24th Annual Ronald McDonald House New York Gala Raises Nearly $3.6 Million
By Olivia Nolan
May 16, 2016
May 16, 2016
On Monday, May 16th, the Ronald McDonald House New York hosted its 26th annual benefit gala at the upscale Waldorf Astoria New York. A total of 1,050 guests gathered together to support families with children fighting pediatric cancer.
The night started off with a silent auction/cocktail hour; items being auctioned included celebrity/athlete signed paraphernalia, tickets to award shows, romantic getaways and much more. There was also an option to purchase a couch for Ronald McDonald House New York and/or to provide the funds to stock a “Happy Wheels Coffee Cart” at Hospital for Special Surgery for either a week or a month.
During the elegant sit-down dinner, NBC News’ Andrea Joyce and Harry Smith emceed the event with help of therapy dog, Reggie. Special guests James “Jes” Staley, Group CEO of Barclays, and Oscar Feldenkreis, CEO & President of Perry Ellis International, were honored due to their work in supporting the foundation. Throughout the dinner there was a text-to-pledge program in effect; encouraging guests to text the amount of money they would like to donate as well as a personal message to the foundation. All texted pledges were displayed on the big screens throughout the ballroom.
Guests also experienced a live auction hosted by Howie Schwartz of Grandstand Sports for two orchestra row tickets, dinner with cast members and a backstage tour of the Broadway musical, Hamilton. When John D. Idol, CEO of Micheal Kors outbid himself at $35,000 he promptly gifted the tickets to 16-year-old cancer survivor, Alexandra Schaney and her mother.
The night was successful in both unifying guests to support this remarkable cause and in raising a total of $3,550,000. The proceeds will go towards supporting the operations of the Ronald McDonald House New York; allowing the foundation to provide additional support services to families staying at the facility. You can learn more about the Ronald McDonald House and ways to contribute at www.rmh-newyork.org.