NEW YORK - JUNE 11: The 20th Anniversary Gala of ACE
(Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless
) on Monday, June 11, 2012 at Sotheby's NYC
| 1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021
ACE celebrated 20 years of empowering the homeless and improving communities with a star-studded gala at world famous auction house Sotheby’s. The evening began with a display of photographs from the collection of ACE founder Henry Buhl, which will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in December. Emcee and Good Day NY
co-host Rosanna Scotto
who also notably serves as President of "Schmoozing"
at her family restaurant Fresco by Scotto
, and socialite Tinsley Mortimer
were among the guests.
The main dining area was decorated to resemble the streets of downtown NYC – paper traffic lights hung from the ceilings, table numbers were replaced with street signs and images of gridlocked taxis were projected on the walls. Rosanna Scotto kicked off the festivities by introducing opera singer Jessye Norman, who wowed with her rendition of God Bless America, followed by hilarious performance from comedian Stewie Stone.
were Jessye Norman
, Russell Simmons
) and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank - Retail
. Additional honorees included longtime ACE supporters Tony Goldman
(CEO of Goldman Properties
), Denise Rich
, Steven Tanger
(CEO of Tanger Outlets
) and Cynthia Wainwright.
ACE founder Henry Buhl
and ACE Executive Director Jim Martin
addressed the gathering which included among new guests, patrons and long times supporters. In their remarks both gentleman highlighted the progress of the program over its 20 year history. Jim introduced, 2010 ACE graduate Danny W. Danny spoke of his 30-year struggle with addiction and detailed how he finally bottomed out in 2007. After hitting rock bottom, he worked to overcome his drug problem, found his way to ACE in 2010 and became one of ACE’s many success stories. Today Danny is clean and sober and has been gainfully employed for almost 3 years. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Danny left the stage.
Sotheby’s auctioneer Jamie Niven
then took the stage for the ACE live auction, with some help from longtime ACE supporter Countess Luann de Lesseps
from The Real Housewives of New York City
. Luann was joined by cast mates Heather Thomson
and Aviva Drescher
On a summer morning in 1992, Henry Buhl
was leaving his loft on Greene Street in SoHo, when a local homeless man asked him for $20. He figured: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. So Henry offered the man a job sweeping the sidewalk in front of his building, and then rallied the stores on his block to do the same. This was the beginning of Project Comeback
, which empowers homeless charities and New Yorkers to donate and get homeless people off the street.
Within a few months, word had spread about the new homeless programs sweeping NYC. Recovering homeless men and women were eager to accept work cleaning the streets of SoHo to rebuild their lives. Henry began to accept referrals from homeless outreach and charity organizations and the SoHo Partnership was born, followed by the TriBeCa and NoHo/Bowery Partnerships. In 1997, the Association of Community Employment Programs
was created as an umbrella organization to unify the New York City initiatives.
Today, the organization’s homeless charity serves individuals from over 40 shelters and treatment programs from all five New York City boroughs. They have consolidated the neighborhood partnerships under the name ACE, and they currently conduct street sweeping in SoHo, TriBeCa, NoHo/Bowery, Nolita, Bedford/Downing and the West Village of NYC. For More Information:
To learn more about ACE, sponsoring a future ACE Junior Committee event or making a donation to the organization, contact Sandra Sanches
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