The New York City Mission Society held its annual Champions for Children fundraising Gala at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. This year’s event honored real estate mogul, investor and philanthropist Don Peebles and legendary actress and singer Diahann Carroll, as well as recognizing two lifetime members of the Mission Society’s Board of Directors: Dina Merrill Hartley and Lloyd W. Brown II. Co-chaired by Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff, the benefit supported the Mission Society’s programs and services that help youth and families in our city’s most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success. Notable attendees included television personality Gayle King, actress Cicely Tyson, former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins and theater producer Arny Granata.
The evening started with cocktails, followed by a program with dinner, music, and dancing. The Gala was emceed by WABC News Anchor Bill Ritter, a longtime supporter of the Mission Society. Performers included Kathy Sledge, the legendary voice of Sister Sledge; acclaimed singer Alex Donner and his Orchestra, and students enrolled in the Mission Society’s free afterschool music education program, GRIOT. Event Co-Chairs Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff welcomed the attendees and highlighted some of the accomplishments The Mission Society has achieved in the past year. Mrs. Peebles congratulated the audience on a record breaking dinner as the attendance was nearly 50% larger than last year and the event sold out. The evening resumed with Donahue Peebles III called to the stage. He gave a passionate and warm introduction of his father, before presenting Don Peebles with his award.
Don Peebles gave a warm and inspiring speech, asking the audience to imagine if it were their kids in the position of so many NYC children who live in poverty and are served by the Mission Society and challenged them to give and continue to support its important efforts. He mentioned the three best days of his life, September 12, 1994 the day he married Katrina Peebles “the love of my life, my best friend and partner in life”; November 11, 2002 the day his daughter Chloe Alexandra Peebles was born and “today April 5th – not only because I am receiving this award but it’s the day Donahue was born in 1994!” He then went on to wish his son a happy 23rd birthday. His speech perpetuated the thought of him entering the NYC Mayoral race.
Diahann Carroll gave warm and thoughtful remarks remembering her time in NYC at the Mission School, her parents and her life in NYC. She remarked on the impressive diversity in the five star hotel ballroom and how she never sees this in LA. She was warmly embraced by the audience.
In addition to Gala Co-Chairs Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff, this year’s Gala Committee included: Tommie Pegues (Gala Vice Chair), Peggy and John Bader, and Leah and Stanley Rumbough. Benefit Committee Members are: Alston & Bird, LLP, American Securities Foundation, Flo Anthony, Elaine Bernanke Appelle, Kim Bingham, Sophia Bishop, Jerry Bonura, Geoffrey Bradfield, Henry Buhl, Victor de Souza, Lee Fryd, Penny Grant, Jo’Vion (J.D.) Greer, Shannon Hales, Michelle Herbert, Missy Kilroy & Jay Moorhead, Barbara and Francis Kairson, Jr., Margo Langenberg, Brian Monroe, Riki Kane Larimer, Dustin Lujan, Lauren & James Peterson, Kim Renk & Greg Dyer, Natalie S. Ross, Helen Shelton, and Brooke and Derek Steinhiser.
About Don Peebles & Katrina Peebles
Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue (Don) Peebles is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, one of the country’s few national privately held real estate investment and development companies with portfolio of projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami Beach. Mr. Peebles also is a top-selling author of The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth. He a regular guest on CNN, CNBC, and FOX, as well as a highly sought-after speaker.
Mr. Peebles is an avid supporter of mentoring to expose youth to the value of entrepreneurship. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus, is on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York, is a member of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez’s Business Roundtable, was a two-time former member of President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee, and former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Upon graduating with a B.S. in Journalism, Katrina Peebles began a marketing career at Carter, Hawley and Hale (parent company of Neiman Marcus) in San Francisco. Later, Katrina spearheaded the Peebles Corporation tax appeal business in the early 1990’s, which became the most successful tax appeal firm in the District of Columbia. In the mid-1990’s, after the launch of Peebles Atlantic Development Corporation, Katrina began preparing responses to requests for proposals, guiding marketing efforts and promotions for mixed-use developments including The Royal Palm and The Residences at The Bath Club.
Though she has invested time in the Peebles Corporation, Katrina has always found it important to give back to her community and has invested her time in various charities. Katrina has always expressed an interest in politics and has hosted and contributed to political fundraisings for the past 27 years. And though politics and charity organizations are a large interest to Katrina, she also has a love and devotion to art and design. Katrina is currently bringing her design and marketing expertise to 108 Leonard– a collection of 156 luxury condos coming to the market in Spring 2017. Katrina has taken over the responsibility of the family’s philanthropic priorities while caring for her two children and working at the Peebles Corporation. Katrina is a Co-chair of the NYC Mission Society since 2016.
For more information on the Peebles Corporation, please visit http://peeblescorp.com/don-peebles/
About Diahann Carroll
The Mission Society presented the legendary Diahann Carroll with its Champions for Children Award. Born in Harlem, Ms. Carroll is an award-winning and trailblazing actress, successful entrepreneur, and devoted humanitarian. One of America’s major performing talents, she has starred on stage, screen, and television. In addition to winning Tony and Golden Globe awards, Ms. Carroll has been nominated for Emmys, Grammys, and an Oscar over her long and prestigious career. She also has devoted considerable time to support causes that are important to her. She served as an ambassador and national spokesperson for Lifetime Television’s breast cancer awareness campaign, and has been recognized for raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.
Ms. Carroll was the first black actress in television history to star in her own series, Julia, on NBC, which soared to the top of the Nielsen ratings and received an Emmy nomination. Her television credits include Dynasty, A Different World, Soul Food, Strong Medicine, and Whoopi. Her recent appearances include White Collar on the USA Network and a role in the film Peeples. Equally stunning on stage, Ms. Carroll has received acclaim for her performances in Sunset Boulevard, Bubbling Brown Sugar, and House of Flowers, and won a Tony Award for her performance in Richard Rodgers’ No Strings. Her film work includes Claudine, Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy & Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Eve’s Bayou. In 2010, she filmed her stage show, “The Lady-The Music-The Legend” for PBS TV, and her one-woman show at Feinstein’s regularly sold out.
For more information on Diahann Carroll, please visit http://www.diahanncarroll.net/
About the New York City Mission Society
The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, our progressive portfolio of educational, workforce development, cultural enrichment, and community-building programs make a positive, long-term impact on the City’s most underserved communities by promoting academic achievement, and providing career opportunities and cultural enrichment. Each year, we serve more than 12,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events.
For more information about the New York City Mission Society, visit: http://www.nycmissionsociety.org.
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