Best of Westchester 2012: Local Heroes

Honoring those who help others

Garden Party for Good Causes

Crabtree’s Kittle House
11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua
(914) 666-8044;
Amy Crabtree had dreamed of an outdoor garden where patrons of Crabtree’s Kittle House could wine and dine alfresco. After she died of cancer in 2009, friends of the Crabtree’s stepped in to make her dream a reality. But her husband, John, decided to use the garden not just for fine outdoor dining but to help those in need of help, too. Last summer, every Tuesday evening he hosted a ladies’ night out in the garden called Sparkle For a Cause, offering a menu of sparkling wines, martinis, and light fare—with a portion of the night’s proceeds going to a different charity each week. Thus far, the restaurant has raised more than $5,000. This year, the series kicked off June 5.

Toys for Tots

Miller’s Toys
335 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-5070;
Brooke and Taka Andrews, the fourth-generation owners of Miller’s Toys, know well the role toys can play in a child’s life. So, when they learn that a child-centered charity is having a fundraiser, you don’t have to ask them twice to donate a bright, new toy or beautiful bike to the cause. Or, Taka says, “we’ll leverage our relationships with some of the larger toy vendors to say, ‘Hey what can we do together to help a local organization?’” Thus far, their donated toys have helped organizations such as the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, among many others.

Justice Served

Joe Berlinger
Co-Director, Paradise Lost documentaries
(for co-directing the Paradise Lost documentaries, which helped free three innocent men)
Berlinger, a Northern Westchester resident, co-directed a trilogy of HBO documentaries tracking the case of the West Memphis Three—the trial, conviction, and imprisonment of three teenage boys in Arkansas for the murders and sexual mutilation of three young boys. Berlinger’s documentaries illuminated the holes in the prosecution’s case—but, more important, amped up attention and pressure to have the evidence re-examined. When new DNA testing cast further doubt on the guilt of the three men, they were released for time served as part of a deal struck between their attorneys and the DA’s office.

Post-Storm “Cleanup”

Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa
15-17 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco    
(914) 242-1700;
Ricky Mason, co-owner of Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa, knows what it’s like to lose everything you’ve got after a fire completely destroyed the salon in 2007. So, when a surprise blizzard ravaged the region last October—and plunged thousands of Northern Westchester residents into a dark, powerless existence for nearly a week—he wanted to repay the kindness he and his staff received while the salon was being rebuilt and graciously offered complimentary showers, shampoos, and blowouts for those affected. Now, that’s a hero in our book.



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