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Volunteers of America’s A New York Winter's Eve | Great Performances


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Volunteers of America’s A New York Winter’s Eve
CPS Events at The Plaza
by Mike Warren

Since The Plaza reopened in 2008, we have since hosted the Volunteers of America’s A New York Winter's Eve and I have been fortunate enough to develop a professional and personal relationship with the extremely passionate Rachel Weinstein. 

We host about 200 galas per year, and in my 30+ year career, I have worked on thousands of parties, impacting an insurmountable number of people – not only guests of the fundraisers, but more importantly, the people that these organizations support.  I’ve always known my position, and it was to execute a flawless event and make our clients look good, however, being on the Dinner Committee was a whole other experience.  Navigating the strong personalities of all members of the dinner committee was a different experience for me.  Putting the food aside for a moment, and how it should be plated and presented, learning the fundraising aspect was a welcomed challenge.

I put my prospecting skills to good use – reaching out to my relationships that I have built over the years to enhance the extensive silent and live auction.  I was so pleasantly surprised by how generous and kind my colleagues, colleagues and friends were.  One of our floral partners was generous enough to donate beautiful hand blown, Venetian candlesticks.  Notwithstanding, I leaned on my husband Sam and played to his strengths to execute our design plan.  

From an unbiased opinion, the room looked gorgeous.  Rachel Weinstein, Vice President, Chief Development & Communications Officer of Volunteers of America Greater New York, and a longtime friend and client really has a knack for the fundraising.  There are so many expenditures that go along with producing a gala, Rachel prefers for every expense to have a revenue generator attached to it.  For example, the décor was not put to waste; it was sold to the guests of the gala to raise funds for VoA.

It was so rewarding to be a part of the Dinner Committee this year, an experience that opened my eyes to all of the truly good work that Volunteers of America does for our community.  Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) is a $100 million social services not-for-profit serving thousands of the most vulnerable of our neighbors including children of all ages and veterans in all five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Northern New Jersey, and along the Hudson Valley. VOA-GNY provides the support a struggling veteran needs to transition to civilian life, prepares Pre-K to high school students (some with special needs) for success in school, shelters homeless individuals and families and those recovering from domestic violence, and breaks the devastating cycle of intergenerational poverty. In response to the city’s housing crisis, VOA-GNY has built and is aggressively building permanent, supportive housing for families and veterans.  

For more information on VoA or to donate, please view their website

Source for All Images: Ben Asen Photography

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