Mary and Stuart Mackintosh

The Counseling Center’s Spring Gala: Heartfelt Stories Inspire Generous Donations

By Ellen Edwards, Board Member of The Counseling Center

On May 3rd, on a gorgeous spring night, one hundred and fifty guests gathered at Siwanoy Country Club to celebrate The Counseling Center’s 53rd year and raise funds for its fee-subsidy program.  The gala honored Mary Mackintosh, Director of Missional Engagement at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, whose work advocating for social justice has brought people together, inspired hope, and transformed lives. 

Funds raised at the gala will continue the work of the nonprofit Counseling Center, in particular its program of offering fee subsidies to clients who could not otherwise afford its mental health care services.  

Executive Director Virgil Roberson spoke of the critical need for services. The Rev. Matt Waterstone gave a warm introduction of the gala’s honoree by asking, “Who is our neighbor?” and replying that for Mary Mackintosh, a neighbor is anyone in need, whether that person is right here in Bronxville or half a world away in Africa. Later in the program, Clinical Director Jennifer Klein spoke movingly via prerecorded video of the clients served by The Counseling Center. Offering composite descriptions to safeguard clients’ privacy, she described people from all backgrounds and experiences, many suffering the effects of trauma and abuse, whose treatment at The Counseling Center is helping them form meaningful relationships and achieve their goals. 

In a moving speech, Mary Mackintosh cited the “cruel reality” that many people cannot afford quality mental health care services and for some, the consequences can be devastating—lived out in substance abuse, homelessness, and involvement in the criminal justice system. 

Mary spoke of the joy she finds in working with mission partners near and far. She is inspired by Emma Stackhouse, who found the strength after growing up as the daughter of sharecroppers in South Carolina to serve 50-75 meals at the soup kitchen of the First Reformed Church of Mount Vernon every Monday night for nearly 40 years.  By Jenya Klius in his mission to drive van loads of food, water, and medical supplies to the front lines in Ukraine and then evacuate people in danger to safety. By Pamela Zimba and the women at Lilac House in Mount Vernon, who are now supported in rebuilding their lives after incarceration. And by courageous, resilient young women like Suu Kyaw from Myanmar and Sheela Hayati from Afghanistan, who were forced to flee their home countries and are now working toward careers in mental health and nursing.

Mary added, “Putting human faces and warm hearts on the issues that divide us changes the conversation. Loving our neighbors as ourselves does not mean choosing which neighbors to love.”

Following cocktails and a sit-down dinner, a spirited live auction was conducted by professional auctioneer Erin Ward from Star Benefit Auctions. 

The board and the staff of The Counseling Center wish to express their enormous gratitude to everyone whose contributions made this year’s gala a memorable experience of inspiring stories and a successful fund-raising event. 

The Counseling Center in Bronxville offers therapy for individuals, couples, and families, through video platforms, telephonically, and in person.  Feel free to reach out if we can help, by calling Dr. Jennifer Klein, 914 793 3388.  

To keep abreast of ongoing information and activities at The Counseling Center, or to make a donation, visit our website at