Monday, June 15, 2015

God’s Love We Deliver, The Black Alumni of Pratt, A Gala Salute for WNET, and Covenant House

Scott Bruckner, Blaine Trump, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Michael Kors, Karen Pearl, and Michael Sennott
Latt Tuesday, June 9th, God’s Love We Deliver dedicated their newly renovated and expanded SoHo home at 166 Avenue of the Americas, now known as The Michael Kors Building at God’s Love We Deliver. The building also includes the Anna Wintour Volunteer Center and the Joan Rivers Bakery, both of which were dedicated as part of today’s ceremonies.

Michael Kors has given his time, financial support and huge heart to God’s Love and to those suffering from hunger worldwide for more than 20 years. Annually Michael volunteers in the God’s Love kitchen and delivers to clients, as does his entire team every July during “Michael Kors Volunteer Month.” In 2012, God’s Love honored Michael with its Golden Heart Award for Lifetime Achievement, and later that year Michael joined the God’s Love Board of Directors. Michael Kors and everyone at the Michael Kors Company have helped raise nearly $15 million for God’s Love We Deliver.
The Michael Kors Building at God's Love We Deliver
Michael Kors, Anna Wintour and Melissa Rivers joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and other notable New Yorkers as well as God’s Love staff, donors, and volunteers to celebrate the launch of the new facility in a special ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. The ARC gospel choir joined the day’s festivities, singing “I'm Working On A Building,” “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher,” and “Oh Happy Day.”

The nonprofit has been cooking and delivering nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people living with severe illnesses in the metropolitan area for over 30 years and currently serves more than 1.4 million meals to some 5,200 people each year. The new Michael Kors Building allows the organization to meet the growing demand for its services, up 94% over the last eight years.
Lance LePere, Blaine Trump, Michael Kors, Anna Wintour, and Karen Pearl, President and CEO of God's Love We Deliver
The God’s Love expansion project, which was made possible, in part, by an $8 million city grant and private gifts, including more than $5 million from Michael Kors, more than doubles the organization’s space – from 18,000 square feet to over 48,500 square feet.

“God’s Love We Deliver has been helping and healing our community for more than 30 years, bringing home-cooked meals to people who are ill and, in the process, turning strangers into neighbors,” said Michael Kors. “They are a precious resource for so many people, and it’s a privilege to be able to help them grow and expand their vital mission.”

At the heart of the six-story building designed by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects, DPC, is the new 9,600-square-foot kitchen, where the over 1.4 million meals delivered annually will be prepared. The space has four industrial-size refrigerators, three freezers, including five blast freezers, five 80-gallon soup kettles and a waste digester that converts up to 1,000 lbs. of organic food waste into waste water in less than a day, significantly reducing trash volume.
Nancy Mahon, John Demsey, Karen Pearl, Michael Kors, Melissa and Cooper Rivers, Blaine Trump, and Chuck Piekarski
Volunteers of God's Love We Deliver with Karen Pearl
The facility also includes a new bakery, named The Joan Rivers Bakery in honor of the late comedian, talk-show host and author who supported God’s Love for over 25 years and sat on the Board of Directors for 20 years. Her daughter Melissa, who, continuing her mother's legacy and commitment, joined the God’s Love Board last year, was on hand to open the space at the special dedication ceremony.

The bakery, which includes five industrial-size ovens and two massive mixers, will be the main workspace for Chuck “The Baker” Piekarski, who will continue the 20-year tradition of baking all of the desserts for every God’s Love client, child and senior caregiver, as well as personalizing their birthday cakes, in the new space.

“I am so moved that God's Love We Deliver is honoring my mother's legacy by naming their new bakery after her,” said Melissa Rivers. “For as long as I can remember, this amazing charity has been one she loved deeply and worked tirelessly to support. Nothing brought her a deeper level of satisfaction than being a part of it since the beginning and helping it grow.”
Karen Pearl, Jackie Menda, David Ludwigson, Mary Fontimillas, and Lance Le Pere
The building is also home to The Anna Wintour Volunteer Center, honoring Anna Wintour’s more than 20 years of service and support to God’s Love and made possible through a gift by Michael Kors, Lance Le Pere, John Idol and the Michael Kors company. 

"I am honored by Michael, Lance and John’s gift, and proud to be part of such a remarkable organization,” said Anna Wintour, Artistic Director of Condé Nast and Editor in Chief of Vogue.

