News

Tribute Foundation to Collaborate with National Alliance for Children’s Grief

The Tribute Foundation Board met via Zoom on Wednesday, March 23. During this meeting they discussed and approved a partnership with the National Alliance for Children’s Grief (NACG). The NACG is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. Through their members’ and partners’ collective voices, they educate, advocate, and raise awareness about childhood bereavement. The NACG is a nationwide network comprised of professionals, institutions, and volunteers who promote best practices, educational programming, and critical resources to facilitate the mental, emotional, and physical health of grieving children and their families.

This partnership with NACG will include three separate initiatives aimed at sharing resources with New York State funeral service professionals:

  • When Someone Dies: Supporting Children through Funerals and Memorials resource: NACG will create a resource toolkit for professionals and families that makes a point of connection during the planning, event, and follow-up of funerals and memorials. The resource toolkit can be printed and distributed by NYSFDA members.
  • Education webinar: The NACG will develop an educational webinar specifically for NYSFDA members designed to provide information and tools for supporting grieving children.
  • Presentation at NYSFDA Convention: NACG will provide a presentation that will address meeting the needs of children and teens following a death of someone in their life.

“We’re excited about this new partnership,” said Michael J. Gorton, Jr., CFSP, NYS Tribute Foundation Chair. “We’ve been researching ways to effectively provide grief support for children experiencing loss, and with NACG’s resources and experience we’re well-positioned to be able to do that now. And what a way to honor Franklin’s (O.L. Steinberg) legacy.”


NYS Tribute Foundation Board Meets

July 2021 – During their bi-annual meeting last month, the NYS Tribute Foundation Board discussed and moved forward on several items.

Board Transitions

Michael O’Connor (Abigal), Peter Rose (Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes) and JoAnne Sullivan (Cemetery of the Highlands, Inc.; Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc.) have fulfilled their two-term limit serving a total of six years each. Their time, dedication and representation were acknowledged and appreciated. With the three outgoing board members, the board reviewed and discussed filling the open seats, and were excited to have a diverse slate of candidates.

As of August 23, 2021, the following professionals will join the Tribute Board:

  • Jason Harrington | Licensed Funeral Director, Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, Inc./Carpenter-Stoodley, Inc. Funeral Home
  • Mary King | Licensed Funeral Director, Robert M. King Funeral Home
  • Robin Jennings | Licensed Funeral Director, Former Educator, Jennings, Nulton & Mattle Funeral Home, Inc.
  • Jeffrey Reed | Mount Calvary Cemetery Group
  • Dave Roberts | Bereavement Specialist, Professor at Utica College
  • Carol Townsend-Ross | Westchester Hospice

Following the selection of new Board members, the board held a vote to fill the Chair and Secretary/Treasurer positions. Michael Gorton, Jr. was elected as Chair and Scott Hendrix was elected as the Secretary/Treasurer. The board also appointed Mr. Gorton as the Tribute At-Large Director to serve on the NYSFDA Board of Directors.

Grant Awardees

As a not-for-profit organization dedicated to end-of-life issues, including death, dying and bereavement, Tribute awards grants to support projects, research and education.

The Board approved the following grants:

$5,000 – Hospice-VNSW-WPHC, Inc. This project, provides federally mandated non-reimbursable bereavement services to families or caregivers for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one.

$7,500 – St. Mary’s Foundation for Children. This project offers ongoing bereavement services to parents, siblings and family members of children enrolled in St. Mary’s Palliative Care Program.

$3,000 – Camp Healing Hearts (URMC). This project offers a day camp for children who have experienced the death of a loved one by giving them an opportunity to learn healthy ways of coping.

$2,500 – Camp Heartstrings. This project provides a camp for bereaved children giving them a chance to address their needs and offer support in a safe environment.


New York State Tribute Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Individual contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
All contributors will be recognized as part of the Tribute Foundation’s donor recognition program.

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