Meteorologist Joe Rao is Featured at Gala Event Benefiting Cerebral Palsy of Westchester

Joe Rao with Christine Soifer from Countywide Transportation. Photos by Warren Rosenberg, Warren Rosenberg Photography

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester (CPW) held its Second Annual Moonlight Soiree at Crawford Park Mansion in Rye Brook on October 7, 2022. Guests took advantage of the gorgeous evening, mingling throughout the mansion and spilling out onto the patio to enjoy live music and gaze at the moon, and planets Jupiter and Saturn, through guest meteorologist Joe Rao’s enormous telescope. Wine and spirit tastings were provided by lead beverage sponsor Aries Wine & Spirits (owners and long-time CPW supporters Tony Russo and Andrea Kish), with little plates and desserts provided by local businesses, and live music by the band Trifecta. With lead sponsorship from Countywide Transportation and more than 15 local businesses, along with auctions and raffles, the event raised a significant amount of support for CPW’s programs that serve thousands of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


Joe Rao is an eight-time Emmy-nominated broadcast meteorologist and author on astronomy and space subjects for a widely diverse range of publications. Rao was Chief Meteorologist and Science Editor for News 12 Westchester/Hudson Valley from 1995 through 2016. Since 1986 he serves as an Associate Astronomer for the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History. Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, notes: “At the Hayden Planetarium, we use Joe constantly to supplement the astronomical information that we share with the public; he is intelligent, professional reliable, and, quite simply, the most knowledgeable person on sky phenomena I have ever met.” He is also a contributing editor for Sky & Telescope magazine, writes a weekly column for, a monthly astronomy column for Natural History magazine, and provides astronomical data annually for the Farmers’ Almanac.


Now in its 73rd year, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with all developmental disabilities including autism, neurological impairments, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. Through a comprehensive network of educational programs, day services, residential sites, therapeutic services, employment training, recreation programs and advocacy, the agency helps thousands of children and adults in Westchester and Fairfield Counties live more productive and satisfying lives. The organization’s motto is: Realizing Tomorrow’s Potential . . . Today!