A Fresh Start

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Lisa Gitelson, CEO of The Fresh Air Fund (front left), and Andrea Navedo (center), with alumni of The Fresh Air Fund at The Fresh Air Fund's Annual Spring Benefit, An Evening Under the Stars.

On May 18, 2023, The Fresh Air Fund invited guests to celebrate Fresh Air children and the Fifth Anniversary of Camp Junior at An Evening Under the Stars at The Fund’s Annual Spring Benefit honoring Warner Music Group. Paul Robinson, General Counsel, Warner Music Group, and Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer/Executive Vice President Business Development, accepted The Fund’s Corporate Award on behalf of the firm. For more than 30 years, Warner Music Group has been incredibly generous with their financial support of The Fund and as dedicated corporate volunteer partners.

Actor, producer, newly-published author Andrea Navedo, former Fresh Air camper, hosted the Benefit held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan. Speakers included William Lauder, The Fund’s Chairman of the Board, and Fresh Air alumni. Volunteer and supporter Val Blavatnik discussed programs at The Blavatnik Family and Warner Music Group Music Center at camp. The event raised $1.7 million.

LizabethAnn R. Eisen, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Howard B. Johnson, President of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund; Greg Rosica, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; and William P. Lauder, Chairman of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund.

More than 500 Fresh Air friends and supporters gathered for cocktails, dinner, dancing, a high-spirited auction and dessert with a special camp treat of a s’mores bar! This summer, children will enjoy free outdoor summer programs at The Fund’s six sleepaway camps and visits to volunteer host families.

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit youth development organization, has provided free life-changing summer experiences in the outdoors to more than 1.8 million children from New York City’s underserved communities. Young people also participate in year-round leadership, career exploration and educational programs. For more information, visit www.FreshAir.org.

Matthew E. Rubel, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; David S. Perpich, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Nilam Perpich; and Howard B. Johnson.
Reese Antoinette, Mats G. Carlston, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund, and Lydia Carlston.
L. to r.: Andrea Navedo and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz; Benji Nwachukwu, Council Member of The Fresh Air Fund, with Isabelle B. Krusen, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund.
Ahmed Deria, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Richard D. Thomas, Board Member and President of the Council of The Fresh Air Fund; Trey Hanlan; and Amanda Starbuck Hanlan.
Howard B. Johnson, Alpha Conteh, CFO of The Fresh Air Fund, and Donald L. Hawks III, Treasurer of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund.
L. to r.: Julius and Kendra Randle; Alyson Cambridge and Jolynn Klinge.
Erica Veras, Lisa Gitelson, Leandra Feliz, Genesis Feliz, and Ruben Diaz Jr.
Jarrett Keys, Siumy Keys, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund, and Lisa Gitelson.

On May 11th, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation held its Women of Distinction Luncheon, honoring outstanding women who have made significant contributions to the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Fashion designer Naeem Khan, known for dressing First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, presented his runway collection.

The Women of Distinction Luncheon is a special occasion that celebrates the remarkable achievements of women who have dedicated themselves to advancing research, patient care, and public awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the event returned in person  and raised funds to support the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Since its inception in 1990, this event has raised nearly $33 million for research, support, and educational programs and raised nearly $3 million in the last three years despite being on hiatus.

Lori Stokes, former Co-Host of FOX 5’s Good Day New York, served as the host for the event.

Deborah Martin and Marcy Nanus were named this year’s Women of Distinction Honorees. And the Rising Star Honoree was 19-year-old pediatric patient Ryan Miller, who has helped raise awareness for IBD by sharing his story and helping others understand the impact of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis on young people.

Women of Distinction Honoree Deborah Martin.
Women of Distinction Honoree Marcy Nanus, with Brian Korb and Jonathan Fassberg.
Rising Star Honoree Ryan Miller.
Naeem Khan and Madlena Kalinova kick off the fashion show.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the mission of curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. The Foundation’s work is dramatically accelerating the research process, while also providing extensive educational and support resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. 

For more information, visit crohnscolitisfoundation.org.

Michele Jozoff, Marilyn Chinitz, Carolyn Rowan, and Michelle Swarzman.
David Strickler, Linda Strickler, Rebecca Nanus, Marcy Nanus, Emily Nanus, and Jeremy Nanus.
Brian Korb, Marcy Nanuse, Jonathas Fassburg, and Jen Porcelli.
L. to r.: Nancy and Howard Brown; Iris Lindenbaum, Karen Kay, and Jackie Racer.
Charles Miller, Alana Miller, Ryan Miller, and Cindy Miller.
Allie Horowitz, Jennifer Trulson, Allison Lutnick, Jackie Moffett, and Shawn Frankel.
Rhondell Domicili, David and Rochelle Hirsch, and Jeffrey Justin.
Chloe Hubbe, Ryan Miller, and Connor Hubbe.
Elyse Newhouse and Karen Frank.
Ellen Crown, Jayne Canney, and Rachel Podell.

On May 22nd, the 2023 Chita Rivera Awards were presented at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. American composer John Kander received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kander wrote the scores for 15 musicals, including Cabaret and Chicago, which were later adapted into acclaimed films.

BroadwayHD, founded by Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, received the Chita Rivera Ambassadors For The Arts Award. BroadwayHD.com is an online streaming service on a mission to promote and preserve live theater by extending the reach of Broadway and Broadway-caliber shows to anyone, anywhere. Tony-winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell presented the award to BroadwayHD, honored for its dedication to sharing the best of Broadway dance with a global audience.

Stewart F. Lane, John Kander, Chita Rivera, and Bonnie Comley.

Awards were also presented to Jeffrey L. Page, Stephen Hoggett, Robyn Hurder, Jess LeProtto, Maddie Love, Gaby Diaz, Ryan Steele, Andy Blankenbueler, 13: The Musical and Everybody Dance and the casts of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ and New York, New York.

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation (NYCDF), founded by Joe Lanteri, presented the Chita Rivera Awards in conjunction with Patricia Watt. NYCDF is dedicated to empowering the next generation of professional dancers by advocating education and offering scholarships for secondary and college training.

For more information, see www.ChitaRiveraAwards.com

And to learn more about BroadwayHD, see www.BroadwayHD.com

L. to r.: Jordan Roth; Riki Kane Larimer.
Allyson Tucker, John Kander, Chita Rivera, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
L. to r.: Kolton Krouse; Joe Lanteri and Andy Blankenbuehler.
L. to r.: Jerry Mitchell; Rob Ashford.
Desmond Richardson, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Laurie Kanyok.
L. to r.: Anna Urvan and Amy Herman Schechter; Kalonjee, Robyn Hurder, and Clyd Alves.
Stewart F. Lane, Patricia Watt, and Bonnie Comley.

Photos by Jenna Bascom (Fresh Air Fund); John Sanderson/AnnieWatt.com (Chita); Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com (Crohn’s & Colitis)

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