New York, NY — Robin Hood, the city’s leading poverty-fighting organization, tonight raised $56.5 million, and 100 percent of it will go to organizations that provide vital services to New Yorkers in need, as Robin Hood’s board underwrites all of the event’s costs. In addition to the money raised by the event, much of the fundraiser’s décor—more than 50,000 donated items, including laptops, blankets, and cans of food—will go directly to Robin Hood-supported programs.

The benefit was co-chaired by Elaine and Ken Langone, Erica and Antonio ‘LA’ Reid, Mimi and Barry Sternlicht, and Caryn and Jeff Zucker. Conan O’Brien hosted the 19th annual event, while Diane Sawyer and Robin Hood board member Tom Brokaw also addressed the guests. Latin singing sensation Shakira entertained the more than 3,700 guests who gathered at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for the fundraiser. Sheryl Crow, Wyclef Jean, John Legend, and American Idol winner David Cook all made surprise appearances.

Serving once again as the event’s auctioneer, Jamie Niven of Sotheby’s prevailed upon the guests, “The higher the bid, the greater the good,” and succeeded in raising:

  • $425,000 to support Robin Hood’s Early Childhood programs through an African tour auction package
  • $300,000 to support Robin Hood’s Education programs through a Jonas Brothers concert package
  • $420,000 to support Robin Hood’s Survival programs through an Australian trip package
  • $500,000 to support Robin Hood’s Jobs & Economic Security programs through a TV/Music/Sports/Film package

“Robin Hood remains humbled by the generosity of our donors in this economic environment,” David Saltzman, Robin Hood’s Executive Director, said. “We look forward to putting their investment with us to work on behalf of the 1.5 million people living in poverty in New York City.”

The evening’s décor was envisioned as “an annual report come to life,” with bold graphics illustrating the outcomes of Robin Hood’s anti-poverty investments and sculptural installations made up of items, many of which were donated by corporate partners. Once the sculptures are dismantled, the items will go to poverty-fighting organizations that Robin Hood supports. The estimated total value of the décor items that Robin Hood will distribute to poverty-fighting groups is $1 million.

Examples of how the items were used:

  • Rather than flowers, the centerpieces were XO Laptops; all 800 will go to education programs.
  • One of the temporary structures in the cocktail area was fabricated from 1,600 blankets donated by Lands’ End, which will go to housing programs.
  • A large-scale bar graph was made up of 9,000 schoolbooks donated by Scholastic, Inc., which will go to education programs.

Other donated items for the décor included:

  • 6,000 adult and children’s sneakers of all sizes donated by Nike, which will then be donated to housing programs.
  • 2,800 calculators from Staples, Inc., that will go to job training programs.
  • The 6,000 cans of food donated by Krasdale Foods, which will to go to soup kitchens and food pantries supported by Robin Hood.
  • 14,000 t-shirts from Polo Ralph Lauren, Lands’ End and Sears, which will all go to housing programs.
  • 4,000 socks from Polo Ralph Lauren, Renfro/Hot Sox and Hanes Brands, Inc., which will go to housing programs.
  • 1,000 towels from Polo Ralph Lauren, which will go to housing programs.
  • 450 backpacks from VF Corporation, which will go to education programs.
  • 3,300 building blocks from Kaplan Early Learning Company, which will go to early childhood programs.
  • 2,000 bottles of water from Mountain Valley Spring Water, which will go to food programs.
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