The New York Society of for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Annual Luncheon is a noteworthy and newsworthy event in the spring season, tackling the toughest topic – the abuse of children.    The event and organization has a fantastic support system among this city’s well heeled, philanthropic woman, many of whom are mothers.    The Luncheon speaker is renowned attorney, Eric MacLeish who has handled some of the most important abuse cases in the country and who was portrayed in the award-winning film, Spotlight.  

Valesca Guerrand Hermes notes,    “Awareness is vital to stopping the abuse of children.  NYSPCC Spring Luncheon is a growing family that I am very proud to be a part of.”  

The organization is on the cutting edge of keeping children safe from all forms of abuse, even as it retains its historical significance as the first of its kind in the nation.  It is difficult to imagine a world where children’s safety is not a priority . . .   but indeed, it was so.   It is incredible that protection of  children came after the protection of animals.  In 1875 NYSPCC was created,  on American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  Thus the name.   

President, David Stack observes, “We couldn’t be more pleased at how The NYSPCC Luncheon has grown over the years, despite the fact that we are frequently raising some of the most difficult and uncomfortable topics.  I believe that growth reflects the importance of our message about child abuse, the power of the speakers we present, and the valuable information we provide on how everyone can help.”

Board Member and Contributing Editor on NBC’s Today Show Elizabeth Mayhew, agrees,  Now in it’s sixth year, the lunch to benefit the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was started to educate our community about child abuse. Yes, the lunch brings together smart, stylish, well-dressed women and men, but this event focuses on powerful speakers with moving messages—all of hope, but also of struggle. Everyone leaves the lunch better informed and more committed to making our city—and beyond—safer for children.” 

We are inspired by women like Elizabeth and Valesca who do so much for the important issues of the day, while showing up looking well put together.  

Hilary observes that on a much lighter note we turn our focus to fashion. . . Karen and I are clearly feeling florals for this event. Spring is finally here and floral patterns are big this season, so we are jumping on the trend. I love this dress by Rhode Resort with its bold print and cold shoulder cutouts. It is also a silhouette that would be flattering on most figures. And showing a bit of shoulder is sexy. Typically women, myself included, wear dresses to a spring lunch like this. But if you have the legs for it, a great high waisted pair of pants is also an option. Pair it with a feminine blouse like this one and you have a fresh and chic outfit. As always I like to keep my accessories simple during the day. A classic black handbag goes well with any look. And if you want to give nod to another trend this season, polka dots, these black sandals do the trick. 

Rhode Resort Suzani Cold Shoulder Floral Maxi Dress  $295  /  Alexis Sienna Floral Peplum Top  $495

Derek Lam Crosby Lace-Tie Flare Pants  $395

Dolce & Gabbana Gold-Tone Clip Earrings  $455​   /  ​Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Faux Pearl Earrings  $75​

Stella Mccartney Falabella Faux Brushed-Leather Shoulder Bag  $925​  

​Victoria Beckham Small Leather Clutch  $785​  

Jimmy Choo Lanta Metallic Leather-Trimmed Suede Mules  $795   

Charlotte Olympia Emma Polka Dot Sandals  $595

KK on her choices for a Spring Luncheon.   Sophisticated floral like these by Erdem are a must-have for this transition season.  I just couldn’t decide so picked the whole bouquet to showcase.  These are timeless sheaths that are a good example of investment dressing – they will never go out of style and can be worn from morning meetings to a night on the town.    A bit tired of winter’s black footwear, I chose neutrals that will brighten up your seasonal style.  If you go with an ankle strap, a fixture on the fashion scene this spring, a neutral shade will elongate your leg, rather than cut it off at the ankle.  Being on the shorter side, this is important to me.   Mansur Gavriel and Derick Lam purses are in the pink, and perfect for now and right through summer.  The lighter shades of shades reflect the lengthening hours of daylight in this most optimistic of seasons.  

Erden Emma Floral-Print Dress  $1095  /  Erden Marion Short-Sleeve Sheath Dress  $1210

Erden Emma Half-Sleeve Floral Shift Dress  $475

Le Specs Luxe Nefertiti Two-Tone Cat Eye Sunglasses  $119  /  Miu Miu Mirrored Inlay Cat-Eye Sunglasses  $385

Mansur Gavriel Mini Suede Sun Tote Bag  $695  /  Derek Lam 10 Crosby Houston Mini Leather Crossbody Bag  $550

Alexandre Birman Bow-Tie Leather d’Orsay Sandal  $595   /  Vince Suede Ankle-Strap City Sandal  $325

Poignant insight from Board Member, retired Child Abuse Pediatrician Dr. Penny Grant,   “The dress worn by Mary Ellen, who is the first child abuse victim rescued in NYC by the founders of the NYSPCC, is at the NYSPCC and serves as a testament to work well done. Her photo after her rescue shows her in a lovely new dress. I like to think we honor her memory and the ongoing tireless work the NYSPCC does in helping heal children from abuse as we don our luncheon outfits in support of its legacy.”   For inquiries, please contact Special Events Manager, Ianna Angelo, at 212.233.5500, ext. 240 or [email protected].

If one picture is worth a thousand words, these three speak volumes. 

Honoring Mary Ellen’s Memory



PHOTOS 2014 

   “The first anti-cruelty laws were enacted on behalf of animals, not children, but the founding of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York in 1866 proved fortuitous, for its applicability to human needs was recognized almost immediately.” 

Recent Posts