Volunteers of America-Greater New York Honors Cushman & Wakefield at Its 24th Annual Fundraising Gala

Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) honored Cushman & Wakefield at its 24th annual fundraising gala, "A New York Winter’s Eve," at The Plaza on Monday, presenting them with the 2019 Spirit of the Founders Award.

Each year the Spirit of the Founders Award is presented to a person or company that leads the way in community involvement and contributes to the life-changing — often life-saving — work of Volunteers of America-Greater New York.

For over 120 years, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been at the forefront of social service, helping individuals and families in need overcome obstacles to living safe, healthy and productive lives. Its 80+ programs provide support to men, women and children who are experiencing homeless, families affected by domestic violence, children with special needs, at-risk youth, adults living with HIV/AIDS, behavioral health or substance use issues, veterans and older adults.

Lou D’Avanzo, Managing Principal and Vice Chairman, NY Tri-State Region at Cushman & Wakefield, accepted the award on behalf of the company (pictured with Tere Pettitt, President and CEO of VOA-GNY).

Cushman & Wakefield was being honored for its generous, year-round support of Volunteers of America-Greater New York and, in particular, its commitment to serving the non-profit sector with a full appreciation of the sector’s unique needs. In 2018, Cushman & Wakefield expertly navigated Volunteers of America-Greater New York's transition to its new, state-of-the-art headquarters.

Volunteers of America-Greater New York also extended a special recognition to former clients Marthe Kiemde and Issoufou Zougnoma, presenting them with an Achievement Award for "persevering and sustaining faith in the face of adversity, and being an inspiration to others.”

Willie Geist, host of NBC’s Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist and Morning Joe co-host, emceed the highly-anticipated fundraiser. Geist first became involved with Volunteers of America-Greater New York in 2014, when, with the support of TODAY’s Shine a Light series, he chose to highlight family homelessness and assisted with the construction of a new recreation room in one of VOA-GNY family shelters.

“A New York Winter’s Eve” included a reception with silent auction and raffle, and a dinner with award presentation and live auction led by CK Swett. The Event Committee included Andrew & Kira Brandman, Gerry Cunningham, Toby Dodd, Lou D’Avanzo, Kristin Franzese, Reginald Goins, Tom Johnson, Jonathan Krieger, David Lebenstein, Jeanine Margiano, Ashish Midha, Nila Misra Midha, Alexandra Rembac, John Santora, Noa Sklar, Lou Switzer, Mike Warren, Jake Weinig, and Sam Yang.


Watch this video about Cushman & Wakefield

Watch the evening's featured video "Journey Home"