Paving the way for bright futures

Our leadership is comprised of dedicated individuals who are passionate about providing New York City children with opportunities to learn and grow.

Executive Director’s Report

On July 15, 2015, I started as Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund, stepping into a tremendous opportunity to lead The Fund forward following Jenny Morgenthau’s wonderful leadership. My first day in this role was spent at the Sharpe Reservation with the beautiful boys and girls we serve. To see the twinkle in the eyes of the boys at Camp Hayden-Marks as they tested their card magic tricks on me, or the excitement of the children at Camp Hidden Valley as they cut the ribbon for The Blavatnik Family and Warner Music Group Center for Music, or to hear the campers sing the chants at Camp ABC—each and every experience brought a great big smile to my face, because I had the chance to witness children enraptured in the experience of learning, kinship, novelty, and more.

I have met the parents who entrust their children to us at Port Authority and Riverbank State Park, each filled with trepidation and excitement alike, hoping their child gets to see and experience something different, new, fun and enriching. I’ve met our very talented camp counselors who serve as the artists, educators and engineers for the summer while working tirelessly to provide our children with great summer memories.

I have visited Friendly Towns from as far north as Maine and New Hampshire to the Lehigh and Shenandoah Valleys to closer to home on Long Island and in New Jersey. And, on each visit, I’ve met volunteers and host families who share stories that showcase their love and commitment to welcoming New York City children into their communities during the summer. It was a chance to witness the connection The Fresh Air Fund continues to foster, after almost 140 years, between host families and New York City children. I’ve met alumni who can still sing camp songs, who still visit with their host families, who are now our camp counselors, and some who are mentoring and tutoring a new generation of Fresh Air kids in our year-round programs.

As I’ve met the breadth of the Fresh Air family, I’ve asked, “What does The Fresh Air Fund mean to you?” I heard, “happiness,” “promise,” “friendship,” “outdoors,” “leap of faith,” “trust,” “empowerment,” “memories,” and so many more wonderful descriptions. As you look through the 2015 Annual Report, please take note of the words shared with me, and consider, “What does The Fresh Air Fund mean to you?”  Please don’t hesitate to write me at Fatima@FreshAir.org to let me know your words and descriptions.

It is through the extraordinary support of donors, funders, foundations, volunteers, partners, families, and staff that we are able to do this work and have such great impacts near and far. Thank you! I look forward to keeping you informed about The Fresh Air Fund’s next steps and future. Again, I thank you for your support now and as we move forward to celebrate our 140th year of serving children from New York City’s neediest communities. 


Fatima Shama
Executive Director

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Chairman’s Message

2015 marked a milestone at The Fresh Air Fund with the retirement of Jenny Morgenthau, after 33 years of outstanding leadership as The Fund’s Executive Director. Jenny, we wish you well in your new adventures!

We are delighted to welcome Fatima Shama as our new Executive Director. Prior to joining us, Fatima was the Vice President of Strategic Development and External Affairs at Maimonides Medical Center. Before this role, she was the Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for four-and-a-half years. She also served as a policy advisor to Mayor Bloomberg in the areas of education and public health. Fatima’s experience and vision will shape an even brighter future for our Fresh Air children.

Last summer at Camp Day, we celebrated the opening of The Blavatnik Family and Warner Music Group Center for Music at Camp Hidden Valley. Thanks to the generosity of The Blavatnik Family and Warner Music Group, Fresh Air children benefit from the amazing gift of music. Programming takes place year round at camp and in New York City with the guidance of long-time volunteer Val Blavatnik who shares his youthful enthusiasm and joy of music.

In 2015, the Annual Spring Gala at Chelsea Piers was a “Salute to American Heroes,” honoring Odell Beckham Jr., Anna Chlumsky and Zac Posen. The evening was a great success and raised close to $1.3 million with over 700 guests. Special thanks to Carla Hall who acted as our terrific emcee.

The Fresh Air Fund Council, a group of dedicated young New Yorkers, sponsored Le Bal Masque, the Annual Fall Benefit and Silent Auction at Chelsea Piers. More than 650 partygoers attended, and the event raised over $580,000.

The “Spring Fling” at Marquee, designed for young professionals, was a high-spirited evening with more than 350 guests. This annual spring event attracts new volunteers, friends and supporters.

We would like to take this opportunity to ask our outstanding volunteers, friends, supporters and contributors to get even more involved and actively participate in The Fresh Air Fund.

