2011 Children of the City Benefit Gala

On Wednesday evening I had the privilege of attending the Children of the City Benefit Gala at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. The guest list included a mix of celebrities, business people and philanthropists, all coming together to support a wonderful Brooklyn-based organization that works to break the cycles of poverty and abuse in local families.

The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction. Guests enjoyed drinks and pleasant conversation around a table of sports memorabilia—an autographed Eli Manning New York Giants Helmet, a framed picture and autographs of the 1980 Olympic “Miracle” Ice Hockey Team, and an autographed Pele soccer ball, to name a few. Also up for auction were jewelry sets, several works of art, and pop culture memorabilia, including a frame of the picture and autographs of the Rat Pack greats.

Celebrities in attendance included Victoria’s Secret Angel Selita Ebanks; “The Hurt Locker” star Anthony Mackie; Holt McCallany, who will co-star with Mackie in “The Gangster Squad”; “Mad Men” star Bryan Batt; Olympic boxer Eric Kelly; Kaitlin Monte, better known as Miss New York; David Tyree, former NFL wide receiver best known for his 2007 Superbowl-winning “helmet catch” for the New York Giants; “Damages” star Noah Bean; “Nip-Tuck” star Dylan Walsh; and the legendary Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

A three-course meal to the tune of a live band followed the cocktail hour. I sat at a table with Catherine P. Saxton of the Saxton Group, Noah Bean and Dr. Ruth, as well as several board members of Children of the City.

A live auction began towards the end of the meal that included getaways, special dinners, and donations made by attending celebrities. On the auction block was a dinner date with Kaitlin Monte, and at the last minute Eric Kelly stepped in to offer a personal training session.

Kaitlin Monte

The event raised approximately $150,000 for Children of the City. This amazing organization was founded in 1981 to serve the children of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and soon evolved to offer educational support, counseling and mentorship, financial and career guidance, legal guardianship, social and life skills training. A board members explained to me how these additional services are what separates Children of the City from similar organizations and are the reason behind the organization’s many heart-warming success stories.

Overall, the night was a huge success. Guests enjoyed great food and great music in the name of a great cause. I even managed to find two fellow Philadelphia Eagles fans, which in this city has proved nearly impossible. Thank you to Children of the City and the Lighthouse for a fantastic evening.

Three Eagles fans in NYC

Be sure to watch Tom Murro on News 12 tonight to see his segment on the event!

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