The mood was already set for an elegant evening when I was invited to join the Ackerman Institute for the Family at the Waldorf=Astoria at their 7th annual Moving Families Forward Gala on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013.
It was an evening for raising money and awarding people that have gone above and beyond for advocating and working with families all over the states.
The evening started off with red carpet pictures and as the celebrities of the evening started arriving the camera people were getting more and more eager, and by the time Colin Farrell came you could not see for all of the flashes that were going off at the same time. I do not know how the really famous do it; they must be seeing hundreds of dark spots after a flash attack like that and be half blind for the following 30 minutes.
During the red carpet arrival all of the guests had the opportunity to bid on many silent auction items and there were everything from books, to vacations, to diamond rings.
After the reception and silent auction it was time to join them in the dining area where we were entertained by the John Pizzarelli Quartet featuring Bucky Pizzarelli and the three-time hostess of the evening, Natalie Morales, News Anchor of NBC News’ TODAY.
After the first course of the delicious menu, the live auction of the evening started and we were very entertained by the funny Executive Vice President of Sothesby’s C. Hugh Hildesley, who managed to make fun with people but in a very civilized and heartfelt way that no one walked away offended. It was the highlight of the evening, besides having the chance to see Colin Farrell.
The honorees of the evening were Colin Farrell for his work with and for special needs families. Colin Farrell was awarded the Moving Families Forward Award and gave a very moving speech about his own experiences when receiving the award.
Jeannie Ackerman Curhan also received an award for her work with and support of the Ackerman Institute. The award was the Ackerman Distinguished Service Award. I believe she gave the shortest and best speech I have ever heard at a gala event like this. It was inspiring, personal and right to the point without too much fluff that you really do not need.
The last to be awarded this evening was Christopher J. Spano of CJS Builders. After having renovated the Institute’s new spaces in the Flatiron District, Christopher J. Spano became very inspired by the work that the Ackerman Institute for the Family does and became a big supporter. Mr. Spano was awarded the Ackerman Partner Award.
After another round of fun live auctions with great success and dessert it was time to go home. Now I can sit back and have an evening of elegance, celebrity and comedy to remember.
– Line B.