The Harmony Program, a non-profit organization that provides community-based musical training to underserved children across New York City, held its annual gala on Wednesday, May 4 at the Edison Ballroom. For the first-time ever, the Harmony Program presented the Harmony Program Award to a Corporate Honoree, Monique Nelson, Chair and CEO of UniWorld Group, Inc. (UWG).
In addition, the organization presented the Harmony Program Award to Artistic Honoree, Norm Lewis, Broadway legend and SAG, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award Nominee, who also performed “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera. CBS News’ national correspondent and anchor Adriana Diaz, a Harmony Program board member, served as the host for the evening.
All proceeds from the 2022 gala supported the Harmony Program’s efforts to expand access to music education across New York City.
Executive Director Anne Fitzgibbon, who founded the Harmony Program in 2008, set the tone for the evening, noting that gathering together in person to celebrate the strength and resilience of their community was even more heartwarming than she had anticipated. “Thank you for joining us to celebrate our Harmony Program community and the importance of music education,” she said.
Nelson, an industry leader and passionate advocate for music education, shared her own formative experiences growing up in New York City and attending the famed LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. In her remarks she spoke about the lessons that have stayed with her. “Music is foundational, music is transformative, music is life,” she said. “It teaches you to study, to give your all, in pursuit of getting it right, doing the great work when nobody’s watching so when your audience is present, you are flawless from the unrelenting work and dedication. What greater way to instill the importance of community and collaboration as well as leadership, as music teaches us to stand on our own, fearlessly in solo, and to lead.”
The evening also featured a Harmony Program alumna, Tamika Merise, a current Baruch College student, who delivered remarks. Student musicians were at the heart of the evening, as they took the stage for inspiring performances including a 13-piece orchestra and a cello duet.
Fitzgibbon says the organization is emerging from this challenging period “stronger and more dynamic than ever before.” The Harmony Program has tripled their student population from 300 to over 1,000 children receiving their year-round, in-school, after-school, and online instruction. In addition they have increased their site partnerships from 12 to 16 public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
On Monday, May 16th, NET-A-PORTER and The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted its ninth annual Winter Lunch, which was previously postponed. Sponsored by NET-A-PORTER for the seventh year, this event was co-chaired by Abigail Baratta, Claire Capello, Eve Lehrman, Jennifer Oken, Virginia W. Tomenson and Brent Neale Winston. More than 300 of The Society of MSK’s most high-profile supporters joined for cocktails and a seated lunch at one of New York City’s most iconic spaces: The Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. The venue was transformed by Ron Wendt Design, making for a truly glamorous event.
The Winter Lunch raises critical funds to support Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Pediatrics, and launch The Society of MSK’s newest initiative, the Pediatric and Adolescent & Young Adult Fertility Preservation Fund, which will support the initial costs of fertility preservation in qualifying MSK patients.
“We are thrilled to partner with NET-A-PORTER for the Winter Lunch again this year,” said Kate Allen, Society of MSK President. “Collaboration with such an influential brand allows us to broaden awareness of The Society’s efforts and educate the public on MSK’s work to improve the treatment of pediatric patients.”
Attendees included Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Jenna Bush Hager, Daphne Oz, Gucci Westman, Veronica Swanson Beard, Gillian Hearst, Kate Allen, Kate Davis, Amanda Waldron, Marcella Hymowitz, Rebekah McCabe, Candice Miller, Austen Cruz, Amory McAndrew, Kimberly Nemser, Sara Gilbane Sullivan, Courtney Corleto, Marisa Rose van Bokhorst, Betsy Pitts, Jenny Galluzzo, Shabnam Henry, Dara O’Hara, Betsy Pepe, Carolina de Neufville, Annie Taube, Alison Aston, Jessie Kisling, Erin O’Connor, Mimi Ritzen Crawford, Anna Burke Patterson, Cece Barfield Thompson, Lisa Errico, Patricia Herrera Lansing, Beth Kojima, Lisa Blau, Lise Evans, and Sylvana Durett.
Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, Christian Elliott, The Honorable Joanne King Herring, Vicki Hollub, and Kevin Hyland OBE were honored by UN Women For Peace Association (UNWFPA) at their Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at Casa Cipriani.
Rosanna Scotto hosted the celebration, welcoming guests: “As a reporter and co-host of FOX 5’s, Good Day New York, I have been lucky enough to be able to use my platform to highlight women’s stories. We have a mission to make sure that women can achieve the equality they deserve. This year’s Awards Luncheon is to celebrate the life and legacy of a strong woman who always fought for equality; UNWFPA Founder, Dame Muna Rihani Al-Nasser.”
UNWFPA President Rema DuPont presented a posthumous Legacy Award for Muna, accepted by her husband and biggest supporter, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al- Nasser, with their son, Aziz Al-Nasser in the audience. “UN Women for Peace Association will continue to support women and girls with our new Muna Rihani Al-Nasser Scholarship Fund for educating at-risk and underprivileged girls”, shared Rema.
