*The glamorous people of Gotham gathered in Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to attend the annual Robin Hood Foundation gala on Monday, May 9, 2011. Javits was turned into a virtual Sherwood Forest and many of the guests got into the theme by wearing green tights.
The pricey tickets ranging from $3,000 for individuals to $30,000 to $250,000 for a table of 10 did not deter partygoers who raised $47.4 million to benefit more than 100 poverty-fighting organizations in New York City.
Of the funds raised $11.9 million will be donated to a new program that will assist veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and National reservists. NBC nightly news anchor Brian Williams returned as Master of Ceremonies.
Only a talent as big as Lady Gaga could carry out the entertainment portion of such a colossal event. The foundation has Doug Morris, who will become the new chairman of Sony Music Entertainment in July, to thank for getting Lady Gaga — who performed for free – to accept its invitation.
Lady Gaga is the gift that just keeps giving. Prior to the gala she hooked up with the Robin Hood Foundation to sponsor a contest to award a total of $1 million to five local charities – SCO Family of Services, The Door, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Lawyers for Children and Safe Horizon – that serve disconnected youth in New York City.
The public was asked to vote for their favorite of the five charities on Lady Gaga’s Facebook page to determine how the money would be allocated. The charity with the most votes would receive the top prize of $500,000.
SCO Family of Services won and Lady Gaga and Robin Hood presented SCO Family of Services executive director Gail Nayowith with a check for $500,000 as the top vote-getter.
The Robin Hood gala is Wall Street’s biggest single-night fundraiser and always attracts the biggest financiers to chair the event. This year’s event was no different with BlackRock Inc.’s chairman and co-founder Laurence D. Fink, New York real estate developer Richard S. LeFrak and David M. Solomon, co-head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment banking unit, serving as gala co-chairmen. (Photos courtesy Robin Hood Foundation)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.