5 People Giving Back in Manhattan

James Servin and The Editors | November 6, 2016 | Feature

New Yorkers have heart and soul—and when it comes to giving back, they deliver. They're at the ready to roll up their sleeves, or don a ball gown, in the name of countless benefit-worthy causes. Here, a celebration of the many generous-hearted stars from all walks of life who are making Manhattan proud.
Tara Lipton with her son, Walker, photographed in Manhattan at her family's home.

TARA GORDON LIPTON
Drew Phillips, COO of Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation, highlights the Lipton family’s firsthand experience with the foundation

While children in New York undoubtedly grow up fast, some experiences highlight our most valuable commodity: time. The Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation (CCBF) is the oldest and largest charitable organization in the United States dedicated to the care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Like many organizations, CCBF holds an annual gala as a principal source of fundraising. At this year’s event, at The Plaza Hotel Nov. 17, it is doing something special: It is honoring a child, one of its own, and this story is one that reminds us, in the words of Albert Einstein, that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Tara Gordon Lipton, a Manhattan native, and her husband, Hunter, are parents to two boys, Holden, 13, and Walker, 7, and two girls, Landon, 10, and Piper, 8.

Tara joined the board of CCBF in 2015, on the spot, when approached by a fellow parent at her daughters’ school. “As I listened, it just felt right, like something clicked,” she says. Tara’s first two initiatives were to spend time with Dr. Lyden, whose research in cancer metastasis and medulloblastoma is garnering worldwide attention, and to co-chair CCBF’s annual gala. Less than six months later, it was her youngest child, Walker, then 6, facing emergency surgery to remove a medulloblastoma tumor that was discovered during a routine visit to the eye doctor.

Tara could have never dreamed that Dr. Lyden would become her son’s doctor and that it would be her own son that CCBF wanted to honor at a gala she had previously agreed to chair. “This experience has been religious for us,” says Lipton. “Our decision to allow Walker to be honored is rooted in recognition that many families would not have had the access to the type of care that we have been afforded. We feel obligated to ensure that children don’t lose their childhoods to a fight that can be won.”

CCBF’s annual gala will also honor both Dr. Mark Souweidane, director of pediatric neurosurgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center (where he is one of Walker’s surgeons) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who has dedicated his career to improving the surgical care of children with brain tumors, and Craig Sager, the NBA reporter, who is battling cancer. childrenscbf.org

Stepping Up
Footwear kingpin Marc Fisher helps individuals make an impact.
Shoe designer Marc Fisher, son of Nine West co-founder Jack Fisher and a well-heeled success on his own (with four in-house brands and seven licensed labels), launched his philanthropic platform #makeyourmarc in 2015. Last year, #makeyourmarc raised $170,000 for brand ambassador Karlie Kloss’ nonprofit, The Kode With Karlie project, which encourages young women to explore computer programming. Recipients of this year’s grants include a woman who helps rural communities in Africa and India obtain clean water, and a five-time Olympian’s gymnastics scholarship program. “I am passionate about supporting those who are planting seeds of change,” Fisher says. “I am simply ‘paying it fashion-forward.’” makeyourmarc.marcfisherfootwear.com





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