Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spirit of Helen Keller Gala at Christie's Auction House - May 22, 2013

Helen Keller International (HKI) held their annual Spirit of Helen Keller Gala this year at the Christie's Auction House in New York City on May 22, 2013.  One of the oldest internationl NGOs, HKI was founded by Helen Keller and George Kessler back in 1915 to prevent blindness and malnution in Asia, Africa, and North America.  At this year's event, we had a chance to speak to HKI staff about the humanitarian projects they have on display during the event - little did we know that the work of HKI spans from Nepal to our hometown of NYC!

HKI CEO Kathy Spahn presented the 2013 Helen Keller Humanitarian Award to Hillary Clinton in recognition of her dedication to improving food and nutrition security for millions of women and children all around the world.  Longtime trustee Kate Ganz was awarded with the Spirit of Helen Keller award and Lions Club International received the Helen Keller Visionary Award for their generous support of HKI.
 This year's gala honored former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton with the Helen Keller Humanitarian Award 
A quartet serenades guests with classical music as they enjoy drinks and fine art
A staff member of HKI is showcasing efforts to prevent malnution in Nepal.  The Nepalese picture books on display here show expecting mothers how to farm, cook, and feed their newborns with proper amounts of nutrition
This eye exam exhibit showcases different vision measuring instruments and eye glass frames that are donated for children.  HKI runs vision testing in underprivileged New York City public schools.
The silent auction allows guests to bid on a week long getaway to a private villa on the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, Italy
HKI CEO Kathy Spahn poses with guests of the night
Guests enjoying music, drinks, and fine art at Christie's
The lighting in Christie's is perfect, it was hard to believe that we weren't outdoors having drinks under the sun!
The staff is prepping up beautiful event space at Christie's before guests arrive
 The bartender here is mixing up a refreshing glass of white cranberry orange sparkling soda
The private galleries of Christies features an impressive collection of American Art, this is a painting of children's storybook character Madeline

This exhibit showcases the vaccinations and antibiotics programs run by HKI to saves lives in Africa

The night concluded with dinner and the awards ceremony in the main dining room of Christie's

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Hope Program's A Taste of Hope at the Steelcase Showroom Loft - May 16, 2013

The Hope Program held it's annual a culinary tasting event - A Taste of Hope, at the Steelcase showroom loft on May 16, 2013.  The Hope Program provides educational training to transform the lives of those who lives of poverty and crime into new beginnings of financial independence.  The numbers truly speak for themselves as 75% of HOPE graduates are able to secure full time jobs after 12 weeks of training.  The Hope Program also provides ongoing support after participants enter the workforce.

Guests enjoyed delicious food and wine on Steelcase's rooftop overlooking Columbus Circle.  Participants from The Hope Program also had a chance to tell their stories of how they went from living a life of poverty to becoming successful productive citizens. Below are some scenes from yesterday's very inspiring night!
Vegetarian restaurant Terri was at the event sampling their fresh pressed juices, cupcakes and we can't believe it's vegan tuna melt and turkey sandwiches!
Butterbeans Kitchen served their delicious sesame kale salad and veggie rice balls.  They specialize in creating healthy school lunches made from scratch and food gardening camps for kids in NYC.
Fancy tastings of Ceviche with microgreens and radish by Nueman's Kitchen
Guests enjoying the warm weather and beautiful views overlooking Columbus Circle on Central Park
The ladies of Evelyn's Kitchen served soft chewy brownies and coconut covered truffles.  Their treats are available online and they also cater events.
A participant of The Hope Program shared his experience learning skills many of us take for granted, like learning how to use a computer and typing up his own resume for the to find a full time job.

Caterer Indiana Market served delicious tastes of their roasted beet and fennel salad
Skip the takeout on your next event, Indiana Market makes dishes that are tasty as much as they are beautifully presented! 
Fluff N' Stuff makes these unique pepperoni pizza cupcakes!

Guest lounging on stylish steel mesh couches overlooking Central Park

Cuppa Cabana served espresso drinks through the night - they can bring lattes and cuppucinos to any event!

Participants of The Hope Program mingled with guests and spoke about their journeys to success - they all wore blue ribbon pins (woman on the right)

The NCS ( Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter ) Spring Gala 2013 at the Central Park Boathouse - May 14, 2013

The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter (NCS) held their spring gala this year at the beautiful Central Park Boathouse on May 14, 2013.  NCS fills in the critical need to provide counseling, substance abuse treatments, and vocational training to youths that have completed their finals years in foster care.  This years gala brought together supporters of NCS, youths of the NCS programs, and honorees that include gossip columnist Liz Smith, fundraiser Cathy Blaney, and Dr. Mary White.  This year's event included a reception on the outdoor terrace overlooking the lake in Central park, gondola rides on the lake, dinner, and an auction hosted by Kathleen Guzman of the Antique Roadshow.
 Gossip Columnis Liz Smith looking fabulous at age 90 in a black shiny sequin blazer!
Gondola rides at The Boathouse were available for guests during the cocktail reception hour - here's where to go to find peace and serenity in Manhattan.

