Child of Peace Awards Dinner

join us at 6 PM on November 12, 2019 AT The Zeigfeld Ballroom

For the 34th Annual child of peace awards dinner

The Child of Peace Awards Dinner—now in its 34th year—is Catholic Guardian Services’ signature fundraising event. Catholic Guardian’s mission is simple: providing help, creating hope, preserving dignity. This annual dinner represents New Yorkers helping fellow New Yorkers.

Proceeds support several programs including Catholic Guardian’s Parenting Resource Center which provides maternity services for women with high-risk and sometimes unexpected pregnancies and promotes vital parenting education to help ensure safer pregnancies, healthier infants and children, and stronger families; the CGS Family Center, a behavioral and mental health clinic for underserved children and families in the Bronx; Youth Employment Services, a program of mentorship, support, and education for children in foster care; and elder care programs for seniors with dementia and other age-related, debilitating illnesses.

In addition to raising support and awareness of the Catholic Guardian Services’ many programs, the Child of Peace Annual Awards Dinner honors the service of individuals or couples who embody the spirit of compassion and innovation that is integral to Catholic Guardian’s mission. The slate of awards includes the Child of Peace Award, the Edward Cardinal Egan Humanitarian Award, and the Rosalie Cadron-Jetté Award for Courage and Compassion

For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Special Events Associate, Paola Quezada at or 212-371-1000 ext. 2125


Aiko & Dan Decelles, Child of Peace Award

Margaret (Peggy) and Bernard (Berney) Smyth, Edward Cardinal Egan Humanitarian Award

Steve Roberts & Cokie Roberts in memoriam, Rosalie Cadron-Jetté Award for Courage and Compassion

Read more about our honorees below…


Emmy Award-winning reporter, Magee Hickey will serve as our Master of Ceremonies and Jennifer Wright of Christie’s will lead our Live Appeal.

click here to purchase tickets and tables!


VENUE: The Ziegfeld Ballroom is New York City’s premier special events venue.  Conjuring the elegance and grandeur of the 1920s movie palaces that once lined Broadway and Seventh Avenue, it is a Manhattan experience. This Art Deco-inspired space is as glamorous as the historic theatre from which it takes its name.

ENTERTAINMENT: The cocktail hour will feature music from the Baby Soda Jazz Band. Baby Soda’s repertoire of New Orleans style jazz blends arranged and improvised sections, and highlights the music of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael & the iconic songs of Tin Pan Alley.

this year’s honorees…

Aiko & Dan Decelles

Child of Peace Award

Dan Decelles joined the Board of Directors of Catholic Guardian Services in 2015 because he wanted to help disadvantaged, underserved children.

With significant experience in healthcare investment banking, Dan joined Jefferies in 2009 as a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group and he serves as Global Joint Head of Healthcare Services. Prior to joining Jefferies, Dan worked as a senior investment banker at JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Lehman Brothers where he began his investment-banking career in 1995. Originally, from Holyoke, Mass., Dan attended Williston Northampton School. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley College. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Williston Northampton School.

Aiko Muro Decelles, a native of New Brighton, Minn., worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and currently active with St. Luke's School Parents Association. The Decelles and their two children, Ami and Graydon, divide their time between Manhattan and Sagaponack, N.Y. As parents, the Decelles want their children to participate in the annual Christmas events hosted by Catholic Guardian Services to share Christmas joy and presents with children in foster care and refugee children in shelters waiting to be reunited with their families.

Margaret (Peggy) & Bernard (berNey) Smyth

Edward Cardinal Egan Humanitarian Award

Margaret (Peggy) & Bernard (Berney) Smyth have a history of humanitarian action and a commitment to Catholic values. The two met while they were students at Fordham University and were married two years after graduation. They continue to play an active role in advancing the mission of the Jesuit university, serving on the Executive Committee of the President’s Council and overseeing an endowed scholarship that is awarded each year to a deserving student in need of financial aid.

Peggy and Berney opened their homes and hearts to begin a family, and are the proud parents of Brian Smyth and Pierce Smyth, two sons who were adopted through Catholic Guardian Services. Brian now attends Duke University and plays Lacrosse for the Blue Devils, while Pierce attends Hobart and William Smith University and plays football for the Statesmen. As a result, Peggy and Berney spend much of their time attending sporting events and cheering on their boys. 

The two also share a commitment to sustainability and work in professions that allow them to advance progress on social and environmental causes. Mr. Smyth works as an account executive for Structure Tone, a global leader in construction management and general contracting. He has been an active member of Catholic Charities, previously serving on its board for the diocese of Hartford, CT.

Ms. Smyth is the Chief Financial Officer for National Grid US, one of the largest utility companies in the northeast. She has been instrumental in advancing clean energy investments including pilots in battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations and renewable natural gas. Peggy has chaired several high-profile workshops aimed at engaging corporate CFOs to take more of a leadership role in promoting sustainability, including a round-table session that she hosted last year at the United Nations. Peggy has a personal interest in advancing sustainability accounting practices and is a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) FSA Credential Holder.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of British-American Business and Organization for International Investment. Additionally, she is a director and member of the audit committee of Etsy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) and an audit committee member of two subsidiaries of Mutual of America.

Steve Roberts & Cokie Roberts IN MEMORIAM

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté Award for Courage and Compassion

Cokie Roberts was a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than fifty years in broadcasting, she earned countless awards, including three Emmys. She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. Roberts wrote six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.

Steve Roberts is the author of My Fathers’ Houses and From Every End of This Earth. He has worked as a journalist for more than forty years, and appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network and NPR.

Cokie and Steve Roberts together, wrote a weekly column syndicated in newspapers across the country by Universal U Click. They wrote two books together: Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families, and From this Day Forward, an account of their marriage and other marriages in American history. The book immediately went onto The New York Times bestseller list.

The Roberts are the parents of two children and grandparents of six.