|On October 24, 2013, the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund celebrated its 28th Annual Gala at The Waldorf Astoria. The gala raised over $2.4 million with 800 guests in attendance. Honorees for the evening included Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who received a Special Civic Leadership Award and NYSE Euronext and its Fallen Heroes Fund.
Line-Up of Stars in attendance included: Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, Superintendent of PAPD Michael Fedorko, Benefit Fund Founder Rusty Staub, Benefit Fund Board Member Mark Messier, Honorary Chairs Al Roker, Deborah Roberts and Gloria Reuben, and Stephen J. Dannhauser, Chairman, New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
|There were live performances by actress and singer Gloria Reuben and Amanda Lupo, granddaughter of a fallen NYPD Police Officer, who sang the National Anthem while the Colorguard and Bagpipers of the NYPD, FDNY and PAPD entered the gala with a moving procession.
Highlighting the evening was a special reading of a letter to her father by Brielle Bellew, daughter of FDNY Firefighter John Bellew, who died in the line of duty in 2005.
|Once-in-a-lifetime New York City auction items included: Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, Salvatore Cassano, provided guests with a ride with FDNY Marine Operations on the “Three Forty Three” Fireboat, named in memory of the 343 members of the FDNY that perished on 9/11 (it is the country’s largest fireboat). The members of Marine 1 give a scenic tour of the New York Harbor followed by lunch at the Marine 1 headquarters. This experience raised $40,000. (2 winners).
Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Raymond Kelly, provided a tour with New York’s Finest including an inside look at the Crime Scene Unit, Firearms & Tactics Division, Bomb Squad and Firearms Analysis Unit. This firsthand experience included training like an NYPD Cadet with New York’s Finest. This experience raised $21,500.
Superintendent of the PAPD, Michael Fedorko, provided an insider’s look at history from inside WTC1. Guests experience the courage required for rebuilding downtown and share this massive project previously viewed by Heads of State, along with a tour of the National September 11th Museum and Memorial and lunch with the PAPD Superintendent. This experience raised $14,000.
The Empire State Building lit up the skyline in red, white and blue honoring the Benefit Fund heroes when Donnie Wahlberg, star of Blue Bloods on CBS, flipped the switch on October 22.
|The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fundprovides assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Port Authority Police and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. Since its inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the charity has distributed over $126 million to hundreds of families.
The Benefit Fund provides immediate and ongoing financial assistance in the form of annual distributions to grieving families after they lose their loved one. In addition, the Benefit Fund provides an ongoing network of support and gatherings for these families to cope and connect after such tragedy. The Benefit Fund currently serves over 600 families, and the goal is to raise enough funds to provide meaningful annual distributions to beneficiaries for the remainder of their lives. Please visit www.answerthecall.org.
|The Altman Foundation paid tribute to 100 years of service to the people of New York City — reflecting the mission established by its founder, "retail prince" and revolutionary philanthropist Benjamin Altman — at a Centennial Celebration on Thursday, October 24 at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwartzman Building, in Manhattan.
Benjamin Altman, the visionary who founded B. Altman & Co. department stores, established the Foundation upon his death, directing in his will that his fortune be used to "the benefit of charitable institutions in the City of New York." Since then, the Foundation has quietly granted a quarter-billion dollars to help hundreds of underserved communities around the five boroughs. The Foundation today makes annual grants of 11 to 12 million dollars to organizations supporting education, health, strengthening communities, and arts and culture.
|The evening featured a discussion among Reynold Levy, President of Lincoln Center; Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; and Veronica M. White, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, on the topic of philanthropy and New York City — past, present and future. The discussion was moderated by Altman Foundation President, Jane B. O'Connell. Presentations to the Altman Foundation were made by Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg, and Dr. Anthony Marx, President and CEO of The New York Public Library.
"Benjamin Altman's was an astonishing life," said Mr. Levy. "He was a successful and benevolent businessman and an energetic philanthropist. More than a century before Bill Gates and Warren Buffet even conceived of The Giving Pledge, Altman amassed a fortune – one billion in constant dollars – and gave it all away. His legacy is remarkable."
|A celebratory reception followed with more than 450 guests representing Altman Foundation grantees, funding colleagues and friends from throughout the years.
"When Benjamin Altman started this foundation, his goal was to serve the people of New York City," said Ms. O'Connell. "It is a wonderful day to be celebrating Benjamin Altman's legacy to New York. Today we honor this man, the City he cared for so deeply, and the extraordinary nonprofit organizations that have been Altman grantees over the past 100 years. His legacy continues every day in the Altman Foundation's work in education, health, arts and culture, and strengthening communities."
|The evening's program featured musical performances from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy and students and alumni from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Middle School Jazz Academy. The Centennial Celebration was produced Ny Whitaker of Events by Ny.
