Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mary J. Blige Inspires at the New York Women's Foundation 2009 Fall Dinner with Uplifting Performance

MARY J. BLIGE INSPIRES AT THE NEW YORK WOMEN’S FOUNDATION 2009 FALL DINNER WITH UPLIFTING PERFORMANCE

The New York Women’s Foundation® (NYWF) welcomed the who’s-who of New York society for its Fall 2009 Dinner, Stepping Out & Stepping Up, honoring Elizabeth and Herbert Sturz and Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof. The Stepping Up Award is presented to recognize New Yorkers who serve as role models of courageous leadership, vision and commitment to women and girls as individuals and as partners.

The evening’s attendees included New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Diana Taylor - Co-Chair for the event and Vice Chair of the NYWF Board, Grammy award winning R&B songstress Mary J. Blige, record executive Steve Stoute, Carolyn Buck Luce – Chair of the NYWF Board, Abigail Disney - Honorary Chair of NYWF Board, Agnes Gund, Susan R. Cullman, Anne Bass and Hyatt Bass, Somers Farkas, Jean Shafiroff, Samuel Peabody, Vincent Mai, Deborah Roberts, designer Catherine Malandrino, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Jack Rosenthal, Muffie Potter Aston, Ann Rapp, Sharon Bush, Denise Rich, Debbie Bancroft, and Katlean De Monchy.

Also in attendance for the elegant evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing at Gotham Hall included Consul General of Mexico Ruben Beltran, Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, followed by dinner and dancing. Mary J. Blige sang stunning renditions of her hits “No More Drama” and “One” to an amazed crowd, dedicating her performance to the power and unity of women.

Ana Oliveira, CEO & President spoke about NYWF’s expertise in leveraging strategic partnerships to build economic security for women and families in New York City. Honorees Elizabeth and Herbert Sturz who founded 24 nonprofit and government agencies between them, saluted the Foundation for their work in supporting women. Sheryl WuDunn spoke movingly about the importance of investing in women and girls locally as a prerequisite to investing globally. Nicholas Kristof praised NYWF for holding up ‘two thirds of the sky.’ Islyn Matthews, a successful entrepreneur and participant of Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo), a long-time NYWF grantee partner, moved audiences with a personal story of transformation, embodying the mission of the Foundation.

Co-Chairs for the evening included Hyatt Bass, Sayu V. Bhojwani, Aiyoung Choi, Susan R. Cullman, Grace Hightower De Niro, Somers W. Farkas, Margaret Munzer Loeb, Carolyn Buck Luce, Jean Shafiroff, Diana L. Taylor, Jacqueline P. Togut, and Barbara Brizzi Wynne.

Established in 1987 as a public philanthropy, the New York Women’s Foundation is a cross-cultural alliance of women, serving as a force for change for women. From the outset, the Foundation’s founders strove to identify innovative organizations that were affecting change in the communities they served for women. NYWF strategically funds organizations and programs that move women, girls and families towards long-term economic security through individual transformation and systemic change, mobilizing leaders and community partners as philanthropists and change agents. Over the past twenty-two years, NYWF surpassed $20 million ($20,350,445) in grants to over 240 nonprofit organizations, improving the lives of five million women and girls in New York City. This year, NYWF responded to the economic crisis by launching RISE-NYC!, a partnership initiative and increasing its grant-making by more than 20%.

For more information, please visit www.nywf.org.

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