Jim and Liam Watkins

Jill Brooke and Bill O'Reilly

Lisa and Joe Laforga

Rosanna Scotto and Ernie Anastos

Lauren Thierry Watkins and
Laura Slatkin


Jim Watkins Honored at Doubles
For His Community Service

Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Scott Rudd/PMc

OR community service and commitment to children living with autism, WB11's 10 o'clock news anchor Jim Watkins was honored by the New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI) at Doubles.

The tribute, chaired by Jim's wife Lauren Thierry, Oren Warshavsky, Kaity Tong and Laura Slatkin, and hosted by Rosanna Scotto and Ernie Anastos, featured a funny video montage of Watkins’ career, which started in his hometown of Cincinnati.

Jim thanked the New York Mets for sponsoring an Autism Awareness Day each year. He was joined on stage by his autistic seven-year-old son Liam, who attends NYCLI. "The kid loves show business," Jim joked.

Among those donating to the evening were Fox5's Bill O'Reilly; WB11's Sukanya Krishnan, John Muller, Tiffany McElroy, Howard Thompson, Mary Murphy, Irv "Mr. G" Gikofsky and Elissa Cullman; NBC4's Chuck Scarborough, Felicia Taylor, David Ushery, Perri Peltz Ruttenberg, Sal Marciano, Carolyn Gusoff, Jim Rosenfield, Chris Cimino and Sue Simmons; CBS2's Maurice DuBois and Chris Wragge; Plum TV's Alison Chace and ABC's 20/20 reporter and Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter.

Also Harry Slatkin and daughter Alexandra, Doubles' Wendy Carduner, art historian Michel Witmer (who won the cuff links.), Bettina Zilkha, newly engaged Chappy Morris and Melissa Stanley, Tony and Elizabeth Lo Bianco, Dr. Howard Sobel, Lisa and Joe Laforga, Elaine Sargent, Victoria Hagen and Michael Berman, Pam Warshavsky, Jill Brooke and Gary Goldstein, Somers and Jonathon Farkas, Ann Colley, Alison and Chris Brown, Anki Leeds, Lee Fryd and successful Bette Midler impersonator Donna Maxom.

The event raised $150,000 to help NYCLI, represented at the affair by its directors Sue Vener and Chris Weldon, continue its efforts in helping children living with autism acquire critical educational, social, leisure and job training skills and contributing to the body of research regarding the disease of autism.

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