The 2017 Legacies Gala celebrated the spirit of community felt in the neighborhoods where we serve. LiLY’s honorees, Dr. George Alexopolous and Deborah McManus graced the stage. At 97 years old, Fanny Steinhauser reminded us of the power of arts in connecting each generation to the other. Dr. Herbert Pardes (2016 Honoree) reminded us of the enormous role that our healthcare system and philanthropy play in society. After dining and the auction, Peter Yarrow brought all to their feet to express unity through song. Gala participants and contributors fully engaged in the organization’s mission, finding aspects of their own life stories among the honorees, performers, and speakers.
At our memorable Legacies 2016 gala on May 9th at Columbia University’s historic Low Library, we honored Dr. Herbert Pardes for his unprecedented career in healthcare and psychiatry and his generosity of spirit. And, we also honored centenarian Sandy Socolar for her career in early childhood education and her heart of gold. FOX journalist Maria Bartiromo, NY Public Radio host Brian Lehrer, former Legacies Award recipient David Amram, Howard McGillin (Broadway’s longest playing phantom) and pianist Larry Yurman were on hand to help make the evening most a memorable one.
In 2015, Dick Cavett was on hand, among other luminaries in the creative world, to help us to celebrate David Amram, for his continuing multifaceted legacy as musician, composer and human being. On April 20th, people arrived from all over, not to merely enjoy the fabulous banquet, but also to view Erica Lansner’s stunning photography exhibition of volunteers with elders they care for and to hear Amram’s amazingly diverse performance pieces which included “It’s a Wonderful World” and friend Keir Dullea reading a Kerouac poem, among other thrills of the evening.
Legacies™ 2014 Award recipient was dancer, choreographer, actor, and artist Geoffrey Holder, a true renaissance man who mentored so many others as well. The April 9th event at the historic Interchurch Center in Manhattan fulfilled its promise of being one of New York’s most amazing galas, with a surprise performance by one of the world’s best-loved comedians, before his reputation was compromised, with Whoopi Golberg and S. Epatha Merkerson on hand to present LiLY’s award to Mr. Holder. The VIP Art Exhibit of Holder’s paintings and the elegant buffet dinner brought the experience to the heights.
In 2013, LiLY celebrated at the home of humanitarian and songster, Peter Yarrow with a private dinner event that had attendees saying it “was the best party” they’d ever been to. Mr. Yarrow performed for guests with several Peter, Paul & Mary songs among the unforgettable surprises.
On April 17, 2010, Legacies Award Gala was inaugurated with an elegant fundraising event at the Fashion Institute of Technology where Arthur McGee, dubbed “the grandfather of African American fashion designers”, was celebrated. He was presented with our first Legacies Award by actress Cicely Tyson, and he was also presented with the Fashion Institute of Technology’s “President’s Lifetime Achievement Award” by former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. After an elegant reception, admirers and friends of Mr. McGee moved to a special screening room to view “Valentino, the Last Emperor” with filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer on board to introduce the film and to draw parallels and distinctions between McGee’s and Valentino’s fashion careers.