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Testimonials

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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

The New York Women's Foundation held its 30th Anniversary Fall Gala at the Plaza Hotel with cocktails beginning at 6:30 PM. This year Emmett Carson, Dr. Angela Diaz, Verna Eggleston and Hon. Jonathan Lippman were honored with "The Radical Generosity Award" recognizing their commitment to uplifting women with incredible contributions. The organization provided more than $9.2 million this past year by partnering up with more than 125 organizations to improve the lives of women and families across the city. Co-chairs Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Kwanza Butler, Anne Delaney, Cathy and Walther Isaacson, and Michele and Jason Penzer helped fill the room with tickets per person costing $1,250. Tonight, there was a palpable sadness as emcee and CNN anchor Poppy Harlow asked for a moment of silence for those killed in Las Vegas. It is always unfortunate when a celebratory dinner takes place on a lachrymose occasion and the heaviness in the crowd was readily apparent.

The night started with the "Opera Collective" duo of Omar Bowey and Lindell Carter performing a wonderful rendition of "Rigoletto", "Il Trovatore", and "Fedora" to the delight of the audience. After attending the three-and-a-half Metropolitan Opera Gala last week the brief and delightful repertoire was perfect. Then we were treated to the more serious portion of the evening with Emmett Carson head of the $8.2 billion Silicon Valley Community Foundation lambasting the President for his policies. Dr. Angela Diaz was then heralded for heading the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center which serves more than 10,000 young people a year. An acting pediatrician, she spoke of how the organization helped her beat depression and hopelessness giving her the ambition to pursue a medical degree at Columbia and a Master's in Public Health from Harvard.

Verna Eggleston, head of Women's Development at Bloomberg Philanthropies since 2007, praised Bloomberg as someone who has no fear in standing side by side with a woman like her. She also cleverly remarked that "beside every great man is a great woman" a comment the crowd adored. Every year there is someone at the dinner who moves me to tears and tonight that person was LaDeamMa McMoore, who suffered under the hands of an abusive husband for eight years. If that wasn't horrific enough after he had hit her with a gun the weapon accidentally discharged and she plead guilty serving 11.5 years in prison. LaDeamMa stood before us as an incredibly powerful, vocal force of nature and she was given a well deserved standing ovation.

The dinner of fish was delightful and the last speaker Hon. Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of New York State and the NY Court of Appeals and current chair of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, spoke about the necessity of getting rid of Riker's Island which he called "a stain on the soul of New York City." He said out of all the honors he received over the year's there was nothing more important than this award because of the organization it was coming from. Lippman, who has been a civil servant for 44 years, was named one of the Top 50 Innovators in Big Law in the last 50 years by "American Lawyer". At 9:30 PM guests exited the splendid Plaza ballroom after experiencing a meaningful evening.

By: Lieba Nesis