[Update] Restroom Access Act in New York

In 2015, the Crohn's and Colitis Fairness Act was passed in the Assembly, thanks in large part to sponsor, Assemblywoman Paulin.  It was strongly supported, with only one or two nays.  The bill was then passed on to the Senate, sponsored by Senator Hannon from LI.  The bill passed the Senate Health Committee with 14 yays, 2 yays with reservations and one absent, and then was passed along to be voted on by the full Senate. The Senate ended their session at the end of June without voting on the bill. The bill clearly is seen as a positive addition- there is just a lot of competition in getting it to the floor for a vote.  The Senate passed it into their Rules Committee which is what they do with bills that did not get voted on. This means that if they choose to go back into session this fall it can come up again for a vote, but typically they are only in session from January - June. They will decide in the fall if they need to go back into session this year. 

If they do not go into session again until next January, the process will start over. However, Assemblywoman Paulin's office said the process would be much quicker this time around. The sponsors will remain on the bill for both the Senate and House and it will quickly sail through the Assembly. Then it will go back to the Senate.

What can we do to help?  Thank your Assembly people for voting for the bill. It is nice to let them hear appreciation after the fact.  Identify constituents in Senator Hannon and Senator Flanagan's (the Senate Speaker who decides what bills are put on the agenda for a vote) districts to reach out in support of the bill, and the importance of putting it up for a vote, in the meantime. Their district area and contact information is below.  Continue to encourage your own State Senator to support this bill when it comes to a vote.

Senator Flanagan - Speaker of the Senate

District:  Melville, Commack, Stony Brook, Part of Port Jefferson

Phone: 631-361-2154 

Email address:

Senator Hannon - Chair of Health Committee and Sponsor of Bill

District: Bethpage, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Franklin Square, Garden City, Garden City South, Hempstead, Hicksville, Island Trees, Lakeview, Levittown, Malverne, Massapequa, Old Bethpage, Plainedge, Salisbury, Seaford, UniondalePhone: 516-739-1700

Email address:

Interested in getting involved with the Greater New York Chapter? Read about some of our programs below.  Or you can check out a list of upcoming Chapter events, or find information about the Take Steps walk or Team Challenge half-marathon training program.

Recent Press

  • Check out this article from the Scholastic Choices Magazine, featuring our 2014 Take Steps New York City honored hero, Luc Hyman (March 2015 issue).

  • Watch Regional Director Rhondell Domilici & Endurance Manager Megan Keane discussing Team Challenge & CCFA on WNBC's COZI-TV News 4 at 7 (June 24, 2015)

  • spin4 is mentioned in Forbes for its embrace of the lastest millenial health craze, cycling (November 11, 2015).

  • A recap of Broadway's Got Guts is featured in (November 12, 2015).

2015 Monthly Volunteer Newsletter

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

Chapter Happenings

A Weasel on an Easel by Taylor Sinett| $3,500

Taylor Sinett is a hard-working ninth grader at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington, New York. Taylor has watched her cousin, Casey Mintz, struggle with ulcerative colitis for seven years. She has spent many afternoons in Casey’s hospital room keeping her company while Casey recovered from yet another surgery or procedure.

Inspired by her cousin, Taylor wrote a book, A Weasel on an Easel, that carries the overall message of learning to love yourself for who you are. Through the sales of her book, Taylor has raised over $3,500 for the CCFA! Taylor hopes to continue to promote her book so that sales top $10,000. In the meantime, she is working on her second book Jack on a Plaque.

We thank Taylor and her family for their continued support in honor of her cousin, Casey.

7th Annual Young Professional Comedy Night | March 31st | $16,000

For the first time, we were completely sold out and raised more than $16,000 for CCFA. Everyone that attended, laughed their A$$es off for a good cause. 

A round of applause to co-chairs: Alex Modell, Nicole White, Brittany Modell, David Gelbard, Ashley Modell, Andrew Modell and Missy Modell.  

Thank you to our sponsors:  

Special Mention to all the comedians who were fabulously funny:  Michael Fine - Host, DC Benney, Luc Hyman, Ted Alexandro, Joe DeVito and Ophira Eisenberg.

To all the attendees, thank you for laughing with us and supporting us year after year. For more information on our Young Professionals Committee, email

22nd Annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon | April 23rd | $1.8 Million

Chairs, Ellen Crown, Elyse Newhouse, Michelle Swarzman and Michele Sweetwood did it again.  They led CCFA Greater New York Chapter’s Women of Distinction 2015 Luncheon to a resounding success on April 23rd. 

Over the past 22 years, the Women of Distinction Luncheon has honored New York City women who are making a difference in the lives of those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  This year, with the help of our WOD Committee and our Honorees  -- Eliza Bolen, Executive Vice President, Oscar de la Renta – Cyma Zarghami, President, Viacom’s Kids and Family Group, Lara Englebardt Metz, Lara Metz Nutrition and Chloe Hubbe, Rising Star - we raised more than $1.8 Million for CCFA’s research and education programs.  Veteran news reporter and Crohn’s disease patient Cynthia McFadden of NBC News hosted this year’s luncheon and  and an amazing fashion show was presented by Oscar de la Renta featuring the 2015 Fall Collection – Peter Copping, Creative Director.

Thank you to our WOD Partners:  Bergdorf Goodman for all their support and to the Waldorf for their delightful menu.  Special thank you to BNY Mellon and Lenora and John Klein for being the first 2 guests to pledge and start us off with a $5k pledge each to our first ever Text to  Pledge Campaign which helped to raise another $45k that afternoon.  Special thank you to our volunteers, Inez Weinstein Staff, the Waldorf Staff, John Martinez and his crew, Barbara Berman and her dressers, the Trish McEvoy make-up artists and the Ricardo Maggiorre hairdressers.   The room was filled with so many generous donors we thank you all for supporting us year after year.  We look forward to seeing you at next year’s luncheon.

