Help local kids at the Presents From Heaven Toy Drive! Plus, 2 new kid-friendly pizza spots

Hi everyone! Summer's in full swing, and we have two of your favorite things: pizza and helping children. Hungry yet? Me too! But let's start with doing something good for sick kids...


Presents From Heaven Toy Drive to Benefit Kids at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital

With so much sad kid stuff in the news, we've all been feeling a little powerless to make the lives of needy kids better. One local mom named Angela Pavlovic is leading a drive to bring toys to the patients at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla. This is the second year she's organized this gift-giving event in memory of her son, Lukas, who lost his battle to pediatric cancer shortly before his second birthday. I have a soft spot for Maria Fareri since my son spent a week there when he was a newborn. 


Kids who are staying at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital are admitted with everything from cuts and scrapes to terminal illness, but the drive focusses on the longterm inpatients who are seeking treatment for serious illnesses. The drive, which runs until July 26, is focussed on collecting toys to hand out to kids at Maria Fareri during the month of September. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and September 1st would have been Lukas's third birthday.

Want to help? It's super easy. Angela has created an Amazon Wishlist for you to shop off, or send an iTunes or Amazon gift card, which are strongly encouraged due to the wide age range of the children. Play-Doh, LEGOs and coloring books are also high priority items. But Angela wants to emphasize that any toys or donations you have would be welcome with open arms. The kids will be so happy with whatever you have to give.

Since the toys are going to a hospital, there's just one restriction: All toys must be new, unused, and unopened.

If you have a donation in hand and would like to arrange delivery, please email me at for delivery info. Otherwise, if you order via the Amazon Wishlist, the item will be sent directly to Angela for distribution at the hospital in September.

I can't imagine anything harder than losing a child, and Angela and her family's braveness in this time of terrible sorrow, their dedication to staying involved with the hospital that cared for their son, and their eagerness to improve the lives of other kids facing similar battles is one of the most noble and heartwarming (but also, I'm totally crying) acts I can imagine.


Her wish in organizing this annual drive is to Help us create more smiles and spread more awareness so no other parent has to wonder 'What if?'

She also urges everyone to share this drive with friends, family, and neighbors. Help us keep Lukas’s memory alive and spread joy to small children fighting big battles! Click here to share the fundraiser on Facebook.

Click here to shop for gifts to donate.




Two new family friendly pizza places have opened recently. Both serve thin crust pizzas that kids will love. First up, Colony Grill.


Colony Grill in Port Chester

We LOVE Colony. My family has been ordering from Colony Grill in their original Stamford location since I could say the word pizza—and it's been a major craving ever since. They've opened a few locations north of Stamford, but they've never ventured into the 914.

Until now! We had the pleasure to visit on grand opening night with our two toddlers in tow. We weren't the only family with the same idea, but luckily Colony Grill has tons of high chairs for the little ones and booths to keep the bigger-but-wriggly ones contained. Their menu is simple: Pizza with specialty toppings. Their thin crust pie is thin but not puny. One personal pizza will fill you up, or leave some on your plate and have a slice or two for later. 

There's even outdoor seating right on the water for some boat-watching, which would sound great if we could ever get a day below 95 degrees.


Our pizza was delicious, the kids loved it too! It tasted just like the original. I'm already planning my next trip.



The Rex Pizza & Lobster in Hartsdale

This thin crust pie and lobster roll pizza restaurant opened a few weeks ago. A sister restaurant to The Rex Burger & Lobster in Mineola, this menu is a bit more cosmopolitan than Colony Grill's menu of Pizza One Way With Toppings. The pies at Rex come in two categories: white and red. Start with your base, then choose from six combinations...or go rogue and make your own. If you're not in the mood for pizza, there's tons more on the menu including lobster rolls, sandwiches, salads, and more. The pies are smaller and thinner than the ones at Colony, perfect to order a few and share.


The restaurant is located in Hartsdale on Central Avenue in a shopping center near Trader Joe's, CVS, and Bareburger, which means easy parking, and possibly even getting an errand done after your meal. The modern interior is open and kid-friendly. We stopped by their grand opening party and tried the lobster roll (yum!), plain pizza (yum yum!) and the meatball and ricotta pizza (yum yum yum!). 

Did I mention it has wine on tap? The only thing these two restaurants are missing is kids eat free nights! We're working on it (and if you go there ask about it too!)


That's it for this week! As always, check our website for events. And if you like what you're reading, help keep the computer screen on by following us on Facebook or Instagram and signing up for our weekly emails at

See you next time!