NYFC celebrated the 2011 Fall Gala on Tuesday, September 20th at Cipriani 42, raising over $1.7 million to benefit youth in foster care in New York City. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks was honored with the Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award for his work with at-risk youth. The evening’s program was hosted by youth in foster care who are leaders in New Yorkers For Children programs.
The 2011 Fall Gala Co-Chairs were Oscar de la Renta, Vanessa and Henry Cornell, Lise and Michael Evans, Kevin and Erika Liles, Ashley and Jeff McDermott, Shirin von Wulffen and Frédéric Fekkai, with Nicholas Scoppetta as the honorary chair. The Fall Gala is NYFC’s major annual fundraising event to provide young people in foster care in New York City with the support that every child deserves. The evening featured dinner, dancing, live auction, and a special musical performance by piano iconoclast ELEW.
NYFC recognized Carmelo for his extensive philanthropic work benefitting at-risk youth. A product of Brooklyn’s Red Hook Projects, Carmelo’s accomplishments extend well beyond the court. Some of his work includes the creation of the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, which helps empower and provide opportunities for underserved kids and families and the co-founding of Courts 4 Kids, a program that finds and refurbishes courts in underserved areas. In 2006, The Giving Back Fund, the premier philanthropic resource for the sports and entertainment communities, ranked Carmelo in their top ten of the “Giving Back 30” report on celebrity philanthropists in America.
Vice Chairs of the 2011 Fall Gala were Debbie Bancroft, Donya and Scott Bommer, Susan L. Burden, Alina Cho, Chris Del Gatto, Beth Rudin DeWoody , Selita Ebanks, Amanda and Jonathan Eilian, Susan and Tony Gilroy, Dayssi and Paul Kanavos, Marina Killery and David Orentriech, Pia and David Ledy, Julie and William Macklowe, Nina B. Matis, Mary Kathryn and Alexander Navab, Scott and Candice Posner, Shafi Roepers, Christine and Stephen Schwarzman, George Sharp, Susan Shin, Kelly and Jay Sugarman, Philip and Viktoria von Wulffen, Vanessa Weiner von Bismark, and Stephanie and David Wolkoff.
CIRCA and St. John were the leading sponsors of the Fall Gala. Additional sponsors included BNY Mellon, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Tommy Hilfiger Group, American Express, Ann Taylor, BET Networks, Community Collection, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, Dior Beauty, Frederic Fekkai, Hugo Boss, J.Crew, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, La Perla, KWL Enterprises, Longchamp, MAC Cosmetics, Macy’s and Bloomingdales, North Shore LIJ Health System, Oscar de la Renta, Prada and Saks Fifth Avenue. Ann Taylor dressed the youth in attendance and M•A•C Cosmetics and Frédéric Fekkai provided makeup and hairstyling.
During the Gala, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman Jamie Niven hosted a live auction providing Gala attendees the opportunity to support youth in foster care as they strive to achieve their educational goals. David Stark Design and Production created event décor for the fifth consecutive year, designing an environment reflective of NYFC’s commitment to helping young people succeed. Music was provided by D-Nice during dancing.
A short film by filmmakers Kat Westergaard and Chris Ciancimino was shown during the program that illustrates the challenges that young people in foster care face as they pursue a college education without traditional family support. The film features past NYFC Spirit Award recipient, Glenn Coleman, as he continues his education at graduate school and newly announced NYFC Guardian Scholar, Vanessa Louis, a freshman at Kingsborough Community College.