We invite you to visit one of our five camps, situated on close to 2,000 acres of wilderness property in Fishkill, New York…or attend a volunteer host event that takes place in 300 Friendly Towns along the East Coast and Southern Canada…or stop by our New York City office to see our 200 Career Awareness students engaged with their volunteer tutors.

As we celebrate our 140th Birthday, we are opening new doors for hands-on volunteer activities, creative ways to share your talents and new initiatives for funding. Please join us to move forward together and make a significant impact on the lives of our Fresh Air children. We welcome your ideas, and thank you for your loyal and steadfast support.

Finally, we are deeply saddened by the loss of Susie Newhouse, The Fund’s Chairman Emeritus, our distinguished leader and dear friend. We will never forget Susie’s commitment, dedication, style and grace.

With all best wishes,

William P. Lauder

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Tribute to Mrs. Donald Newhouse

We dedicate our 2015 Annual Report to Susie Newhouse and celebrate her beautiful life. 

Mrs. Donald Newhouse’s commitment to The Fresh Air Fund began in 1982 when she joined the Board of Directors. She became the Chairman of the Board in 1987 and served in that position for 24 years. She continued on as Chairman Emeritus from 2011 until her death in 2015. Susie was a champion for New York City’s boys and girls who were the beneficiaries of her generosity of spirit and vital support.

She was a dedicated leader, wonderful person, and cherished friend. Susie was admired, respected and adored by her Fresh Air family, and has been an inspiration to her Fresh Air child Khaseema, who has been a part of the Newhouse family since she was six years old. Susie’s annual visits to Fresh Air camps brought joy and laughter to campers and counselors alike. Thanks to Susie’s leadership, the Career Awareness Program went from her dream to becoming a reality, and opened doors of opportunity for thousands of New York City’s children. Susie paved the path for The Fresh Air Fund to inspire generations of leaders of tomorrow through fun and educational programs.

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Mrs. Donald Newhouse*

Chairman Emeritus
*In Memoriam

William P. Lauder

Chairman of the Board

John N. Irwin III


Wendy R. Flanagan

Vice President

Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr.


Derrick D. Cephas



Board of Directors

Tiki Barber

Tom A. Bernstein

Mariah Carey

Mats G. Carlston

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

LizabethAnn Rogovoy Eisen

Ruth W. Houghton

Craig S. Ivey

Howard B. Johnson

Dan Kaplan

Isabelle B. Krusen

Gregory D. Lee

Joseph J. Magliocco

John D. McMahon

Katherine M. Morris

David S. Perpich

Caroline Cummings Rafferty

Brandon Reid

Betsy Shiverick

Jacqueline Albert Simon

Kimberly E. Steward

Richard D. Thomas

Bradley A. Whitman

Steven M. Wolf

Senior Management

Hannah Beck

Director of Public Relations

Sheryl Cardozo

Director of Friendly Towns Program

Michael Clarke

Director of Sharpe Reservation

Tara N. Gardner

Director of Community Outreach, Partnerships & Support Services

Jean E. Jeremie

Chief Financial Officer

George V. Morfessis

Director of Information Technology

Lori Seader

Director of Development

Alicia Skovera

Director of Camping & Year-Round Programs

The Fresh Air Fund Council

Isabelle B. Krusen
Council President

Ashton Abbot & Evan W. Uhlick

Peter Harris Alden

Scott K. Banerjee

Dora B. Belle

Alex & Taryn Berkett

Michael Bogner

Caitlin Branca

Katie Cooper

Daria de Koning

Steve DeLuca

T. Troy & Keisha Dixon

Permele Doyle

Janet Gorgone

Nick Gregoriou

April Grunow

R. Fletcher Hall

Lindsay K. Herron

Caroline Simon Jacobs

Kapil Kamdar

Michael J. Karger

Courtney Alexis Langer

Virginia Lawson

Amelie Lonergan

Elizabeth Morgan & Paul Allan

Cecilia Mortimore

Benji Nwachukwu

Will C. Page

Dominic Preuss

Nicholas K. Rafferty

Megan Petrie Ramm

Marlies Verhoeven Reijtenbagh &
Jacco Reijtenbagh

Will Rodd

Alexandra & Edward Shaheen

Amanda K. Starbuck

Clifton & Tina Teagle

Tamie Peters Thomas

Kristin & Diego Urrutia

Lauren Wallerstein

Dwight Williams