Smile is federally tax exempt non-profit organization
which donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and
children's reading books to police and fire departments for police
officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children involved in
traumatic situations. Project Smile has recently launched the Operation
Elder Care program which provides stuffed animals to elderly people who
are making the difficult and frequently traumatic transition to life in
a nursing home. Established in November 2003, Project Smile
was founded by Catherine Pisacane.
"Project Smile was born after I read a newspaper article
about three brothers in New Jersey who were starved by their
adoptive parents. When the police arrived to remove the brothers
from the house, an officer gave one of the children a small
stuffed tiger that he had with him. The child clung to it during
his entire time at the police station and refused to let it
go. After reading about that, I wanted to start a program which
would allow as many police officers as possible to have something
to give to a hurting child. A stuffed animal may be small,
but its significance is huge." - Catherine Pisacane
Catherine Pisacane has
a B.A. degree in English from Hunter College, (New York), where she
graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa
and was president of the Hunter College Chapter of the Golden Key
International Honor Society. She also has a M.A. from Anna Maria
College, (Massachusetts) in criminal justice.
Pisacane has been recognized by a number of organizations for her work
with Project Smile. In 2005, she received the Worcester Business
Journal's, "Top 40 Under 40" award. This award highlights "rising
stars" in the greater Worcester community. That year she also received
Strata Bank's "Out of the Blue" award which recognizes outstanding
community service. In 2006, Catherine was featured on the Donna Mac
radio show, Vital Women (aired on 96.1 FM, Worcester and 93.3 FM,
Providence). Catherine also received Anna Maria College's "Everyday
Heroes" award during a gala celebration at Mechanics Hall, Worcester.
The Boston Celtics
honored Catherine Pisacane as a Hero Among Us during their November
10, 2006 home game. Ms. Pisacane was honored for her initiative to
make a difference and for her dedication to helping youth in their
time of need. Established in 1997, the Heroes Among Us program honors
those individuals who have made an overwhelming impact in the lives of
others and lasting contributions to our community. At each home game,
the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these
citizens during a special in-game presentation on the teamís legendary
Catherine was a 2007 recipient of the Massachusetts
Commission on the Status of Women Unsung Heroine award. This award is
given to one woman from each Massachusetts town in recognition of
their special work in the community.
In 2013, Pandora at Legacy Place selected Catherine as an "Inspirational Woman". Catherine represented the launch of the new Essence Collection from Pandora.
Catherine is also an active member of the community. She was a member of the Hopedale Planning Board from 2002-2010 and was the first female member. She has also served as chairperson of the Hopedale Personnel Committee and member of the Open Space Committee. Catherine has also done volunteer work for the business program Junior Achievement and volunteered with the CASA program as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children.
Catherine is the President of the Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club, a social organization for shoe and fashion lovers with 2,700 members in the greater Boston area. The organization meets monthly for cocktail parties, fashion shows and shopping events. Smiling Stiletto helps raise funds and awareness for Project Smile. Visit www.smilingstiletto.com for more info.