A Gatsby Affair Raises $18,000 to Benefit Hope Leadership Academy

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On Wednesday, May 23, nearly 200 guests attended The Children’s Aid Society’s Associates Council’s Second Annual Spring Fundraiser, “a Gatsby Affair”, at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. More than $18,000 was raised to benefit The Hope Leadership Academy of Children’s Aid, a teen center promoting positive behavior, in Harlem. Hope gives youth a safe place to process their feelings on violence and victimization, and shows them how to derive strength from their experiences so that they can feel empowered rather than hopeless.

Inspired by the glamour of the Great Gatsby, guests gazed at gorgeous green wall installations and enjoyed seasonal Spring hors d'oeuvres and cocktails by ‘wichcraft while dressed in seersucker suits and fancy flapper frocks. Along with Associates Council President and Event Co-Chair, Jennifer Gallivan, The Children’s Aid Society’s President and CEO Richard Buery warmly welcomed attendees. Hope’s Director, Danny Morris, spoke about Hope, the importance of mentors and introduced the “super star” students present at the event, including 15-year-old Kelisha Cyrus, who gave a moving performance of an original poem.

The winners of the luxury tiered raffles (Wilson’s Garage and the higher-end West Egg) were announced by event Co-Chair Alicia Barrett and her father. Some of the coveted prizes included a once-in-a-lifetime casting audition with CBS, a custom men’s suit from Bond & Bari, dinners at Gramercy Tavern and Maialino, Moore Brothers Wine and La Maison du Chocolat tastings, and a private shopping experience from Lilly Pulitzer. Generous guests also directly sponsored scholarship opportunities for Hope, including SAT prep books, college visits, and back-to-school shopping.

Special thanks to Event Silver Sponsors J.P. Morgan, Scotiabank, and Trident Investment Management, and event partners: Adrienne Brown for event photography, Design by Studio N8 for all marketing materials, and Party Town America with Dan and John for photobooth photography.

Written by: Evita Torre, Associates Council - Executive Committee Member
Photo credit: Adrienne Brown Photography