The New York Women’s Foundation® (NYWF), led by President & CEO Ana L. Oliveira, celebrated a milestone 25th Anniversary on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. The evening, Fall Celebration: Improving the Lives of Women and Families in New York City, honored four philanthropic leaders, Soledad O’Brien and husband Brad Raymond, and Ginny Day and Sean Day, at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Renown News Journalist, former CBS Evening News Anchor , Connie Chung, hosted the celebration which included a performance by Tony Award® Winning Playwright & Performer Sarah Jones.
Attendees included Diana L. Taylor (NYWF Board Chair), Anne E. Delaney (NYWF Board Vice-Chair), Yvonne Moore (NYWF Board Secretary), Susan Coté (NYWF Treasurer), Helen LaKelly Hunt (NYWF Founding Mother, Chair Emerita), Rossana Rosado (NYWF Board Member), Jean Shafiroff (NYWF Board Member), Anita Channapati (NYWF Board Member), Hyatt Bass (NYWF Board Member), Taina Bien-Aimé (NYWF Board Member), Susan R. Cullman (NYWF Board Member), Kwanza R. Butler (NYWF Board Member) Lisa M. Holton (NYWF Board Member), Antoinette E. La Belle (NYWF Board Member), Ann Short (NYWF Board Member), Celeste Smith (NYWF Board Member), Regan Solmo (NYWF Board Member).
Chung welcomed all attendees and addressed the inception of The NYWF and how “twenty five years ago they brought together women from different walks of life…funding community-based organizations run by women and innovative, bold leaders working with the hardest problems: domestic violence, poverty and reproductive rights.” Diana L. Taylor, The NYWF Board Chair, thanked the founding mothers, co-chairs, vice-chairs, Board of Directors past and present, plus The NYWF’s generous donors including Baja Wines, who donated wine for the evening’s celebration.
Highlights of the evening included: The NYWF Board Member, Rosanna Rosado introducing Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond, honorees of the 25th Anniversary Celebration. The couple was honored for their family foundation called the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation which supports hard working young women in their educational pursuits, sending them “to and through” college; Helen LaKelly Hunt, Founding Mother of NYWF and Chair Emerita. Ms. Hunt honoring Ginny and Sean Day; Sarah Jones, Tony Award® Winning Playwright and Performer was then introduced by Connie Chung. Ms. Jones portrayed to the delight of the crowd portrayed the best of characters from her long running Broadway show Bridge and Tunnel portraying various ethnicities, ages and types of women, all speaking about NYWF. While portraying a Jewish grandmother, quick-talking Latina woman, Chinese immigrant, Indian woman and young feminist, Ms. Jones covered many topics affecting women including diversity, education, and investing in the future and cited the “importance of The NYWF on the history of New York City.”
Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of The NYWF took the stage and spoke about the disproportionate impact of The NYWF for its size; its impact is significantly larger. Ms. Oliveira stated that, “investing in women lifts up women, families and communities,” one of the best NYWF partnerships is “when we invest in leaders and organizations.” During the 2009 recession The NYWF created an initiative called RISE-NYC! and even during a slow recovery, The NYWF has had 473 women able to obtain employment and 61% of those are full time jobs. The NYWF created 59 new jobs and preserved 89. Although there has been great success in the past 25 years, there is “much work ahead – girls need an incredible amount of opportunity and support,” said Ms. Oliveira, “I am excited for the next years and grateful for the past 25.”
Lastly, The NYWF Board Chair,
Anne Delaney then took the stage, honoring the “special night to
celebrate and meet grantee partners.”
***-Over the past twenty-five years, the NYWF has invested $33 million in funding to over 280 women-led, nonprofit organizations, improving the lives of 5.4 million women and girls in New York City; 81% of those nonprofits have succeeded and are still thriving today. In 2009, the NYWF responded to the economic crisis by launching RISE-NYC!, a 5-year partnership initiative that increased its grant-making by more than 20% in focused areas including economic security, anti-violence and safety, and health and reproductive rights.*photos courtesy of Rob Rich/Societyallure.com