Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beating the odds

Marian Wright Edelman, Leslie Cornfeld, and Beat the Odds Rising Stars at the Children’s Defense Fund's annual benefit.
The Children’s Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) hosted its annual benefit on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at the Pierre Hotel, celebrating 40 years of ensuring a level playing field for children and celebrating students who have overcome tremendous adversity, demonstrated academic excellence, given back to their communities and are attending college.

CDF-NY saluted three outstanding champions of children: Leslie Cornfeld, former advisor for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and federal civil rights prosecutor, George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU, and Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer of NYS Common Retirement Fund. Deborah Cogut, Co-founder and Chair, The Polyphony Foundation and CDF Board Member, and David Pollak, Director of Marketing and Investor Relations, Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P., served as the gala’s Co-Chairs.

This year’s event brought together over 350 guests to recognize eight deserving high school seniors who “beat the odds.” Notable attendees included Marian Wright Edelman, Richard Parsons, Geoffrey Canada, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, Malaak Compton-Rock, chef John DeLucie, Paulina Porizkova, chef Alexander Smalls, and Ali Wentworth. WCBS-TV news anchor Maurice DuBois served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Leslie Cornfeld, honoree, with Beat the Odds recipients Moke Hein, Luigji Camaj, Benny Rodriguez, Felicia Campbell, Demeara Torres, Michael Mazzeo, Joselyn Guaman, and Craig Phillip
This year’s Beat the Odds® recipients are Luigji Camaj, Felicia Campbell, Joselyn Guzman, Moke Hein, Michael Mazzeo, Craig Phillip, Benny Rodriguez, and Demeara Torres. Five of the recipients received a $10,000 college scholarship and three “rising stars” received a $1,000 scholarship, in addition to training in leadership development and academic support.

“We are thrilled to be honoring eight extraordinary students who have succeeded academically against all odds and given back to their communities. And we also honor Leslie, George and Vicki, three outstanding child advocates dedicated to leveling the playing field for all children. If we could bottle the strength, persistence and resilience of our Beat the Odds honorees, we could inspire and empower all of our children to reach their God-given potential. Nobody has the right to give up on any child or youth, and they are why we exist. They are the true role models for our children and all of us,” said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund.
NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray addresses the crowd
George Gresham, honoree
Vicki Fuller, honoree
Leslie Cornfeld, honoree
Marian Wright Edelman
Ali Wentworth runs text to pledge
Honoree Leslie Cornfeld, and CDF Board Member, said, “I am privileged to be honored along side such extraordinary students who have ‘Beaten the Odds’ – they are the true superstars tonight, and for our future. Their stories are critical because it shines a light on the potential of all children, and shows what those living in the most challenged circumstances are capable of achieving for our city and nation. I thank CDF for their transformative work on behalf of all children for the past 40 years.”

CDF-NY also paid tribute to the late Bill Lynch Jr. for his support of CDF, serving as a board member for 18 years, and to his tireless commitment to social justice.
Honorees George Gresham, Leslie Cornfeld, and Vicki Fuller with Geoffrey Canada
Started in 1990, the Beat the Odds program identifies and rewards young people who have experienced significant hardship in their lives and supports and trains them to become future leaders in adulthood. CDF holds six high-profile celebrations annually in Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Washington, D.C. to send a clear signal that someone does care and understands what it takes to stay in school and do well while coping with adversity. More than 800 young people who have persevered despite family breakdown, homelessness, parental incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, neglect and abuse, have been able to go on to college and become outstanding citizens. They are doctors and lawyers and teachers and Peace Corps volunteers and responsible parents. They are living proof that no one should ever give up on a child. 

The Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) is the New York office of the Children's Defense Fund, a national, non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.  CDF-NY champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care and quality education.
Gabriella Morris, Marian Wright Edelman, and Melanie Hartzog, CDF-NY Ex. Dir.
Gala Co-Chair Deborah Cogut and Craig Cogut
Maurice DuBois, emcee
Paulina Porizkova and Ali Wentworth
CDF-NY Exec. Director Melanie Hartzog, Marian Wright Edelman, Blondel Pinnock, and Deborah Cogut, gala Co-Chair
Richard Parsons and Mellody Hobson
Chef John DeLucie
April Russell is passionate about supporting animal charities, whether giving annually to The Battersea Dog's Home in London or in New York supporting Bidawee; both charities are close to her heart. When she is not jetting between the two cities running her bespoke interior design business April Russell, The Art of Interiors, she's at home with her two dogs Tallulah and Dalores.

