Following is the donor profile from our August 2018 Guidelines newsletter, highlighting our devoted supporter and past board president Rochelle Lipton, who passed away earlier this month.
Nearly four decades ago, Rochelle Lipton went to a presentation and book signing by author Susan Isaacs that was a benefit for North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. With her usual jovial spirit and engaging storytelling, Isaacs, an honorary Guidance Center board member, wowed the crowd, including Lipton.
“It was a very pleasurable event,” says Lipton. “I met some lovely people, and I decided to find out more about the Guidance Center’s work.”
That was a very fortunate day for the Guidance Center, because Rochelle Lipton has been one of our most dedicated supporters for all these years since. She has served in a wide capacity of roles, most notably as the President of the Board of Directors for two terms, from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2003 to 2005, although she was a board member long before that time.
“Rochelle was always a delight to work with,” says Lucille Kantor, a former Board President and longtime Guidance Center supporter. “She was very serious about her responsibilities as president, and she did a wonderful job. Whenever and wherever the need was, Rochelle was right there, and she still is active today. She’s so bright— and beautiful too!”
Prior to her role as president, one of Lipton’s first projects for the Guidance Center was to co-chair an art show with her friends Judy and Roger Hockstein and Linda Lane. Shortly thereafter, she became a member of the development committee and chaired a dinner dance at the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan. “It was a beautiful evening,” recalls Lipton. “And of course, it was so important to raise funds to support the Guidance Center’s work.”
A Pivotal Event Lipton had just become President of the Guidance Center’s Board of Directors when the fateful events of September 11, 2001 occurred. “This was a very intense time for the Guidance Center,” she says. “So many children had lost a parent; many people lost spouses, or sons and daughters. We also saw firefighters, police officers— everyone was deeply affected.”
The Guidance Center played a huge role in helping these grieving families and others to begin the road to healing. “We had many bereavement and support groups,” explains Lipton. “And we received many grants from places that had never supported us before, like Robin Hood Foundation, which almost never gave grants outside of New York City.”
During 9/11, Marion Levine was the Executive Director of the Guidance Center, and Lipton has high praises for her leadership. “Marion is the most wonderful person on Earth. Her guidance, assistance and steerage took the Guidance Center to amazing places. She was brilliant, and she is the most caring and kind individual. She grew the agency and started to make it what it is today.”
Lipton’s leadership during the 9/11 crisis also gets high marks from current Executive Director Andrew Malekoff.
“In the immediate aftermath of the attack on September 11, 2001, we mobilized our staff to provide a rapid response wherever we were needed in the New York metropolitan area,” says Malekoff. “During this period of time Guidance Center Board President Rochelle Lipton provided stellar leadership in rallying our Board of Directors to develop and support a number of successful fundraising events in New York City to support our work with surviving family members and others who escaped the attack who were living with post-traumatic stress.”
A Legion of Fans According to Andrea Leeds, who served on the Board of Directors under Lipton’s leadership and is still a VP on our Board today, Lipton’s contributions to the Guidance Center are immeasurable. “Rochelle’s ability to be efficient and multitask was evident as she not only presided over our productive meetings, but she was also capable of always serving a wonderful dinner! Moreover, her dedication and compassion to our mission is obvious as she continues to work hard on committees and support our programs. It is always a privilege to work with Rochelle.”
Another fan of Lipton’s is Jo-Ellen Hazan, a Board VP and also former President of the Board. “Rochelle has always been willing to roll up her sleeves and do whatever was needed to get the job done,” says Hazan. “She had and continues to have creative ideas on how to reach out for support and to advocate for children’s mental health. Her heart is always in the right place for the kids and their families.”
Current Board President Nancy Lane says, “Rochelle has the enviable ability to be creative yet practical. Her thoughtful contributions are invaluable. I am delighted that Rochelle has recently become more engaged in committee work. In addition, Rochelle and [her husband] Hal have always been generous with their financial support. The Guidance Center is most fortunate to have their support.”
Although no longer a board member, Lipton’s dedication to the Guidance Center has never wavered, and she continues to participate actively on committees, at events and wherever she is needed. “I’m most proud of being part of such an incredible organization that does such wonderful work,” says Lipton. “What it does is invaluable to our community.” She adds, “The whole thing is about people helping people. If anybody’s in need, the Guidance Center is always there to lend a hand and help.”