Devoted to the advancement of education for young women, The Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation is hosting an inaugural fundraising event, “New Orleans in the Hamptons” August 12 in Bridgehampton, Long Island.
The event will kick off with an outdoor cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a live jazz concert and main event that will take place at 7 p.m. The foundation is designed to empower young women and provide promising individuals with a bridge between obstacles and opportunities.
Knowing a lack of resources often limits the success of disadvantaged young women, award-winning journalist O’Brien and her banker husband Raymond “take young, talented women who really just lack money, and pay for their tuition, books, daycare…whatever they need.” The duo quietly awarded scholarships from their own pockets over the past few years sponsoring in total fifteen scholars and spending tens of thousands of dollars. After seeing their efforts pay off, the couple formally launched the non-profit organization in 2011 to fill the gaps in available financial assistance and support.
O’Brien and Raymond hope that through their foundation they are able to award an addition six more scholarships in the coming year. Scholarships are available to young girls ages 15 through 21 years and full submission details can be found on the Foundation’s website.
The foundation’s inaugural event is expected to be a festive one paying homage to the “can-do spirit of New Orleans”. Inspiring stories from women who have been helped by the foundation will be told in an effort to raise awareness and encourage donors to join the cause. Current supporters include Dick Parsons, Cicley Tyson and Pharrell Williams who all will be serving as event chairs.
Attendees can expect a spectacular performance from members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Grammy-Award winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield during the live jazz concert.
All proceeds from ticket sales go towards funding scholarships for young women awarded by the foundation.
O’Brien, an anchor and special correspondent for CNN, built her broadcast career by giving a voice to under-served communities. Her decision to start the foundation came, in part, from frustration that she felt when meeting people who lives she couldn’t help beyond the telling of their stories. O’Brien says the foundation is more than the money, “it is saying that I am here for you. You take one step and I’ll take two. It’s a practical definition of love.”
O’Brien and Raymond met in college at Harvard University and they have two daughters and twin sons and live in New York.
For more information on the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation, click here.