In addition to these spaces, the new facility also includes an expanded delivery and pack-out area, an enclosed loading dock and rooftop garden where herbs will be grown for the food that the non-profit organization plans to serve.
Tamara Tunie
David Turveen and Karen Pearl
Alex Ochoa and Steven Marion
Edie Lutnick and friend

Anna Wintour and Michael Kors
Candy Yun and Denise Pagan
Emmett Findley, Candy Bonder, and Amanda Freitag
Cooper and Melissa Rivers
Patrick Schultz and Stephen Covello
Imperial Court of New York Gefil Tefish and Emmett Findley
John Demsey, Blaine Trump, and Chuck Piekarski
LaMont Craig and David Ludwigson
Lisa Zullig and Kathy O'Callaghan
Lori Griffiths, Anne Keating, David Ludwigson, and friend
Mike Moran and Karen Pearl
Christina Idol, Alexandra Idol, and Annalisa Idol
Rob Copeland, Minna Lipkin, Diane Fox, and Carol Alexander
Stephanie Suskin, George and Billie Ross, and Tom Suskin
Stephen Covello, Kate Kennedy, David Stark, Jens Audenaert, and Amol Shah
The Imperial Court of New York
Jenny and Eric Sheffer Stevens with David Ludwigson and LaMont Craig
Last month, The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) hosted its 25th Anniversary “Celebration of the Creative Spirit” Benefit Gala at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. There were 200 supporters in attendance, which included celebrated icons of business and the arts. This special occasion marked 25 years of BAP working to create and sustain scholarship programs for highly talented African-American and Latino students at Pratt Institute on the basis of their academic merit and financial need.

Hon. David N. Dinkins and Joyce Dinkins served as Honorary Patrons for this milestone event. Gala Chair Kathryn Chenault, was joined by Co-Chairs Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Weber Shandwick/Interpublic Group, and Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief, W. Deborah Roberts, ABC News Correspondent, and Al Roker, NBC News’ TODAY Host and Weather Forecaster, served as Mistress and Master of Ceremonies.
Pool Room at The Four Seasons Restaurant
The Creative Spirit Award recipients were Harris Diamond, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, McCann Worldgroup, Harold Koda, Curator-in-Charge, The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Pratt alumni Joseph Mizzi, President, Sciame Construction, LLC, and Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Tonight’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Creative Spirit Benefit Gala is especially meaningful as we reflect on the journey and what lies ahead,” said Gerri Brown, BAP Co-President. “What started as a small humble group of Pratt Black alums has evolved into a dynamic organization of alumni, friends, foundations and corporations, who have accomplished awarding over 1,000 stipends and ten full Pratt scholarships.” Since its inception, BAP has raised $3.1 million in endowed funds to further the BAP student scholarship effort, provided pre-college awards for high school students looking to pursue an arts education and helped fund other BAP initiatives.
Deborah Roberts and Al Roker
Harold Koda and Sarah Jessica Parker
Award presenters for the event were Vann Graves, former Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director, McCann, BAP Advisory Council Member and Pratt alumnus (Diamond), award-winning actress and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker (Koda), fashion designers Darlene and Lizzy Okpo (Mizzi), and Mike Pratt, President and Executive Director of the Scherman Foundation and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Pratt Institute, who presented Silver’s award to his wife Mary.

“The most essential characteristic for people in the creative arts who want to transform their practice is a questing mind: curiosity, obsession, problem-solving, even a dissatisfaction with the status quo, when aligned with an openness to possibilities leads to original thinking and invention,” expressed Harold Koda. “Creativity is helpful in every endeavor, but it is at the core of the arts.”
Lizzy Okpo, James Antwine, Joseph Mizzi, Darlene Okpo, and Alberto Silva
“We have been committed to building a truly diverse workforce because we know that diversity is not only the right thing to do but makes us measurably smarter and more innovative,” said Harris Diamond. “I am pleased that McCann has launched a new internship program with Pratt to bring talented African American students to our offices, where they will work alongside people who truly appreciate talent and creativity.”

During his acceptance remarks, Joseph Mizzi acknowledged the importance of BAP’s existence. “As a Pratt graduate and someone who is personally committed to improving lives through education, I applaud BAP for its transformative work over the past 25 years through its scholarship programs and initiatives, which have benefitted so many talented and deserving Pratt Students.”
Antonia Orol-Berlinger, Mike Pratt, Mary Silver, and Melissa de Jesus
Silver expressed similar sentiments through a video message. “I am humbled and honored to receive the Creative Spirit Award from BAP. Pratt Institute is special to me and this is a recognition I will cherish for as long as I live”

The Black Alumni of Pratt was founded in 1990 to identify and advance scholastic and professional opportunities for Pratt alumni and current students of African and Latino descent. BAP initiatives focus on providing scholarships, stipend awards and enhanced educational opportunities for talented, yet financially needy, students of African and Latino descent currently attending Pratt.

Proceeds from the 25th Anniversary “Celebration of the Creative Spirit” Benefit Gala will go to provide scholarships as well as support other BAP program initiatives. Corporate Sponsors of the 25th Anniversary Gala included: McCann Worldgroup, David Yurman, General Motors, Interpublic Group, Ogilvy & Mather, Sciame Construction, LLC, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Viacom/BET Networks, and Xerox Foundation.
Amy Fine Collins
Renauld White and Alva Chinn
Deeda Blair, Andrew Bolton, and Thom Browne
Tom and Tess Schutte
Harris and Amy Diamond
Marva Smalls and Dwight Johnson
Mickey Conlon, Gabriella Morris, Brad Christian, Alexander Smalls, and Tom Postilio
Richard Barrett, Lisa Frelinghuysen, David Yurman, and Adrianne Shapira
WNET, parent company of New York’s public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV raised 2.75 million dollars at its 21st Gala Salute, which took place on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

