By Lindsay Carroll, Head of Marketing and Events, and Grace Dixon, Senior Manager of Events

On Monday, May 15, Robin Hood gathered at the Javits Center for the annual benefit. This year was special as it marked 35 years of Robin Hood’s fight against poverty in New York and the event was an ode to all that we love about the city – the people, the buildings, and community.

This year’s benefit was co-chaired by Greg and Alexandra Mondre and Robin Hood board members David Solomon and Kenneth Tropin. The event brought together community partners and stars from across industries and boroughs, as we looked back at the past 35 years and forward to all the good we want to continue to do together.

Upon arrival, guests walked through a tunnel showcasing Robin Hood’s biggest wins over the past four decades. While all the proud moments in the organization’s history were impossible to feature in the tunnel, the rest of the spaces and programming continued to highlight the partners, donors and individuals that drive our work forward.

As guests enjoyed cocktails, all the things we love about New York – big and small – came to life. A buzzing basketball court, talented performers, sidewalk chess players, the Empire State Building, and even a giant pigeon lit up the room to kick off a high-energy evening.

After transitioning to the dining room, guests were welcomed by Justin Tuck and Gayle King, before a special Robin Hood edition of Monday Night Football, featuring Eli and Peyton Manning! We followed with a story about the Association to Benefit Children and honored a community hero, Victor Reyes. As we looked back at 35 years, we were reminded that the future is brighter with people like Victor, who is now a father and teacher inspiring the next generation with his kindness and determination. The Association to Benefit Children was the first community partner to receive a Robin Hood grant, and has received one from Robin Hood every year for 35 years. We were humbled to also honor Gretchen Buchenholz who has led ABC fearlessly since day one.

During dinner, guests were serenaded by nine-time Grammy Award winner, Brandi Carlile, who performed a beautiful set that closed with a transcendent rendition of “Hallelujah.” We laughed with our old friend and longtime Robin Hood supporter, Jim Gaffigan. Our CEO, Rich Buery Jr., spoke to the audience about the power of community before Robin Hood’s founder Paul Tudor Jones took the stage. The final act during dinner was a surprise WWE-themed duel between Paul Jones and the evil “Impoverisher.” John Cena came to the rescue and together with Paul, encouraged the audience to give. After donations were tallied, Dina Powell McCormick, Robin Hood’s Board Chair, announced our official fundraising total for the night of $61.4 million – every dollar of which will go out the door to help those experiencing poverty in New York City.

After dinner, guests rushed back to the cocktail space for an electrifying concert by 17-time Grammy Award, 25 BET Hip Hop Award, and Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Kendrick Lamar, who performed some of his greatest hits and captivated and brought together a crowd of new donors, community partners and our oldest friends – all because of a shared passion to help the city we love.

As guests got on subways and in cabs to head home, gift bags in hand, the Empire State Building lit the way, blazing a celebratory Robin Hood green long into the night. Keep your eye out for the custom cartoon featured on the bag this year (thanks, Jeremy Nguyen!) – we have already seen it on the way to our office in Union Square.

We could not be more grateful to the vendors we love and trust, the staff we rely on, and the kindness of our incredible donors and community partners. It takes a village, and we are already counting down the days till the next one. It is an honor and a privilege to serve you.

Left to right: Grace Dixon, Senior Manager of Events; Lindsay Carroll, Head of Marketing and Events.

Thank you!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.