Volunteers of America - Greater New York Honors Wells Fargo At Its 23rd Annual Fundraising Gala

Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) honored Wells Fargo last night with its Spirit of the Founders award at its annual fundraising gala at The Plaza in New York City. 

In addition to funds raised for the dinner, during the ceremony, the bank also announced a $100,000 Foundation grant.

Each year VOA-GNY’s Spirit of the Founders award is presented to a person or company that leads the way in community involvement and contributes to VOA’s life-changing, often life-saving work, to care for the 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. VOA-GNY has been at the forefront of social services for more than 120 years, helping individuals and families in need overcome obstacles to living safe, healthy and productive lives.

Robert DiDiano, Regional Managing Director for Wealth Management at Wells Fargo, accepted the award on behalf of the company (pictured right with Tere Pettitt, President and CEO of VOA-GNY). Wells Fargo was being honored for its very generous support of Operation Backpack®, a community service of VOA-GNY that helps ensure that every child living in a New York City homeless or domestic violence shelter gets a new, top-quality backpack filled with supplies in time for the first day of school.

Volunteers of America also extended a special recognition to The Weeks Lerman Group and Magnusson Architecture and Planning for their longtime, year-round support of the organization.

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

A New York Winter’s Eve included a reception with silent auction, dinner with award presentation and live auction led by CK Swett, co-founder of Lot 1 Auctioneers. The Event Committee included Susan Axelrod, Rosana Bark, Natalie Battista, Kira & Andrew Brandman, Cindy Ciaccio, Gerry Cunningham, Paige Davis, Tom Johnson, David Lebenstein, Jeanine Margiano, Alexandra Rembac, Lisa Rondon, Lou Switzer, Kenny Smith, Mike Warren & Sam Yang, Ross Weinberg, Robert Wolk, Patty & Paul Zagami, and Amy & Larry Zakarin.

Watch this video about our relationship with Wells Fargo