And so, April had a full turn out when she hosted an evening reception in aid of the animal charity Bidawee at the newly decorated apartment of Norman and Robin Nelson which April had recently completed for her sister and brother in law. The reception was organized by Kate Edmonds Events.
Didi Woodhull, Tim Woodhull, Peter Rathbone, and April Russell
Nancy Taylor, President of Bideawee, spoke about the history of Bidawee, a haven for animals in need and a resource for people who love pets for over a hundred years. As a nonprofit, charitable organization Bideawee depends solely on the generosity of donors to operate all of its life changing programs and services. Through support of donors, Bideawee is able to fulfill it's mission to cultivate and support the life-long relationship between pets and the people who love them. 

Also supporting the evening were Alanna Rathbone, Ashe Reardon, Antoine Souma, Alexes Reardon , Beth Laffey, Emery Westfall and Carole Bellidora Westfall, Christine Biddle, Didi Woodhull, Eve Guernsey, Fritzi Kallopp, Karin Gunnarsson, Kate Edmonds Donner, Nan Collins, Louis Pemberton, Nancy Taylor, James Harris, Norman Nelson and Robin Reardon Nelson, Will Reardon, Larry Kaiser, Leslie Granger, Mathew Yee, Meriel Lari, Pam Laudenslager, Pam Michaelcheck, Peter Rathbone, Susan Nagel, Peter van Doren, Peter  Rathbone, Randall Gianopulos, Susan Pemberton and Tim Woodhall.
Alanna Rathbone, Norman Nelson, and Susan Pemberton
Alanna Rathbone and Louis Pemberton
Kate Edmonds Donner and Larry Kaiser
Eve Guernsey and Didi Woodhull
Antoine Souma, Christine Biddle, and Larry Kaiser
Karin Gunnarsson, April Russell, and Peter Rathbone
Norman Nelson, Robin Reardon Nelson, and Kate Edmonds Donner
Susan Nagel, Carole Bellidora, and Meriel Lari
Randall Gianopulos and Robin Reardon Nelson
Matthew Yee, Pam Laudenslager, and Leslie Granger
Michael Yee and Beth Laffey
Nan Collins and Peter van Doren
Emery Westfall and April Russell
Tim Woodhall and Fritzi Kallopp
Alexes Reardon and Robin Reardon Nelson
Louis Pemberton and Susan Pemberton
Nancy Taylor and Leslie Granger
Will Reardon, Pam Michaelcheck, April Russell, and James Harris
William Reardon, Ash Reardon, and James Harris
UJA-Federation of New York's Real Estate & Allied Trades Division honored Lee Deutsch, principal of National Granite Title Insurance Agency, Inc., with the Larry A. Silverstein REX Award at its annual Real Estate Executives (REX) Gala on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at Grand Hyatt New York.
Lloyd Goldman, president and founder of BLDG Management Co., Inc., presented Deutsch with the award, which was created to honor Silverstein's legendary professional and philanthropic achievements, and to recognize an exceptional young real estate professional who emulates Silverstein's commitment to the real estate community and to improving the lives of others.
Michael Schonbraun, Jeffrey Moroch, Micah Goodman, Lee Deutsch, Richard Mack, Lloyd Goldman, and William Friedland
Nearly 450 guests attended the event to support Deutsch, including REX Gala Chairs Micah Goodman of Ladder Capital Finance LLC and Jeffrey Moroch of The Singer & Bassuk Organization LLC; REX Division Chairs William Friedland of Friedland Properties and Michael Schonbraun of Square Mile Capital Management LLC; and Real Estate & Allied Trades Division Chair Richard J. Mack of Mack Real Estate Group.
Jack Shulman, Jonathan Banayan, Matthew Kasindorf, Joseph Koicim, Benjamin Haghani, and Gregory Kalikow
REX attracts young leaders from real estate, construction, and allied trades industries, including developers, owners, financiers, attorneys, and investment strategists, who come together to help people in need, build strong relationships with colleagues in the field, and explore issues that delve beyond the New York real estate community.
During the current UJA-Federation fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, the REX Division has raised more than $600,000 to date for UJA-Federation's annual campaign to sustain its network of nearly 100 nonprofit agencies that touch the lives of 4.5 million people annually.
Joseph Deutsch, Lynn Deutsch, Phil Wolikow, Lee Deutsch, Karen Deutsch, Andy Deutsch, Dina Deutsch, Skylar Deutsch, and Olivia Deutsch
Justin Green, Margaux Jaffa, and Jonathan Falik
Dina Silberstein and Cindy Feinberg
Gideon Etra and Michael Vickers
Lynn Zises and Bram Weber
Timothy Oberweger and Belinda Schwartz
Vladimir Shneyder, Shimon Shkury, and Brian Cohen
Jeff Fells, Alex Kaskel, Adam Maxson, and Lee Passavia
Steven Marvin and David Robinov
Jonathan More and Gregory Kalikow
Josh Simon and Adam Verner
Scott Singer and Jeffrey Moroch
Brian Lichter and Daniel Kasell
Jonathon Yormak, Jonathan Mechanic, and Brian Lichter
Matthew Kasindorf, Shane Neuringer, and Amanda Kasindorf
Jeff Pikus and Edmond Levy
Daniel Braff, Adam Sanders, and Robert Ross
Amanda Saltzman and Lindsey Heines
Daniel Mermel and Jonas Katzoff
Noah Bilenker and Brian Ray
Jordan Tolman, Erik Swenson, Elise Leve, Jesse Feldman, and Dennis Satriani
Evan Fiddle, Kimberly Ross, Cassandra Siegel, and Alex Kaskel
Melody Malekan and Marc Schulder
Lee Deutsch, Laura Greenfield, and Alfonso Kimche
Blair Parsont and Mark Kaplan
Gabriel Wasserman, Jason Merker, Bess Castagnello, Adam Pogoda, and David Peretz
Earlier this month, The Jewish Museum held its much-anticipated annual gala, Purim Ball 2014, at the Park Avenue Armory.

