Honoring Two Community Leaders at Our 27th Annual Gala

On Monday, April 15, Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) held our 27th annual gala, titled Cirque du VOA, in support of our work providing housing, health, and wealth-building services to neighbors who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. NBC’s Willie Geist emceed the event for the tenth year, which raised over $1.2 million for VOA-GNY’s operations and honored two community leaders:

CAVU Securities

This year’s Community Champion Award was presented to CAVU Securities for their dedication to serving veterans who’ve experienced homelessness, adopting both of VOA-GNY’s veterans’ housing programs, and going above and beyond to show our clients that they care. The award was accepted by CAVU Securities CEO Greg Parsons, who served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

Danielle Mareka

Ms. Mareka, fashion model and philanthropist, was honored with our Shining Star Award for her work giving back to domestic violence survivors at our shelters, and helping our clients find empowerment in their resilience. Ms. Mareka, who lived with her mother in a domestic violence shelters as a child, has spent the last two years supporting survivors in VOA-GNY shelters with self-care events and donations.

The event included remarks from VOA-GNY’s new President and CEO Jeffrey R. Ginsburg, who shared how his 20+ years of experience in the education sector has made the effects of childhood poverty and inequality clear, and spoke of VOA-GNY’s efficacy in meeting clients’ needs.

Newly-elected Board Chair Reginald Goins also delivered remarks, emphasizing that VOA-GNY’s 128-year legacy of innovation is similar to that of many businesses in the region, whose leaders know that innovation is ultimately about serving people better. He shared, “The thing that I love about this organization is that it’s still innovative; we’re still finding innovative ways to serve people. The need never ends, so the innovation of finding different ways to serve can’t either.”

Other notable guests included New York City Council Majority Leader Amanda Farías; James Hendon, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services; Molly Park, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services; Saloni Seth, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence; actor and television host Paige Davis, and actor and playwright Patrick Page.

The celebration also featured captivating cirque performers from Cirque Central Entertainment, and a performance by mentalist Ryan Oakes.

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About Volunteers of America-Greater New York

Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) is an anti-poverty organization with a rich 125-year history of serving its neighbors in need. The organization’s vision is fueled by its experience as a leading provider of services to families and individuals experiencing homelessness in the greater New York area. Through more than 65 programs located in New York City, Northern New Jersey, and Westchester County—including emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing—VOA-GNY delivers services to more than 30,000 adults and children annually. It is also the largest provider of residential services for veterans within a coalition that has virtually ended chronic homelessness for veterans in New York City. Recently, the VOA-GNY board of directors adopted a strategic plan with the goal to end homelessness in Greater New York by 2050.

Media Contact:

Rochelle Heinrichs, AVP of Marketing & Communications

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