Actress Fran Drescher made the keynote address, sharing her own powerful story, “I became a victim of violence when I was raped at gunpoint in my own home by a man I did not know, who was out on parole. But I was one of the lucky ones, because I lived to identify my assailant and see him sentenced to 150 years in prison. Still, for a year afterwards I felt like a mirror image of myself that was cracked in a thousand pieces. But connecting to one’s trauma, turning pain into purpose, and time are all healing. I am a survivor!”
Rema later announced “Over 94% of violence against women stems from men, which affirms our belief that the solution does too. That is why we are launching a new campaign called Counting On Men — as we believe without addressing men and boys, we will not make progress on the issues related to violence against women and girls.”
The celebration included performances by Wendy Moten, singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and country star Drew Baldridge singing his original song She’s Somebody’s Daughter.
Luncheon Co-Chairs were H.E. Sheikha Paula al Sabah, H.R.H. Princess Camilla of Bourbon of Two Siciles, Duchess of Castro, Susan Gutfreund, Leila Heller, Francine LeFrak, Pat Kerr Tigrett, and Regional Chairs include Countess Bérengère de Pontac, Genesis Jones, Annie Joubran, Youngsong Martin, Melissa Metz, Suzan Lee Park, Dr. Christina Rahm-Thomas, and Clayton Thomas. Guests included Reagan and Doug Bauer, Rita Cosby, Amanda Diaz, Kat Graham (award presenter), AnnaLynne McCord with Benjamin W. Decker, Denise Schwartz and Marc Rosen, Barbara Tober, as well as UNWFPA Board of Directors Michal Grayevsky (Treasurer), Valbona Neritani, and Anne Marie Dougherty.
Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo received the Leadership Award for her decades of work as a peacekeeper and an advocate for women’s rights. In 2018 DiCarlo became the first woman to assume the position of Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs at the United Nations. DiCarlo has served at the United States Department of State as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and represented the United States at the Security Council, General Assembly and other United Nations bodies. Past recipients of this award include First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo Garcia de Varela, Deborra-Lee Furness, Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
The Honorable Joanne King Herring received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding achievements and years of work to end human trafficking and for helping survivors, which are disproportionately women and children. Herring is a political activist, philanthropist, diplomat, and former television talk show host. While she was born in a world where women had limited choices, she rose to form the most significant alliance that brought an end to the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and saved America from an economic catastrophe.
Long known within the corridors of power in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Herring’s freedom fighting role in southwest Asia was brought to a wider American audience when the true-life 1980s story of Charlie Wilson’s War was retold in 2007, with Oscar winning actress Julia Roberts playing the remarkable Herring. Past recipients of this award include Eve Branson, Loreen Arbus, and Francine LeFrak.
Kevin Hyland OBE received the Advocacy Award for his remarkable contributions to ending violence against women and girls everywhere. Hyland dedicated over 30 years to public service, including leading London’s Human Trafficking Unit.
Hyland was appointed as the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and was elected as Ireland’s representative to the Council of Europe Independent Group of Experts for Trafficking. He was instrumental in the establishment and remains chief advisor to the Santa Marta Group, a high-level partnership between law enforcement agencies, faith groups and civil society launched by Pope Francis at the Vatican. He leads several international anti trafficking projects chairing the Responsible Recruitment Group of the Institute of Human Rights and Business and the Island of Ireland Human Trafficking Project and provides strategic leadership to the OSCE in producing global victim support guidance.
Vicki Hollub received the Humanitarian Award for her outstanding achievements in rescuing over 500 girls, and their families, by bringing them safely from Afghanistan to Portugal. Hollub was the first woman to head a major American oil company as President and CEO of Occidental Petroleum. She also serves on the boards of Lockheed Martin and the American Petroleum Institute, and is a stewardship board member for the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy and Material, and a member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. Past recipients of this award include Leyla Ilham Aliyeva, Dayle Haddon, HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, and Paul Bettany.
Christian Elliott received the Media Award for his heroic efforts to end modern-day slavery. Elliot created the global campaign to combat human trafficking, entitled Can you see me?. The campaign reached millions of people, equipping the general public to recognize indicators of human trafficking, and report suspected scenarios. Elliot is Global Development Officer of A21, a nonprofit organization works to end in human trafficking, with offices in 14 countries worldwide.
Since its inception, the The UN Women for Peace Association, Inc. has awarded more than one million dollars to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, awarded scholarships for women, supported girls education in refugee camps to keep them from being trafficked, and campaigned relentlessly to end violence against women and children. This year, UNWFPA will be launching a generational campaign called #CountingOnMen to address root causes.
Photographs by Sean Zanni/PMC (Harmony); Yvonne Tnt/BFA.com (MSKCC); Michael Ostuni/PMC (UNWFPA);.