The evening of celebration and dancing honored Anshu Jain, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank. Jessica Williams, actress, writer and correspondent on the award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, headlined the gala's program as Purimspieler.

The event set an exciting new record, raising over $2.5 million and attracting over 1,300 guests including those who attended the After-Party.
Jessica Williams, Robert Pruzan, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Anshu Jain, Geetika Jain, Claudia Gould, Maria Brand, and Jacques Brand
Purim Ball Vice-Chairs: Jeff Aronson, Shari Aronson, and Nancy Offit; and Morris Offit, Purim Ball Vice-Chair and Chairman Emeritus, The Jewish Museum
Meg Whitman, Chief Executive Officer and President at Hewlett-Packard Company; and Robert Pruzan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Jewish Museum Mark Wilf, and Jane Wilf, Trustee, The Jewish Museum
Jacques Brand, CEO – North America, Deutsche Bank, and Purim Ball Co-Chair; Jessica Williams, and Maria Brand
Mimi Sternlicht, Purim Ball Vice-Chair, Anshu Jain, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank and Purim Ball honoree, and Barry Sternlicht, Purim Ball Vice-Chair
Partygoers at Purim Ball 2014 Michael Slocum, Trustee, The Jewish Museum, and Chaya Schwartz.
Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller, and Elyse Buxbaum
Anshu Jain, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank and Purim Ball honoree, Geetika Jain, and Steven Roth, Purim Ball Vice-Chair
After Party Co-Chairs Stephanie Roach, Jared Effron, Melanie Baevsky, and Hillary Reinsberg
threeASFOUR: Angela Donhauser, Gabi Asfour, and Adi Gil
Rose Lee Goldberg, Dakota Jackson and Andrew & Andrew
Purim Ball 2014 After Party attendees
Photographs by Julie Skarratt (CDF); Annie Watt (Bidawee); Alan Klein & Liz Ligon (Purim Ball).