The New York Women’s Foundation Honors
Grace Hightower De Niro, Robert De Niro And
Agnes Gund At 23rd Annual Dinner

Robert De Niro With Grace Hightower De Niro

Muffie Potter Aston With Debbie Bancroft, Somers Farkas
And Diana L. Taylor

Agnes Guld With Jane Rosenthal And Robert De Niro

Jean And Martin Shafiroff

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Ana L Oiveira

Last night the New York Women’s Foundation® (NYWF) with a crowd of almost 300 guests celebrated their 23rd annual Stepping Out and Stepping Up Dinner at New York City’s Gotham Hall. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg congratulated the recipients of the Stepping Up Award, “three amazing New Yorkers” who included International Council Chairman and President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art Agnes Gund, as well as Grace Hightower De Niro and Robert De Niro. The Mayor praised Agnes as having “singlehandedly changed our city’s cultural landscape,” and the De Niros, saying “these two New Yorkers really couldn’t be more deserving…they care deeply about this city.” Good Morning America’s Juju Chang was happy to host the special evening commenting, “I like to think that behind every successful woman is a successful woman.” NYWF President & CEO Ana L. Oliveira also emphasized the need for women to help other women arguing, “when we invest in mothers we invest in children…when we invest in children, we invest in our future.”

Iconic director Martin Scorsese is busy filming his upcoming film Hugo Cabret in London, but he managed to be there in spirit last night with a special video message that was taped in Italy. Martin congratulated the couple for their honor, saying “Grace, I applaud the exceptional work you’ve done…Bob, I’ve seen you give so much to the city.” Diana remarked that it was the couple who brought “residents and tourists back downtown” after 9/11 with the Tribeca Film Festival. Robert graciously reported that “I am especially honored to share the spotlight with Agnes,” and gave his wife the spotlight claiming, “I have a feeling I’m receiving this honor not for anything I’ve done, but for what Grace has contributed.” He concluded by praising his mother who, “was a Women’s Libber if you will, and she would be proud of me.” Then Grace emphasized how the NYWF is “such an effective organization…more than doubling the grant-making capacity of the organization since 2005. She ended by thanking the crowd for their support of the NYWF, because “by empowering women we are creating a safer, healthier environment for all of us.” Kate Levin, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, introduced Agnes by lauding “how she creates connections and communities through her giving.” Agnes expressed her gratitude and emphasized her belief that “funding the arts is funding the well-being of children…to clarify who they are…to communicate who they are.” She praised the hard work of the Studio in a School Association, a non-profit organization she established in 1977 in response to budget cuts that virtually eliminated arts education from New York City public schools. Other notable guests last night included film producer Jane Rosenthal, documentary filmmaker and philanthropist Anne Bass, consultant and socialite Dan and Cynthia Lufkin, socialite Ann Rapp, Executive Director of The David Rockefeller Fund Marnie Pillsbury, and optometrist Dr. Amelia Ogunlesi. The success of the event is thanks to all the hard work by Co-Chairs Diana L. Taylor, Hyatt Bass, and Somers Farkas, and Vice Chairs Susan R. Cullman, Anne E. Delaney, Antoinette E. La Belle, Carolyn Buck Luce, Yvonne S. Quinn and Jean Shafiroff. As guests departed, they were treated to exciting gift bags, filled with exclusive goodies such as a gift certificate from celebrity-favorite Angelo David Salon, a lipstick by Estee Lauder, a Lower Eastside Girls Club chocolate bar, the Madame Paulette® Professional Stain Removal Kit, a gift certificate from hotspot Philippe by Philippe Chow, the latest book by Hatherleigh Press Thank You: 101 Ways to Practice Effortless Gratitude, new books The Gate House and The Recessionistas, a cosmetic kit from Tata Harper, and a special poem by Voices Ink.

The New York Women’s Foundation® is a cross-cultural alliance of women, serving as a force for change for women. From the outset, the Foundation’s founders strove to identify innovative organizations that were affecting change in the communities they served for women. NYWF strategically funds organizations and programs that move women, girls and families towards long-term economic security through individual transformation and systematic change, mobilizing leaders and community partners as philanthropists and change agents. NYWF funds programs in that promote economic security and justice, health and sexual rights, positive development of girls and young women, and safety. The Stepping Up Award is presented each year to recognized New Yorkers who serve as role models and demonstrate courageous leadership, vision and commitment to women and girls as individuals and as partners. For further information about The New York Women’s Foundation®, please visit www.nywf.org.