At its annual benefit Wednesday night, over 4,000 Robin Hood supporters came together to raise more than $101 million for organizations serving New Yorkers in need. This is the largest amount ever raised by Robin Hood and is the largest single fundraiser in the country.
Contributions ranged from $5 dollars to $25 million, every penny of which will go toward the most effective schools, job training programs, shelters, emergency food providers, medical care, and other vital services throughout the five boroughs, thanks to the Robin Hood Board who underwrite all operational and event costs.
Included among the evening’s generous contributions were two $25 million grants. The first, from an anonymous donor, will launch a fund investing in the best education and technology initiatives because an excellent education is the most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty. A remarkable group of visionaries with expertise in these areas – including John Overdeck and David Siegel from Two Sigma; Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen from Stanford; Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell Tech; and Google’s Eric Schmidt – will act as advisors to help Robin Hood make the most of this incredible opportunity.
In addition, Bill and Karen Ackman, co-founders of The Pershing Square Foundation, made a generous grant of $25 million that will go towards Robin Hood’s overall mission of fighting poverty, with an emphasis on funding programs directed to the Latino community in New York City.
For the first time ever, Robin Hood also hosted two additional benefits – held at Lavo and the Gallery at the Dream Downton – where 1,000 young professionals joined the fight against poverty in New York City.
The Javits Center event was hosted by Robin Hood board member Katie Couric, with an incredible performance by the legendary Paul McCartney and his band. McCartney performed songs spanning his unprecedented 50-year career, including “Let it Be,” “Band on the Run,” and a rousing rendition of “Hey Jude,” which shook the Javits to its very core.
Jon Bon Jovi was the surprise musical guest of the evening, performing an acoustic version of his multi-platinum hit “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Other special entertainers included Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, and comedian Michael Che.
Co-chairs for the Benefit included Robin Hood board member Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE; Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo; Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees; and David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.