The NYC Mission Society’s Annual Champions For Children Benefit
Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
The war on poverty in the United States has grown into a wide problem among young children unfortunately in this day and age and in our own background. The New York City Mission Society has been on the front-lines battling this war for a very longtime.
On Wednesday, April 13, 2016 The New York City Mission Society held their annual CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN Benefit, led by Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff serving as 2016 Gala Chair for Second Year and Dr. Rudolph F. Crew Delivered Keynote Address, honouring multi-Grammy Award Winning Afro-Latin Jazz Founder and Artistic Director, Arturo O’Farrill at the Majestic Mandarin Oriental in New York City, NY. We were treated with such excellent service by the staff, and to fine dining with breathtaking views of Central Park and Columbus Circle.
The event was filled with amazing attendees from various industries who all came together to lend their support for such an amazing cause. Such attendees included former New York State Governor David Paterson, William Thompson, Jr.Cole Rumbough, and Fox News Channel Reporter Harris Faulkner.
Hosting the benefit was WABC-TV Anchor Bill Ritter , with music performances by the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble and The Fat Afro Latin Cats.
“The Mission Society is all about creating partnerships to improve lives,” said Gala Chair Jean Shafiroff. “It is a recognition that none of us can accomplish this alone, but together we can give back and create monumental change. I am proud to partner with the Mission Society.”
The keynote speaker, Medger Evers College (CUNY) President, Dr. Rudolph F.Crew, who previously served as New York Chancellor, gave a passionate speech at this year’s event. He is the recipient of many awards such as NAACP Educational Leadership, the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award and others. He has served on various leadership and started the Parent Academy, which helps more than 100,000 parents with workshops designed to help them support their children’s education.
“I am grateful that tonight, you chose to support the New York City Mission Society,” Elsie McCabe Thompson, President of the New York City Mission Society, told the audience of several hundred. “Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to not only make an effort, but a longstanding commitment. With over one million nonprofit organizations in the United States, we know that by joining forces, we can exponentially increase the creativity, compassion and commitment needed to bring about meaningful change in the lives of those we serve each day.”
The President of the New York City Mission Society’s since 2014, Elsie McCabe Thompson spoke about the importance, progress and direction of music education. She has enhanced educational and cultural enrichment , plus forged long term partnerships with Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. She has served as Senior Litigator with Sherman & Sterling, where she co-founded and ran a training and mentoring program that helped over 10,000 minority students. Elsie leads quite an active life being on a number of nonprofit and for-profit corporation.
This years honoree Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and founder of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), received the two-century-old nonprofit’s Visionary Partner. A three-time Grammy winner and has performed with various artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Wynston Marsalis, Harry Belafonte and others.
He founded the Afro Latin Alliance in 2007 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin Music. To learn more about this organization, click here www.afrolatinjazz.org.
Last year the ALJA partnered with the NYC Mission Society to launch GRIOT (Global Rhythms In Our Tribe), an educational program that provides free musical instruction to youths in Harlem and surrounding area for approximately 60 middle and high school students.The funds raised from the benefit supports the NYC Mission’s Society’s programs and services helping more than 18,000 youths and families in NYC most undeserved communities. Their flagship community centers are located in Central Harlem with 15 sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the Lower East Side.
About New York City Mission Society
The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, our progressive portfolio of educational, restorative justice, cultural enrichment, and workforce development programs make a positive, long-term impact on youth in the City’s most under-served communities by promoting academic achievement, combating violence, and providing career opportunities. Each year, we serve more than 18,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events. Learn more at www.nycmissionsociety.org.
All Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan
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