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Review Press Newspaper “Ex-Resident Creates CD, Book To Aids Kids”

The week of September, 2006 Your Weekly Neighborhood Newspaper LoHud.com/weekly
Ex-resident creates CD, Book to aid kids
‘Lullabies’ proceeds will be donated to children’s charities
By: Mary Iarocci

After watching images of the devastation in New Orleans on television one year ago, Dr. Kathleen Fallon decided she wanted to do something to help children affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Fallon, a former Bronxville resident and foot-and-ankle surgeon who works in Manhattan, collaborated with an artist, an actor and a priest to complete “Heavenly Skies & Lullabies” an illustrated song book and CD dedicated to “Children Throughout The World.”

“Charity begins at home,” Fallon said. “We basically knew we wanted to create something for children.”

All net proceeds from the sale of “heavenly Skies & Lullabies” will be donated to the Christian relief and development organization World Vision, specifically for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

The CD and accompanying book will be launched tomorrow night following a memorial Mass for the five-year anniversary of Sept. 11 and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at St. John the Baptist Church in Yonkers. There will be a reception and book signing after the mass.

Fallon co-founded with her husband, James Fallon, Heavenly Productions Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children in distress, soon after Sept. 11, 2001.

“Heavenly Lullabies,” the foundation’s first CD project, was “dedicated to the babies and orphans of 9-11-01” in 2003 on the second anniversary of the attack. James Fallon, along with working for a computer company was also studying music at the Juilliard School at night.

In addition to artist Becky Kelly’s celestial illustrations designed to link images with the music, the book included lyrics and music engravings for piano and guitar. “Becky is an artist unto herself,” Dr. Fallon said.  Fallon discovered Kelly’s work during a trip to the bookstore.

“I spent literally four hours at the (bookstore), looking through children’s books,” she said. “I bought four books, and they were all from Becky Kelly.”

Kelly said that when she read an e-mail Fallon later sent her and began discussing the project over the phone, she knew she wanted to be involved.

“There was something about when she first e-mailed me and called that touched me,” said Kelly, who worked as an illustrator for Hallmark for 15 years before starting her own studio.

“Everyone’s looking for a way to help. It’s amazing to do something with art that can help others.”

Kelly added that her illustrations of fairies and other images inspired by 1920s and ’30s children’s book match well with the lullabies on the CD.

“I just think it’s the perfect combination,” Kelly said.  The Rev. Gerard Critch of St. Thomas More Church in Sarasota Fla., wrote the foreword for the book, which features children’s blessings and prayers that are integrated into Kelly’s illustrations.

“Often, the children are sort of lost in these events,” Critch said. “Hopefully, people will remember the children with this book.”

Critch met Fallon, who calls him “Father G.,” at St. John the Baptist Church, where Fallon has sung in the choir for 30 years. He flew to New York to join Fallon, a volunteer with the New York Emergency Medical Response, on a team that ministered to firefighters, steelworkers and investigators at Ground Zero immediately following Sept. 11.

Fallon chose to donate the proceeds form the Heavenly Productions Foundation’s second project to World Vision because “only a small percentage of all proceeds are set aside from administrative costs” and most of the money donated will directly benefit children.

According to the organization’s Web site. www.worldvision.org, 8 percent of their revenue in fiscal year 2005 went directly to programs “that benefit children, families, and communities in need.”

“We just want to make sure the money gets to the people who need it,” Fallon said. The CD, which features 11 soothing lullabies, was created and sung by Fallon and “Sopranos” actor Frank Pellegrino, the proprietor of Rao’s restaurant in Manhattan.

The project was funded through a grant from the Louis R. Cappelli Foundation. Dave Prescott of B12 Design in Scottsdale, Ariz., donated the book and CD’s design and layout.

Fallon, who composed an original musical score for the CD to accompany the “Guardian Angel Prayer,” said their son, James, 5, is “enamored” by the music she created in the recording studio at their Armonk home.

“Watching me work on the project is good for him,” Fallon said. “I want to instill a sense of charity in his life.”

The Patent Trader reporter

Carlos Perkins contributed to this project