Heard Around the Watercooler

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by Maria Ann Roglieri – 

Sleepy Hollow High School Actors Nominated for 13 Metro Awards

Congratulations to the cast, crew, and staff of Hello Dolly! For the fourth year in a row, the Sleepy Hollow High School (SHHS) spring musical has been nominated as the Best Overall Production in the Metro area, and for the second year in a row has had the most award nominations. The Metropolitan High School Theatre Awards (Metro Awards) are produced by Nyack’s Helen Hayes Youth Theater and take into consideration performances from high schools from Bergen, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties (this year 55 in total). The nominations are: Best Overall Production, Best Chorus (Ensemble), Best Leading Actress (Ginger Sakarya), Best Supporting Actor (Luca Brown), Best Cameo Performance (Suniyah Warren), Best Duet (Theo Pearson and Casey McDonough), Best Costume Design (Katie Jones), Technical Merit (Sophie Burk, Arya Glenn, Katie Jones), Best Direction (Julie Dore), Best Scenic Design (Zachary Dore and Paul Rively), and Best Choreography (TJ O’Sullivan). As a top-six production nominee, the SHHS cast will perform at the Purchase Performing Arts Center during the awards show on June 10.

Neighbors Link Executive Director Named Woman of Distinction

Carola Bracco
Carola Bracco

Carola Bracco, executive director of Neighbors Link, was nominated by State Senator Peter Harckham as a 2019 Woman of Distinction. Neighbors Link is an organization that aims to strengthen communities through positive integration of immigrants. The organization helps integrate the immigrant population by helping immigrants understand the laws, language, and customs of the United States, and also helping U.S. citizens and residents understand the culture and experiences of the immigrant resident.

Bracco is a first-generation, American-born daughter of immigrant parents from Bolivia, and is both bilingual and bicultural. She understands well the challenges of the immigrant experience in America and dedicates herself to inspiring healthy integration in the community, empowering immigrant families, and advocating for personal growth through education and economic development.

Sleepy Hollow High School Team Wins Top Prize in Contest

The contest was sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and involved creating an educational, entertaining, and informative video to raise awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles.  At an awards ceremony held May 18 at New York Power Authority headquarters in White Plains, the Sleepy Hollow High School champions, Oscar Pak, Jaden D’Agostinis, Abhi Weltig, and advisor Jason Choi, were awarded $5,000 and tickets to Formula-E Champion Speed Car Races (which will be held on July 13 in Brooklyn).

Phelps Welcomes Neurosurgeon

Dr. Danilo Silva has joined Phelps as the Director of Neurosurgery. He plans to establish a state-of-the-art general neurosurgical unit with specific expertise as a stroke center. Currently, Phelps offers urgent care for stroke patients in its emergency department; the new stroke center will allow Phelps to expand care to include endovascular radiology and related endovascular procedures, as well as emergency surgery to treat the full range of stroke types.

Local Broadway Producer Nominated for Tony Awards

Sleepy Hollow resident Jane Dubin is a co-producer of The Prom, a Broadway musical that was recently nominated for seven Tony awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Director and three Best Acting Awards for Beth Leavel (DeeDee), Brooks Ashmankas (Barry), and Caitlin Kinnunen (Emma). The Prom also received Best Musical nods from the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and the Drama Desk.

Artist Donates Work to Westchester’s Men’s Shelter

Irvington resident Antonio Alvarez is an expert in restoration and conservation of art works on paper.  His firm, Alvarez Conservation Services in Manhattan, is well known throughout the country. Alvarez himself began painting as a child, but only recently got serious about it; his work has been featured in galleries across Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Alvarez just donated 24 of his own works on canvas and wood paneling to Lifting Up Westchester for use in decorating its Open Arms Men’s Shelter, located in downtown White Plains. “We are very proud of Open Arms which was newly renovated in 2016, but the shelter had plain white walls that made it look a bit institutional. When Tony learned that we were looking for ways to make the shelter a bit more cheerful for our residents, he immediately offered to donate some of his work.  We were expecting a canvas or two – not 24!” said Lifting Up Westchester’s CEO, Anahaita Kotval. Of his donation, Alvarez said, “There is nothing ‘extraordinary’ about me making the paintings available…. the fact that my work could end up being used for lifting the spirits of my fellow men… translates – in my mind – not only as an honor, but as a privilege.”

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