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  • Loy Bernal Carlos

New York City Mission Society Kicks Off Annual Gala

On February 28th, New York City Mission Society, an organization that has been at the forefront of the City’s war on poverty for more than 200 years, began the countdown to its annual gala by announcing this year’s honorees at a cocktail reception hosted at the Manhattan home of Jean Shafiroff and Martin Shafiroff.

Commonly known as the annual Champion for Children’s Gala, the benefit to be held on April 7th at the Mandarin Oriental New York, supports the Mission’s programs and services that help break the cycle of poverty for youth and families living in New York City’s underserved communities.

This year’s honorees are legendary singer Diahann Carroll, entrepreneur Don Peebles, as well as three lifetime members of the Mission Society’s Board of Directors: actress and philanthropist Dina Merrill Hartley, whose family has supported the Mission Society for four generations; Lloyd W. Brown, II; and, LTC Francis W. Kairson, Jr. (Ret). The gala is co-chaired by two of Mission Society’s board members: author and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff (Gala Chair for the previous two years, and a former Mission Society Gala honoree) and fellow philanthropist and entrepreneur, Katrina Peebles.

Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and Martin Shafiroff hosted on Tuesday, February 28 to announce the honorees at the New York City Mission Society’s annual Champions for Children Gala on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Pictured (l to r): Jean Shafiroff, Elsie McCabe Thompson, Don Peebles, and Katrina Peebles. Photo credit Owen Hoffman/

This year’s Gala Committee also includes: 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 Bernake 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.

Among the distinguished attendees of the cocktail reception were Elsie McCabe Thompson, Kenita Lloyd, Katrina and Don Peebles, Jay Morehead, Peggy and John Bader, Stan and Leah Rumbough, Geoffrey Bradfield, Edward Cox, Michael and Barbara Gross, Larry Milstein, B. Michael and Mark Anthony, Alex Donner, Helen Shelton, Flo Anthony, Angela Chen, Suzette Charles, Maggie Norris, Frederick Anderson, Joyce Brooks, Amanda Bowman, Natalie Ross, William Allen, Victor de Souza, Maggie Norris, Matt Rich.

New York City Mission Society’s progressive portfolio of educational, workforce development, cultural enrichment, and community-building programs make a positive, long-term impact on the City’s impoverished communities by promoting academic achievement, and providing career opportunities and cultural enrichment. Each year, it serves more than 13,000 children and families throughout New York City with various programs, supportive services, and community events.

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