The Thursday Club Donates $82,000 To Sleepy Hollow’s RSHM LIFE Center

May 1, 2021

By Bar­rett Sea­man– The Hudson Independent

Like many char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions in the river­towns, The Thurs­day Club typ­i­cally re­lies on a spring gala, re­plete with din­ner, danc­ing and both a silent and live auc­tion, to raise money that is then do­nated to a lo­cal cause deemed wor­thy dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year. And like many, the group this year, its 100th an­niver­sary, was forced to forego the fun and do its fundrais­ing by mail.

Thursday Club members Sarah Gardner (left), President Cathy Hansen, and Catherine Diao present a check to Sister Susan Gardella (right), Executive Director of the RSHM LIFE Center

Cau­tiously op­ti­mistic that they could raise maybe $30,000, the ladies of the Thurs­day Club as­ton­ished even them­selves by rais­ing $82,000.

The re­cip­i­ent of this year’s largesse is Sleepy Hol­low’s RSHM LIFE Cen­ter and its founder and dri­ving force, Sis­ter Su­san Gardella. In her let­ter to Sis­ter Su­san ex­plain­ing the club’s choice of re­cip­i­ent, Thurs­day Club pres­i­dent Cathy Hansen of Irv­ing­ton wrote:

“Mem­bers were en­thu­si­as­tic about the LIFE Cen­ter’s com­mit­ment to help­ing their stu­dents nav­i­gate the new world of on­line learn­ing and work­ing with them to en­sure they did not fall be­hind dur­ing a time of great stress and up­heaval. The fact that the LIFE Cen­ter also con­sis­tently re­sponds to needs of a whole fam­ily – dis­trib­ut­ing food and meals dur­ing the pan­demic, ar­rang­ing vac­cine ap­point­ments, help­ing fam­i­lies fig­ure out how to pay for rent and other ne­ces­si­ties – makes the LIFE Cen­ter shine as a bea­con of hope and car­ing.”

Dur­ing the first months of the pan­demic, the LIFE Cen­ter dis­trib­uted 12,000 pre­pared meals and al­most 15,000 pounds of gro­ceries and pro­duce to lo­cal fam­i­lies. In ad­di­tion to launch­ing a sum­mer pro­gram for 37 chil­dren, the Cen­ter also started Learn­ing Labs to sup­port re­mote learn­ing for grade school chil­dren. When school re­sumed full-time and in-per­son the LIFE Cen­ter piv­oted once again and re­con­fig­ured their build­ing space in or­der to ac­com­mo­date all 72 of their stu­dents in the af­ter-school pro­gram.

Since its found­ing in 1921, the Thurs­day Club has raised and do­nated over $2.6 mil­lion to area non-prof­its. The RSHM LIFE Cen­ter was also the re­cip­i­ent in 2016

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