Tuesday, December 16, 2008
CHARITY:WATER -ANNUAL FUNDRAISER SOAKS UP NYC
A PACKED HOUSE TURNS OUT FOR A GREAT CAUSE
Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC December 15th, 2008
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
Can this crowd get any hotter?
Zac Posen's Attire
WE KNOW IT’S THE ‘IN’ EVENT when caring celebs like host Adrian Grenier (Entourage’s main dude) blends in with the crowd…literally, he stayed still the end.
Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity:Water is a dedicated professional-with a high tech version of a who’s who rolodex.
It’s a rare evening when our random conversations with festive attendees serve up tidbits like “we came for Scott…the cause is so worth it…I feel like I’m making a difference.”
And maybe that’s the key. Because even a donated $20, an amount many urbanite caffeine junkies spend on a week of Starbucks lattes, makes a huge difference for a fresh water deprived individual--- living in a developing nation that span the globe.
Lisa Seiffert, Model Wearing Migeulina
We don’t know Harrison personally----but we guess it’s combo of hard work that makes a huge difference for so many who suffer, savvy smarts, a knack for communicating that makes everyone feel included and inspired to do their best, plain ole’ likeability, and knowing just how far people are willing to go-that gets major companies like fashion’s Theory, Sanofli Sunglasses, department store Saks Fifth Avenue, beauty companies Talinka (a personal fav), and Kiehl’s, chic hotels (the Delano in Miami, the Mercer and Soho House in NYC), liquor companies (Grey Goose, Cakebread Cellars), Jet Blue Airlines and many noted artists etc…to donate items for auction.
And as always…a sell-out crowd.
Even with the economic black cloud overhanging the planet... the amazingly well run event space (Metropolitan Pavilion), high tech sound system and interactive displays (including Google’s très cool iGoogle theme page and Google Maps that document field projects),
tireless volunteers (150 plus including PR firms Brand Building Communications and State PR)…came gratis.
In fact, all monies raised (100%)-including the take from the “sacred yellow Jerry Cans” catwalk (each hauler earned $25 for the cause)… goes towards building fresh water drinking and hygiene facilities where needed.
WHAT WE LEARNED: We- and many others, took the time to review the many dynamic video displays and panels highlighting Charity:Water’s efforts…including the cyclone torn Bangladesh where 120 wells and 60 biosand filters were installed…in a year! (Hmmm-makes us think what’s up Katrina).
Richie Rich-half of design dup Heatherette---going on his own for NY Fashion Week!!!!
Edward Tricomi "The salon's (at the Plaza) doing great."
In a crowd of BlackBerry addicts, it’s tough to get the message across, let alone hear a few snippets above the din. Yet, many in the humongous crowd of 1000 or so…were captivated and motivated by what the evening’s orators had to say.
Scott Harrison kept his remarks brief and to the point. “The mission is simple-to bring clean water to every single person on the planet.” A billion and counting.
Next up was Adrian Grenier who spoke from the heart---and barely glanced at his notes-when he made reference to the ‘captured a zeitgeist’ film “Wall Street” starring Michael Douglas as swank stockbroker Gordon Gekko- that hit movie screens in 1987. The “Greed is Good” dialogue delivered by Douglas/Gekko to a group of about to be manhandled shareholders- became a mantra for many. Seriously.
“People seem to believe that concept,” Grenier noted… “an allegiance to a culture has made us selfish.” However, the actor proposed“… an alternative concept---GIVING IS BETTER.”
“In a time of economic struggle, let us embrace generosity.” Amen.
Donna Berber from a Glimmer of Hope –a non-profit partner with Chairity:Water commented on the hardships women and children endure on a daily basis-like hauling 30-40 pound jugs for five hours to and from a water source.-in pursuit of something safe to drink.
“Their lives are unimaginable…(with) the average lifespan of an Ethiopian woman is 45 years old.”
“Yet,” Berber observed, “they live lives of incredible dignity.”
We loved the USA newbie, African native/visitor Getachew- who managed to ‘own’ the stage- and delivered a rallying speech on just how much fresh drinking water meant to Ethiopians. And it was obvious---“I am so excited to be here.”
Lastly, a live auction and a musical set by rock group Amos Lee ended the stage portion of the night.
But how fun was this good works event…it was still packed AFTER THE BARS CLOSED!!!
Now that’s something too.
INFO: CHARITY WATER
SPECIAL THANKS: New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, with amazing support from sponsors who covered over $250,000 in costs, (in-kind donations)—Zenith, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Sterling Affair, Thomas Preti Caterers and Creative Edge, Scharff Weisberg Inc., Tripp/Mixx Productions and Bailey Brothers, Starbright Floral Design and GREY GOOSE Vodka.