’s illness. Friends of Karen helps relieve the family’s everyday needs and concerns to improve their ability to cope with their child’s illness from diagnosis through treatment, which can last many months or even years.


“Friends of Karen started with one child, Karen, in 1978 and since then has given life-changing help to over 14,000 children,” says Judith Factor, Friends of Karen’s Executive Director. “Our honorees exemplify the compassion and hope that the Friends of Karen lifeline provides to families so they can maintain a sense of balance and stability during the most difficult time of their lives.”