Domonic Hopson with Andrea Lyons and Candace and Ludgy LaRochelle

Barbara Streeter, Fatemeh Toossi, and Noelle Marotta

On Saturday, October 7, the Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development hosted its biennial Harvest Homecoming benefit, which helped to raise $215,000 to support the nonprofit’s work for young children.
More than 160 guests, under a large white tent on the grounds of the restored historic school in Shaker Heights’ Malvern neighborhood, were the first to hear of the largest donation in the organization’s history, a $2 million gift from philanthropist Kim Sherwin.
Sherwin, a great friend of Hanna Perkins, died last year at 82. The year prior, she told the institution that she had included it in her estate plans – but her extraordinary gift was a surprise.
Board President Mary Reed led a toast to Sherwin, saying, “Tonight especially, we miss your laugh and your twinkling eyes, and we accept the challenge of extending your legacy by building a world where every child is listened to and understood, and where they receive all the help they need to grow and thrive so they can proudly be who they are.”
CEO Karen Baer led a toast to Dr. Arthur L. Rosenbaum, a psychoanalyst with a 50-year affiliation with Hanna Perkins who died in August.
Since 1951, Hanna Perkins has helped children build a solid foundation. It works with families and professionals to help foster in children healthy social emotional development, which involves the ability to identify and communicate feelings. Learning those skills prepares children for a future of managing difficult situations and taking academic risks.
This year’s theme, “Cultivating Healthy Ground,” reflects that those skills developed early last a lifetime, as well as the fundraising that sustains Hanna Perkins’ long-running mission. The nonprofit center also premiered its new tagline, “Helping kids become the boss of themselves.”
Inside the school, guests had the opportunity to tour artifacts from Cleveland on the Couch, an exhibit that focuses on the local connections between the Sigmund Freud family and the establishment of psychoanalysis in Cleveland. It was brought to Hanna Perkins through cooperation with the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center.
Guests enjoyed cocktails, a buffet dinner from Café 56, and dessert by House of Bell. The seasonal celebration included a raffle and a live auction by auctioneer Brooks Ames, with items including a dinner at Il Venetian followed by a helicopter tour, a Montana summer cabin vacation, and a ski chalet getaway in Big Sky, Montana. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANASTASIA NICHOLAS