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Bridgehampton, NY ­– On Friday, July 7, 2017, esteemed philanthropists, Don and Katrina Peebles, hosted Cocktails and Conversations benefiting the New York City Mission Society’s programs and services, which are designed to help youth and families living in the City’s most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success.

Hosted at the Peebles’ Bridgehampton home, the elegant but understated event drew an enthusiastic and delightful gathering of long-time supporters and new recruits intent on doing their part in winning the War on Poverty.

Ravishing in a dusk-hued, long evening dress of purple-blue grey by Lia Kes, an Israeli designer with boutiques in Southampton and Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Mrs. Peebles warmly welcomed everyone and expressed her gratitude for their time, friendship and support. A veritable successful in business herself, she suggests that one’s lot in life may only be partially attributed to skills, discipline, perseverance, and hard work. A little bit of luck is involved. And organizations like the NYC Mission Society provide a way for the downtrodden to turn that luck around.

from left: Kenita D. Lloyd, Cassidy Logan

Mission Society Board Member and the evening’s event committee member, Stanley Rumbough, pointed out that the work of the Mission Society and the positive impact it has had in various poverty-stricken communities have won it the admiration and fervent support of New Yorkers, at times spanning several generations. Citing his own familial connection, the Colgates and Rumboughs have been working with the mission since the late 1800s.

Now in its fifth generation, the prominent clan was also represented by 26-year old jazz and cabaret singer, Cole Rumbough, the grandson of this year’s gala honoree and long-time board member, the late Dina Merrill Hartley; and great grandson of cereal heiress, Marjorie Weather Post. The evening proved that regardless of background, and across cultural, generational and financial spectra, people are ready, willing and able to come together to help provide opportunities for those in need.

from left: Elsie McCabe Thompson, B. Michael, Katrina Peebles

Elsie McCabe-Thompson, President of NYC Mission Society, said that the Mission is increasingly becoming more focused on education. She explained that the road to success or failure, especially for students in failing schools, are often paved as early as the third grade. Because in grade three, children are at the tale end of the process of learning how to read. “And if you’re still struggling to read, you begin to fall behind. And then you fall further and further behind. You get frustrated.” There is a point when a child has fallen so far behind that they begin to lose hope; and finally, they give up.

It is important, therefore, for organizations like the Mission Society to be there for those kids: to have a place for them after school, to help them catch up, and to provide a supportive environment that keeps their faith, in the world and in themselves, alive.

Its progressive portfolio of educational, workplace development, cultural enrichment, and community building programs make a positive, long-term impact by promoting academic achievement, career opportunities, and cultural enrichment. For instance, the Mission gave one group a “Tour of the World” by bringing them to various neighborhoods within the five boroughs of New York City with high immigrant populations. The goal was not only to educate them about different food and traditions but to underscore the importance of appreciating and respecting strength and beauty in diversity.

That is also something that both Donahue and Katrina Peebles fully appreciate as philanthropists. Don Peebles has generally focused his charitable work on empowering underprivileged youth by helping to provide tools that they need to pursue entrepreneurship. He is on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York, is former Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus, was a two-time former member of President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee, and former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Apart from being a Board Member and Champions for Children Gala co-Chair of the NYC Mission Society, Katrina Peebles focuses her charitable work on those that concern politics, art, education, and historical preservation. She was appointed by President Obama to the Board of Directors of John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. She also served in the Women’s Cancer League, and sits currently on the Board of Directors for CARE Elementary School in Miami, Florida.

Cocktails and Conversations event host committee included Peggy and John Bader, B. Michael and Mark-Anthony Edwards, Missy Kilroy and Jay Moorehead, and Leah and Stanley Rumbough.

all photos by Joel Pitra for Classiques Modernes

For more information about the Peebles Corporation, click here.

For more information on the New York City Mission Society, click here.

Facebook: nycmissionsociety | Twitter: @missionsociety

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