WNET honored visionary architect David Adjaye; Chairman of the MCJ Amelior Foundation Ray Chambers, who is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria; philanthropic corporation Johnson & Johnson; supporter of the arts and longtime WNET trustee Ann Tenenbaum; and award-winning actor and advocate Alfre Woodard. The evening was hosted by PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor and SciTech Now host Hari Sreenivasan and NYC-ARTS co-host and veteran television journalist Paula Zahn. Guests also enjoyed a performance by the indie rock band A Silent Film.
Gala honoree, supporter of the arts, and longtime WNET trustee Ann Tenenbaum
Noni Vaughn Pollard and Award-winning feature film and television video editor and a documentary producer-director, Sam Pollard
David Adjaye, Ray Chambers, Johnson & Johnson, Ann Tenenbaum and Alfre Woodard were recognized as a result of their dedication to social responsibility and civic engagement.

“It’s only through the generosity of, and collaboration with, community leaders, organizations and supporters of our mission that we’re able to continue to create innovative programming and offer those vital educational services that make such a difference in the lives of viewers in New York and beyond,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.
Gala co-host, NYC-ARTS co-host, and veteran television journalist Paula Zahn, and Gala co-host, PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor, and SciTech Now host Hari Sreenivasan with costumed characters Curious George and World Girl from our popular kids series
TV news journalist Soledad O'Brien
Rosalind P. Walter and WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro
WNET Board Vice-Chairman Cheryl Milstein and Philip Milstein with costumed characters Curious George and World Girl from our popular kids series
Gala honoree, actor and advocate Alfre Woodard with characters Curious George and World Girl from our popular kids series
WNET Board Chairman James S. Tisch, Merryl H. Tisch, ABC's Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang, and WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro
WNET Board Chairman James S. Tisch and Gala honoree and philanthropic corporation Johnson and Johnson's Group Worldwide Chairman Sandra E. Peterson who accepted the honor on behalf of the company
Gala guests were treated to a special performance by indie rock band A Silent Film
Covenant House's "A Night of Broadway Stars" gala honored country music star Martina McBride with The Beacon of Hope Award, in recognition of her work on behalf of the homeless and trafficked youth living at Covenant House on June 9th at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The event included a special performance by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as well as performances by homeless youth who reside at Covenant House, and raised over $1 million to help care for homeless youth.
Broadway stars Darius de Haas, Capathia Jenkins, Covenant House President Kevin Ryan, Martina McBride, and Audra McDonald
Martina McBride and her global volunteer group "Team Martina" visited the Covenant House shelter for homeless youth in Newark, NJ in 2014. Since then, Martina's dedication to Covenant House has extended to Latin America, where Team Martina rallied fans to raise funds for a music program for the young girls served by Covenant House in Guatemala.

"Martina, and her amazing Team Martina volunteers led by Sheila Jones, circle the world to bring hope into the lives of people who need it most," said Covenant House President Kevin Ryan. "They use the power of music to change lives. So many of Martina's songs are a soundtrack to the lives of homeless kids ... songs about hope and love and being strong. We are grateful beyond words for her support."
Philip Andryc, Martina McBride, and Louis Rauchenberger
Broadway star Rita Harvey and composer Neil Berg
Martina joins previous Beacon of Hope Award winners including Jon Bon Jovi, George and Olivia Harrison, and First Lady Laura Bush for the prestigious recognition. "I believe in living in the moment, and so I want to share with you how inspired I was meeting the young people from Covenant House backstage just a few minutes ago," said Martina to an audience of 1,000 people. "It is their stories, and the potential of their futures that inspires me. I am so grateful that Sheila Jones from our Team Martina introduced me to this amazing mission. And it is on behalf of all the young people helped by Covenant House that I accept this award tonight."

Two members of the Covenant House Board of Directors were also honored for their service. Philip Andryc, Director of Research at Berens Capital Management, joined the board of Covenant House International in May 2011 and has been a member of the Covenant House New York board since 2004. Louis Rauchenberger, Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., joined the board of Covenant House New York in December 2013.
Honoree Louis Rauchenberger
Honoree Philip Andryc
In addition to a memorable performance of "Go Back Home" by Audra McDonald, attendees were treated to songs by some of Broadway's greatest performers, including Richard Todd Adams, Capathia Jenkins, Darius de Haas, Rita Harvey, Tony Vincent and former Covenant House resident and American Idol sensation Hollywood Anderson. The show was hosted by renowned composer/lyricist Neil Berg, whose credits include The Prince and the Pauper, Grumpy Old Men, and The Twelve.

Funds from the gala will help Covenant House fulfill its mission to help homeless kids who come to its shelters in crisis. Immediately and without question, they meet their basic human needs, including a nourishing meal, a shower, clean clothes, medical attention, and a safe place away from the dangers of the street.
Audra McDonald
"Hollywood" Anderson, former Covenant House resident performs
Broadway Star Capathia Jenkins performs
Covenant House New York Executive Director Creighton Drury
Covenant House President Kevin Ryan
Covenant House residents perform

Photographys by Julie Skarratt (Pratt); Rommel Demano (GLWD); Gary He & Dominick Totino  Covenant)