Pinkies Up

Time for tea. The Help Group’s Teddy Bear Tea, held at the Four Seasons, was a hit with English Breakfast in your cup and petite lobster sandwiches in your hand
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      Help Group president and CEO Dr. Barbara Firestone and Julia Baumgartner

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      Stephanie Molen and Dr. Susan Berman

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      Christina Thau, Melissa Klein, Sarah Milken, Lisa Humiston, Brenda Battista, and Kate Phillips-Wiczyk

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      Shopping and silent auction

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      Dr. Barbara Firestone, Gail Koretz, Barbara Yaroslavsky, and Dr. Susan L. Smalley

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      Therese Gamba and Bonnie Star

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      Sue Laviolette, Dr. Susan Berman, and Nechama Chernotsky

Photographs by August Young

The festivities and silent auction raised money for the Help Group’s work serving kids with autism and other special needs, specifically through scholarships (the Group’s Opportunity Fund). After the ladies, and the five or so tea-lovin’ fellas, anteed up at the silent auction and store, there was tea and convo—and then the non-dry-eye part of the afternoon when tots from one of the Group’s campuses sang “High Hopes” with gusto (especially on the word “high”). “Frank Sinatra would be proud,” said Help Group president and CEO Dr. Barbara Firestone before a mother of a child in one of the programs got up to speak: “Thank you. And if my son could speak, he would say the same.” Not a dry eye in sight. For nine years the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has supported the nonprofit, and the company did so again by writing a check for $118,000. Last year Cheryl Saban spoke to the tea sippers about self-worth. This go-round Dr. Susan L. Smalley, a professor of psychiatry, the founder of the Mindful Awareness Research Center, and the author of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, chatted about genes and connecting. For more information on the Help Group, go to thehelpgroup.com.