Nutcracker at Paramount to Benefit NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital's & 'Santa's Helpers' Program

Nov 15, 2013

Cortlandt Manor, NY

a man and woman dancing

The landmark theater’s new operators, Paramount Hudson Valley, have pledged to donate a portion of the ticket sales from its December 8 performance of the classic holiday ballet the Nutcracker to the Hospital’s "Santa’s Helpers" program.

For the past 18 years, HVHC’s "Santa’s Helpers" has raised funds to buy holiday gifts for deserving children in the Cortlandt Manor area.

"I cannot think of a more perfect way to raise funds for Santa’s Helpers," said John Federspiel, President of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital, who started the holiday gift drive. "The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition loved by children of all ages. I urge all of our employees and everyone in the community to attend the Dec. 8th performance to support the Paramount and Santa’s Helpers."

Kurt Heitmann, CEO of the Paramount Hudson Valley, said the theater is pleased to partner with such a worthy cause. "We are about the community and what a wonderful opportunity to give back," he said. "Our Nutcracker is a family event and perfect to raise money for children in need. We are delighted to partner with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital."

Tchaikovsky’s holiday ballet features classics such as "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and "Waltz of the Snowflakes. The ballet will be performed by the Westchester Ballet Center for the Performing Arts under the direction of Rose Menes. Tickets to the December 8 performance are $20 and $26 and can be purchased online at or by calling 914-739-0039.

With the funds that are raised from the performance, donations and hospital fundraisers, the Hospital plans to spend $125 per child on about 100 children. It will add a child for each $125 that it raises. The Westchester County Department of Social Services and other social service agencies provide the Hospital with wish lists from families.

On Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. in the Wagner Conference Room staff will begin wrapping gifts that will be delivered to families in need. Pajamas and books, dolls, trucks, boots, socks and tons of toys will be packaged in a few short hours.

Sue Lepore, facilitator of the program in the administration office at HVHC, has the job of sorting through letters containing the wish lists of needy children and their families. She then assigns gift shopping to Hospital employees who spend an entire afternoon wrapping the gifts at a festive wrapping party. Many times families and social service workers stop by during the afternoon to pick up the gifts.

"We hope that people in the community will help us to support this very worthy project," said Lepore. "These children ask for so little. We try to make this a great holiday by giving them more than they request."

For more information on donating to the Santa’s Helper’s Project visit or call Sue Lepore at 914-734- 3287.