This past Wednesday, more than 340 people attended (myself included) the New York City Mission Society’s annual Champions for Children Gala, raising a half million dollars to help youth and families in the city’s most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success. This incredible event took place at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle, honored entrepreneur Don Peebles and legendary actress Diahann Carroll for their amazing work with this organization.
Not familiar with the New York City Mission Society? Here is a bit more about them. The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, their progressive portfolio of educational, workforce development, cultural enrichment, and community-building programs make a positive, long-term impact on the City’s most underserved communities by promoting academic achievement, and providing career opportunities and cultural enrichment. Each year, they serve more than 12,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events.
I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Diahann prior to the ceremony beginning, who was an absolute delight and kept me entertained throughout our conversation. When asked about winning the Champions for Children award, she had this to say- “It felt wonderful! It is lovely to be acknowledged by this organization. As I was going through my research today, I was one of their little pupils when I was a little girl! I had forgotten about that. It was very important back then, and gets us into areas where we should be at those ages and surrounded by people that understand what it is that we need at that age.”
Among the notable guests at the event were the legendary Cicely Tyson, Gayle King, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and designer B Michael. The event was emceed by WABC’s Bill Ritter.
Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue (Don) Peebles is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, one of the country’s few national privately held real estate investment and development companies with portfolio of projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami Beach. Mr. Peebles also is a top-selling author of The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth. He a regular guest on CNN, CNBC, and FOX, as well as a highly sought-after speaker.
Mr. Peebles is an avid supporter of mentoring to expose youth to the value of entrepreneurship. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus, is on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York, is a member of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez’s Business Roundtable, was a two-time former member of President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee, and former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information, check out their official site.