Justine Koons to Receive the Bernic


Justine Koons to Receive the Bernic
Media Contact: Michael Wilke
[email protected]
718-884-0700 ext.116
For Immediate Release:
Justine Koons to Receive the Bernice Stern Award for Outstanding
Community Service;
KHCC Celebrates 40 Years and Honors Founding Member Janet Athanasidy
BRONX, NY – May 4, 2015 - Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC) has
named Justine Koons as the 2015 recipient of the Bernice Stern Award for
Outstanding Community Service for her commitment to making the world a safer
place for children. She and her husband, Jeffrey Koons, are co-founder of the Koons
Family Institute, which acts as the research arm for the International Centre for
Missing & Exploited Children. (Jeffrey is the internationally known contemporary artist
whose large, pop-art sculptures are in major museum collections worldwide.)
Founding member of KHCC, Janet Athanasidy, will be recognized for her outstanding,
40-year commitment to the agency and its work on KHCC’s 40 th anniversary.
“Justine and Janet are two amazing women,” says Giselle Melendez-Susca, KHCC
Executive Director. “We are fortunate to have had the support of Janet’s leadership
for four decades. She is still an important member of our board today.”
“We recently met Justine and have been incredibly impressed by the work that she is
doing with the Koons Foundation in support of the International Centre for Missing &
Exploited Children,” Melendez-Susca added.
The Bernice Stern Award and 40-year honor will be presented to Mrs. Koons and Mrs.
Athanasidy on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at Loeb Boathouse, Central Park, near East
72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. The luncheon will run from 11:30 a.m. to
2:00 p.m.
Individual seats are $250. More information about the event and RSVP is at -http://khcc-nyc.org/special-events/bernice-stern-luncheon.php
Photos of Mrs. Koons and Mrs. Athanasidy are available.
About The Bernice Stern Award
The Bernice Stern Award For Outstanding Community Service was created to reflect
the spirit, energy, and generosity of Bernice Altman Stern in her unflagging service
and support which she provides to countless families and their children through her
philanthropic commitment. Her concern for the struggles of nonprofits to help
3101 Kingsbridge Terrace, Bronx, NY, 10463
718-884-0700| www.khcc-nyc.org
families and improve communities continues to be demonstrated by her long-term
devotion to them through her foundation (Bernice Stern Foundation). Kingsbridge
Heights Community Center, and many other nonprofits, benefit from her compassion
for children and families.
About Justine Koons
Justine Koons was born in South Africa. She received her Fine Arts Degree from the
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. As co-founder with her husband Jeff
Koons of the Koons Family Institute, Mrs. Koons is a staunch supporter of
philanthropic causes and dedicated to making the world a safer place for children.
She serves on the board of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
(ICMEC) and The Koons Family Institute on International Law & Policy, which acts as
ICMEC's research arm. By combating child abduction and child sexual exploitation on
multiple fronts – creating replicable legal tools, building international coalitions,
bringing together great thinkers and opinion leaders – the Koons Family Institute is
helping ICMEC build a truly global movement. Mrs. Koons recently joined the board of
KHCC and is also on the Board and International Council of the Musée des Arts
Décoratifs in Paris. She works as an artist, and lives with her husband, Jeff and their
six children, in New York City.
About Janet Athanasidy
Janet Kelly was born in New Rochelle, NY, in 1936. After high school, she worked for
Benton & Bowles advertising and quickly progressed from a clerk to an analyst. In
1955, Janet married childhood sweetheart Nicholas Athanasidy and three years later
started a family William, Robert and Janet. In 1965, the family moved to Kingsbridge
Terrace, where Janet served as President of the Mothers’ Guild for Our Lady of Angels
(OLA) elementary school and as a member of the Police Community Council - 50th
Precinct, the Parish Council for OLA, and the Community Planning Board. Janet spent
23 years with the NYPD, including roles such as Police Administrative Aide, Curator of
the Police Museum and Commanding Officer of the Stolen Property Inquiry Section at
police headquarters. In 1978 she was awarded the ONE HUNDRED YEAR
ASSOCIATION Career Civil Service Award, and Mayor Edward Koch honored her with
the “Citizen of the Month” award. Upon hearing in 1972 that the 50th Precinct was
moving out of its turn-of-the-century building on Kingsbridge Terrace, Janet, along
with Pat Burns and Mary McLaughlin, imagined another use to serve the
neighborhood. In 1974, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center was born, and thus
began Janet’s 40-year commitment that has grown from co-founder, to benefactor, to
Board Member.
About Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC) celebrates 40 years of service to the
Bronx community in 2015. The agency was founded in a former Bronx police station
in 1974 by three community activists: Janet Athanasidy, Patricia Burns, and Mary
McLoughlin. Today, KHCC offers programs and services in multiple sites for thousands
of people annually across the Bronx, including sexual abuse treatment/prevention,
early childhood education, Special Needs, After School, teen/tween programming,
college access, English and civics classes, senior programs and more. Guided by the
Settlement House model of community development and involvement, KHCC is a
member of United Neighborhood Houses of New York City. KHCC's mission is to build
on the strengths of residents in our diverse community, enabling them to effect
change and improve quality of life for themselves, their families, and Bronx residents
3101 Kingsbridge Terrace, Bronx, NY, 10463
718-884-0700| www.khcc-nyc.org