The mission of the Altman Foundation reflects much of the personality and vision of its founder, Benjamin Altman. Altman was a unique and generous individual whose dry goods store, B. Altman & Co., founded in 1865 on Third Avenue and 10th Street, became a major department store. Altman moved his store from 10th Street to 19th Street and Sixth Avenue and finally, in 1906, to the landmark building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. Altman's reflected the commitment of its founder to service to its customers and generosity to its employees. Until its closing in 1989, Altman's was beloved by generations of New Yorkers.
|Last Tuesday, the Center for Reproductive Rights held its second annual gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center where two extraordinary leaders who work to defend the lives and rights of women worldwide were honored: Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; and The Honorable Richard Blumenthal, United States Senator for Connecticut. The awards were presented by Linda Greenhouse, Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School. Alfre Woodard served as the evening’s host.
Founded in 1992, the Center for Reproductive Rights is the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and defending reproductive rights. With expertise in both U.S. constitutional and international human rights law, the Center fights to ensure strong legal protections for the full range of reproductive rights, and affordable and unhindered access to the full range of reproductive health care.
|Guests included Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights; Members of the organization’s Board of Directors; Event Host Committee members, and Event Co-Chairs such as Pamela Buffett, Nonnie S. and Richard Burnes, Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard Dickens, Barbara N. Grossman, Margaret Munzer Loeb, Daniel Loeb, Roberta Schneiderman and Hope and Grant Winthrop; Honorees Helen Clark and The Honorable Richard Blumenthal; special guest host Emmy® Award-winning Actress Alfre Woodard; Joan Jett, Christine Quinn, Katie Lee, Nanette, Lepore, Tate Donovan, and Nina Arianda.|
|The New York Women’s Foundation (“NYWF”) held a luncheon hosted by Board Member Jean Shafiroff, at Le Cirque Restaurant on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, in support of the 26th Annual New York’s Women Foundation Celebration to be held on November 14th, 2013 at the Starlight Roof at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Special guests Anne E. Delaney, Board Chair, and Diana L. Taylor, Board Member of The NYWF were featured speakers as well as Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. Guests in attendance included Co-Chair Grainne McNamara (The New York Women’s Foundation 26th Anniversary Celebration), Carolina Herrera (fashion designer), and Valerie Steele (Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at FIT); The New York Women’s Foundation 27th Celebrating Women Breakfast (2014) Co-Chairs Jennifer Giacobbe, Kwanza Butler, Taina Bien-Aime, and Karen Reynolds Sharkey; proud supporter of The NYWF Joyce Cowin; Jen Groover (empowerment expert & author), Rebecca Woodland (defense attorney and FOX News contributor), Debra Halpert (Publisher, Hamptons Magazine); Chele Chiavacci (Managing Director, Mistral Capital International) and Bonnie Comley (Vice President, Stellar Productions International); socialites Ann Rapp and Lucia Hwong Gordon.
|MC & Moderator Melissa Lee, CNBC Host of “Fast Money” & “Options Action,” introduced Ana Oliveira on stage to welcome guests and honor this special event.
Ms. Lee then begun the conversation with featured guests, Anne E. Delaney, Board Chair and Diana L. Taylor, Board Member of NYWF, who shared their experience working for the Foundation and offered invaluable advice.
Following the conversation, Ms. Lee introduced Jean Shafiroff, board member and host of the luncheon. Ms. Shafiroff expressed thanks to special guest Carolina Herrera, who will be honored at The New York Women’s Foundation 26th Anniversary Celebration this November, for joining the luncheon and supporting the NYWF. Ms. Herrera’s fellow honorees this year are Morgan Stanley, with the award being accepted by Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Financial Officer, and the Ford Foundation, with the award being accepted by Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation’s President. The 26th Anniversary Celebration will be held at Starlight Roof at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 14, 2013.
|The New York Women’s Foundation® is a cross-cultural alliance of women, serving as a voice for women and a force for change. The Foundation identifies innovative organizations that are effecting change in the communities they serve for women. NYWF strategically funds organizations and programs that move women, girls and families toward long-term economic security through individual transformation and systemic change, mobilizing leaders and community partners as philanthropists and change agents. NYWF funds programs that promote economic security and justice, anti-violence and safety; and health, sexual rights and reproductive justice for women and girls in New York City.|
Photographs by Patrick McMullan (NYWF); Sofia Negron (Altman).