New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) celebrated the 2012 Fall Gala on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at Cipriani 42, raising over $1.4 million to benefit youth in foster care in New York City. Justin Tuck, defensive end for the New York Giants, was honored with the Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award for his work promoting childhood literacy and John Demsey, Group President of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc., was honored with the organization’s inaugural Business Leadership Award for his continuing support of NYFC and youth in foster care. The evening’s program was hosted by youth in foster care who are leaders in New Yorkers For Children programs.
The 2012 Fall Gala Co-Chairs were Oscar de la Renta, Vanessa and Henry Cornell, Lise and Michael Evans, Kevin and Erika Liles, Susan and Tony Gilroy, Dayssi and Paul Kanavos, Scott and Candice Posner, with Nicholas Scoppetta and Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Ronald E. Richter as the honorary chairs. 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 performance by Grammy Award-winning musician Marc Cohn.
BNY Mellon, CIRCA and Prada were the leading sponsors of the Fall Gala. Additional sponsors included The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., M·A·C Cosmetics, American Express, Armani Exchange, By Kilian, CNN, First Republic Bank, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Longchamp, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sun Capital Partners, St. John, among others. Armani Exchange 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 sixth consecutive year, designing an environment inspired by New Yorkers For Children’s mission to promote paths to stable adulthood. Highlighting the 2012 Fall Gala “Light the Way” theme, Stark created a sparkling lamp-lit pathway which wound through an enchanted forest.
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 followed Martin Jack, NYFC Youth Advisory Board President, and Spirit Award finalist, Maurice Reid, as they shared their journey from foster care to today.
Following Marc Cohn’s performance, guests retired to the Cipriani 42 chapel, where they danced to music provided by D-Nice.