Champions For Children Gala


Jean Shafiroff

Bill Ritter

Sharon Bush

Shannon Hale With Flo Anthony And Dr Penny Grant

Joshua Morgan And Jumaane Williams

Jean And Martin Shafiroff

Barbara Kierson And Frances Kerson

Jean Shafiroff And Mayor David Dinkins

Joy Marks
New York, N.Y. – The NYC Mission Society raised nearly $600,000 at its annual Champions for Children gala on April 1st. The benefit supported the Mission Society’s programs and services that help youth and families in our city’s most under-served communities to break the cycle of poverty and achieve success. “Our mission is clear: keep fighting for those in need. For more than two centuries the NYC Mission Society has been on the front-lines of the war on poverty,” explains Elsie McCabe Thompson, President of the NYC Mission Society. “This year, we held our benefit on a day known for practical jokes so we can trumpet our message that fighting poverty is no laughing matter. Too many children and families in our city and country are in desperate need of help to overcome poverty. We at the NYC Mission Society take this need seriously, and vow to continue leading the fight to create new opportunities and improve lives.”

This year, the NYC Mission Society honored two Champions for Children: Colbert Narcisse, Managing Director and Global Head of Alternative Investments, Morgan Stanley; and, Hollis Russell, Partner, Ackerman, Levine, Cullen, Brickman & Limmer, LLP.

"We were thrilled to honor these two extraordinary individuals whose philanthropic efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of so many," said gala Chair Jean Shafiroff. "We are deeply indebted to all those who have given countless hours and endless energy to planning this gala, because in the end, we all recognize the need for more people to step forward to combat poverty.”

Rosemary Ponzo

Allison Ecung
The gala was held at the Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle, starting with cocktails at 6:00 PM followed by the awards ceremony and dinner at 7:00 PM. This year's Master of Ceremonies was Bill Ritter, anchor at WABC-TV and 20/20 correspondent. The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats, an ensemble of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, provided the entertainment. Grammy Award-winner Arturo O'Farrill, founder of ALJA, attended the gala. Gala committee co-chairs included Peggy and John Bader, Carolyn and Lloyd W. Brown, II, and John U. Moorhead. Honorary gala chairs were Stanley H. Rumbough and Fiona and Stan Druckenmiller. Brooke Laing, co-founder of the NYC Mission Society's Junior Society, was this year's auction chair. Members of the benefit committee included: Flo Anthony, Sharon Bush, Suzette Charles, Penny Grant, Shannon Hales, Ambassador Mary Ourisman & Mandell Ourisman and Christine Schott & George Ledes. The corporate chair was Barclays.

Ruben Diaz Jr With Bill Thompson

Gala attendees included: former Mayor David Dinkins, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, David Banks, Erik Bottcher, Geoffrey Bradfield, Valentino Carlotti, Natasha Das, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Joseph Fichera, Priscila Hall, Brooke Laing, Gregory Mays, Scott Nammacher, Amelia Ogunlisi, James Peterson, Cole Rumbough, Derek Steinhiser, Elinor Tatum, Sheena Wright, B. Michael, Marc Anthony, and Victor De Souza.

About New York City Mission Society

The NYC Mission Society has been on the front-lines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, our progressive portfolio of educational, restorative justice, cultural enrichment, and workforce development programs make a positive, long-term impact on youth in the City’s most unde-rserved communities by promoting academic achievement, combating violence, and providing career opportunities. Each year, we serve more than 13,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events. Learn more at