Photo Album courtesey of Michael Yorkes

Black Tie Magazine | | New York Social Diary | Society Allure

Take Steps New York City | May 14th | $340,000

IN A WORD... AMAZING!  NYC, you have once again left me speechless. Which is HARD to do!  NYC TAKE STEPS WAS A PERFECT DAY!  Thank you ALL for the hard work and love you put into making this event the success it was! You are true champions in the fight to find cures for IBD.


  • 94 Teams
  • 800+ participants
  • OVER $340,000 RAISED toward our GOAL of $440,000, and still counting. 

To help us reach our goal, please visit or contact Suzanne Isbell at 848-218-2493,

Take Steps Staten Island | May 30th | $39,000

Success all around for our #StatenIslandTakeSteps walk – the weather was beautiful and everyone was in high spirits, as we were able to celebrate surpassing our goal of $30,000! This year’s walk grew with over 300 participants and collectively we raised awareness and crucial funds, fundraising more than $39,000!  Remember to use #StatenIslandTakeSteps and #TakeSteps2015 when posting photos on social media! Click here to download photos from the walk!

A very special thank you to our Honored Heroes, Marcus Grant and Dr. Jeffrey Abergel! Congrats again to our top fundraisers and teams who made MVP Status on Walk Day! 

Without the support of our generous sponsors and in-kind donors and entertainment, we would not be able to ensure that  $.93 of every walk program dollar raised goes directly to fund our Mission.

National Sponsor: AbbVie 
Local Sponsor: (Bronze Level) Staten Island University Hospital

The Walk is just one day, but fundraising continues through the end of the calendar year, so keep your campaign going with emails and social media blasts! Many of you have fundraisers, outreach campaigns and follow-up still on the horizon. 

Annual Golf Classic | August 17th | $195,000

On August 15th, nearly 100 golfers came out to support CCFA at the Deepdale Country Club. Thanks to our Golf Committee Co-Chairs, Stan Kleger and Howard Swarzman, as well as the rest of the committee, Joshua Halegua, Zachary Kerr, Danny Monosson, Robert Morris, Gary Podell, Robin Potash, and William Rose we were able to raise more than $195,000!

Special thank you to our sponsors:

  • Birdie Sponsors: M&T Bank and Gary Podell-The Podell Family Foundation
  • Brunch & Cocktail Sponsor: Michelle & Howard Swarzman
  • Brunch Sponsor: Hercules Corp.
  • Half Way Sponsor: Meridian Capital Group, LLC
  • Hole in One Sponsors: Metropolitan Realty Group
  • Closest to the Pin & Longest Drive Sponsors: Continental Lighting Corp. and Ellen & Daniel Crown
  • Hole in One Car Sponsor: Matt Weinberg of Mercedes Benz of Massapequa for securing the Mercedes Benz C300
  • AND to all the Tees & Green Sponsors 

Patient Symposium | September 20th

CCFA hosted its 8th Annual Patient Education Symposium, a program designed exclusively for individuals and caregivers affected by inflammatory bowel diseases made possible by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.


  • New Treatments Best Use of Current Therapy
  • Infertility Microbiome/Probiotics
  • Nutrition & IBD
  • Discussing Surgery
  • Pain Management/Coping with IBD

This program is a partnership of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Greater New York Chapter, the local Chapter Medical Advisory Committee, Course Organizers: David Hudesman, MD and Arun Swaminath, MD, and speakers from Beth Israel, Columbia, Cornell, Montefiore, Mount Sinai, and NYU hospitals. 

Take Steps Brooklyn | October 11th | $52,000

Over 300 people participated in Take Steps Brooklyn on Sunday, October 11th raising more than $52,000! Thank you to our Honored Heroes, Victoria Tadross and Eitan Goldberg, our sponsors and all our donors and walkers. Crucial fund and awareness were raised and so were the spirits of those who never realized the support system they had in their own backyard! Click here to see pictures from the walk.

Broadway's Got Guts | November 2nd | $145,000

The inaugural Broadway's Got Guts event at the Friars Club was SOLD OUT! 200 guests enjoyed a spectacular evening of wonderful entertainment by Broadway’s brightest singing the wonderful standards and hits sung by the late, great Nancy LaMott who was herself diagnosed with Crohn's disease. The first Nancy LaMott "Got Guts" Award was presented to Maxwell Federman to recognize his courage and determination.  Thank you to our co-chairs, Wendy and Dr. Robert Federman, Lenora and John Klein, Suzan and Hon. Jerry Kremer, Robin Modell, Marilyn Chinitz and Piero Pozzi, and Randi Rahm.

The show was hosted by Seth Rudetsky, Sirius XM radio host, who introduced all the Broadway talent including: Matt Doyle, Adam Kantor, Laura Michelle Kelly, Alix Korey, Marc Kudisch, Karen Mason, Howard McGillin, Lauren Molina, Chelsea Morgan Stock, Elizabeth Ward Land, and Betsy Wolfe.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Presenting: Catherine Adler

Gold: Broadway Cares | Drapkin Family | Peter Yawitz

Silver: Melissa and Robert Mittman | Steven Waldman, MD

Last but not least, thank you to the event producers, Marc Eliot, David Friedman, Barbara Kaynan, Toby Ellen Sarna, and Peter Yawitz.

Click here for the journal.

Photos: Society Allure

Recap in