 Kathleen Guzman (in plaid skirt) of the Antique Road Show poses with guest of the night
The Central Park Boathouse is known as much for it's great food as it is for it's breathtaking views!  These vegetarian spring rolls were delicious - and not fried!
Guests getting seated for dinner.  The Boathouse really is both rustic and charming.
Participants of the NCS program were also invited to the gala to chat and mingle with guests.  The evening included touching testimonials of the successful lives they've went on to lead with the help of NCS.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Better Balance Spring Celebration at the Gansevoort Park Ave Hotel - May 7, 2013

A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting public policies that help workers care for their families without compromising on job security, hosted their annual Spring Celebration at the rooftop lounge of the Gansevoort Park Ave Hotel.  Although women make up half the U.S workforce, current laws in place makes it difficult for women to fulfill the roles of being both worker and caretaker.  Millions of people are currently working without paid sick days and paid family leaves. 

The annual Spring Celebration helped raise money to support efforts in bringing these work-life balance issues to the attention of lawmakers.  The event also debuted the book Babygate - What You Really Need to Know About Pregnancy and Parenting in the American Workplace.  The goal of Babygate is to help women advance in the workplace by educating them about their rights on work life balance issues. 
Guests getting signed copies of the book Babygate - written by Dina Bakst and Phobe Taubman of A Better Balance
Co-founders of A Better Balance with the evening's honorees. Left to right: Co-Founder and Board Chair Yolanda Wu; Honoree Jamie Levitt, partner at Morrison & Foerster; Honoree Suzanne Riss, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at JP Morgan Chase; Co-Founder and Co-President Sherry Leiwant; Co-Founder and Co-President of Dina Bakst
Honoree Jamie Levitt, partner at Morrison & Foerster with her family
Anna Wadia, Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, and ABB Co-President Sherry Leiwant
Guests enjoying cocktails at the Gansevoort Park Ave Hotel Lounge

Women of Influence: The Event, Hosted by UJA Federation of New York at the Essex House - May 7, 2013

The UJA-Federation of New York's Women in Philanthropy group hosted a Women of Influence Event this past Tuesday (May 7, 2013) at the iconic JW Marriot Essex House in Central Park, New York City.  This year's event honored and brought together four notable women at the forefront of beauty, fashion, and digital media.  They included high fashion blogger Leandra Medine of Man RepellerBonnie Fuller - founder of Hollywood Life , American womenswear designer Charlotte Ronson, and CEO of Ahava North America Elana Drell-Szyfer.  

The Women of Influence event was an inspiring night of great food, cocktails, and conversation.  Guests mingled and sipped on delicious springtime cocktails, accompanied by a selection of international cuisine.  Afterwards, Donny Deutsch moderated a lively discussion about the challenges women face in business - a topic that's very much in the national debate from Sheryl Sandberg's Book Lean In.  Honorees shared personal experiences of how they balance work and family life to some of the best advice they've gotten over the years.  According to Leandra Medine's- it's not how much knowledge you have that's most important, but it's the people that you surround yourself with in life. 

Honoree Designer Charlotte Ronson  and her mother, jewelry designer Ann Dexter-Jones during Cocktail Hour

Leandra Medine of Man Repeller went with rainbow chokers and a dragon inspired blazer, with sleeves rolled up for her metal snake spiral bracelet 
Springtime cocktails of this event - includes Peach Bellini and Watermelon Daiquiri, all so refreshing!

Bianna Golodrya (left) of Good Morning America poses before she emceed the panel discussion 
Elana Drell-Szyfer, CEO of Ahava North America poses with her family 
Designer Yigal Azrouel (far right) relaxes to a glass of red wine during cocktail hour
Bonnie Fuller, founder of Hollywood Life came in a beautiful wrap dress of abstract paint prints.
The Peking Duck station in the reception room of the Essex House

This event attracted many young professionals in digital media.

Jennifer Gross (far left), Chair of the Women's Executive circle poses with guests of the event

A colorful selection of Sushi
Fish and Vegetarian Ceviche
Guests getting seated for a panel discussion featuring the four honorees and Donny Deutsch
Panel discussion with Donny Deutsch, from left to right - Elana Drell-Szyfer, Bonnie Fuller, Leandra Medine, Charlotte Ronson