Meet Westchester’s Future Up and Comers
You Heard About Them Here...First
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It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be reading about Sean Hagan in the sports pages of your newspaper.
Baseball scouts have been eying the six-foot, six-inch, 18-year-old Hagan, Mamaroneck High School’s award-winning left-handed pitcher, who hurls the ball at nearly 90 miles per hour, has a high-school pitching record of 16 wins and two losses, and hit .406 last year with 42 RBIs and six home runs. But at press time, he’d received no offers.
“Sometime in the next four years, he’ll get drafted,” says Mamaroneck’s head baseball coach Mike Chiapparelli. “He’ll get a chance to compete in the minors, maybe make the Major Leagues.”
Being drafted doesn’t guarantee a Major League start, but it’s an exciting possibility. “I’m definitely expecting to start a professional baseball experience,” Hagan says. “How far I make it, I have no expectations. I just have see where things lead.”
Tova Snyder’s participation in local window-painting contests as a grade-schooler hinted at her forthcoming career as a muralist.
“I always painted even larger than I was allowed,”recalls the 49-year-old public artist, who divides her time between Rye, Italy, and Germany. She designed the Harrison Metro-North station’s stained-glass windows and an upcoming series of murals for Port Chester’s waterfront.
“Tova’s use of color is sort of magical—the works almost glow,” says Sandra Bloodworth, director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit program, herself an artist. “Her delightful work brings a great deal of energy into the public environment.”
Snyder also oversees the production of murals in schools, homeless shelters, community centers, after-school programs, and psychiatric clinics countywide. “A lot of times, people think they can’t do something,” she says, “but when they get thrown into a project, they do much more than they thought they could.”
The Yale and Temple University Tyler School of Art grad, who won the Westchester Arts Council’s Arts Westchester Award, the organization’s most prestigious honor, in 2005, sells her paintings through her website, tovasnyder.com.
Dr. Andrew Ashikari
Surgical oncologist Andrew Ashikari, MD, at the Ashikari Comprehensive Breast Center in the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry, counts among his patients not just Westchester residents, but women from across the country. Why would someone travel so far to meet with him? Unlike most breast surgeons, who remove the nipple when performing a mastectomy, Dr. Ashikari, 43, is among the few nationwide who perform a nipple-sparing mastectomy with minimal scarring.
The procedure—used for early-stage breast-cancer patients and women who have at least a 25 percent chance of developing breast cancer—was developed by Dr. Ashikari’s father and colleague, Roy Ashikari, MD, who once served as Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s acting chief of breast service. His technique—entering the breast from underneath (where the scars are hidden), rather than the middle of the breast—is very uncommon. Most doctors remove the nipple because sparing it requires leaving a small amount of breast tissue beneath the nipple, which, theoretically, could become cancerous. “But it hasn’t been proven to have a better outcome,” says Dr. Ashikari, a Chappaqua resident. Since 1999, none of his prophylactic patients who’ve had nipple-sparing mastectomies have developed cancer, he reports.
Dr. Ashikari’s procedure appeals to his patients, but so does his warm demeanor. “He’s a gifted surgeon and a great person,” says Suzanne Citere, 44, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, who flew north in 2007 to be Dr. Ashikari’s patient after learning of him at FacingOurRisk.org, a website for women at high risk for breast cancer. “As busy as he is, he makes time for patients. He’ll still speak with me if I have questions.”
Citere is apparently one of many, many fans. “Dr. Ashikari is a very well-respected surgeon,” says Steven Narod, MD, Canada research chair in breast cancer at the University of Toronto, who has authored many studies about prophylactic mastectomies for high-risk women. “I think much of his national recognition comes from the women themselves, many of whom are vocal, well-informed, proactive about their health and participate in Internet-based discussion groups.”
She dresses country music stars in Nashville and mothers of bar mitzvah boys in Scarsdale. Constance McCardle’s one-of-a-kind fashions feature bold designs, intricate lace patterns, and sleek cuts that never fail, it seems, to turn heads.
“Modern vintage is my look,” says the 54-year-old designer, who’s been creating custom gowns for the past 30 years. “I like the look of the 1930s and 1940s, but don’t want things to look dowdy or dated.”
As a child, McCardle designed dresses for her dolls. Hobby became career when she moved to New York in 1980 to attend the Traphagen School for Fashion. A decade ago, she focused on designing under her own name from her Ossining studio, where she has four part-time seamstresses who work in her home studio with her.
Her offbeat creations are worn to the Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars, and are purchased by moms of brides and grooms, says Monica Brache of Elephant’s Trunk in Mount Kisco, which sells McCardle’s gowns. “She has a following,” Brache says. “Customers come back wanting a Constance McCardle.” If you want one of her creations, you can see the selection at Elephant’s Trunk, or get one designed specifically for you by contacting McCardle through her website (constancemccardle.com). Be warned: gowns cost between $2,500 and $6,000.
Last year, country-music-loving McCardle began working with Nashville singers, including Taylor Swift and Emmylou Harris. “You’re going to see her clothes on celebrities,” Brache says. “They’re pieces of art.”