a New York Winters Eve
At our 20th annual winter gala, a New York Winter's Eve, more than 400 guests gathered at The Plaza Grand Ballroom for a glorious evening. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our 119-year legacy of helping tens of thousands of the most vulnerable of our neighbors live safe, healthy and productive lives and recognize the generous and compassionate individuals and companies who enable our work to continue. The event raised more than $700,000 for our vital programs.
Today Show and Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist was the evening's special host. VOA-GNY Board Secretary Andrew Brandman chaired the event, which honored RXR Realty for its steadfast support of Operation Backpack and of VOA all year long. RXR CEO Scott Rechler and Managing Director William Elder accepted the Spirit of the Founders Award on the company's behalf. These gentlemen foster a philanthropic spirit among their employees and truly lead the way in community involvement, as the award bestows.
A magnificent silent auction and rousing live auction, conducted by Sotheby's legend Hugh Hildesley, with help from Todd English and Paige Davis, gave attendees a chance to further their support of our programs -- programs that support struggling veterans, frail older adults, individuals living with behavioral health and other life challenges, and of course the children, for whom we try to normalize life while they are living in our homeless and domestic violence programs.