Christodora held its annual Christodora Campfire Dinner and Auction last Wednesday, November 13, at the JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South.
The evening featured a sit-down dinner with multiple speakers, as well as a silent and live auction, and generated over $275,000 of proceeds that will benefit Christodora’s environmental and leadership programs.
Following a brief cocktail hour in the gilded Grand Salon, Christodora’s Executive Director, Judith Rivkin, greeted 300+ guests over dinner, introducing several Christodora students who shared their personal and inspiring stories about the organization.
During dinner, Pamela Manice, currently on Christodora’s Board of Directors, presented Christodora Alumni Aaliyah Bell and Alyssa Strykers, with the evening’s honoree awards. Each young recipient shared how their own unique Christodora campfire experiences, that helped shape their lives today and are inspiring their plans for the future. In addition, Shyamli and Robert Milam, were presented with the Spirit of Christodora Award, for their support of the organization’s mission to create educational opportunities for students that inspire a passion for the outdoors.
Highlights of the lively auction included: winter getaways, sports tickets and VIP tickets to some of New York’s most popular, taped, shows. Guests also made donations to fund field trips from public schools to Christodora’s wilderness camp; scholarships for students in the summer; and supplies for the students’ ecology studies, such as microscopes, sleeping bags and waders.
Following the dinner and auction, the Christodora Jr. Committee kept the festivities going by hosting an after party, with over 100 young supporters in the ornate Art Deco room of the Essex House. The party featured its own fundraising raffle, light hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and live tunes by DJs Bayside and Discogo that had the crowd dancing the night away.
Event Co-Chairs included Lisa Garson & Raymond DiPrinzio, Laurie Keith, Matthew Koven, Eliza Leach, Emily Manice, Harriet Manice, Pamela Manice, Emilie Mittiga, Cecilia Artacho Oh & Kenney Oh, Tatiana Pouschine, Kristin Sundberg, Eva Pomice Timerman & Javier Timerman, Danielle Wiedemann, and Executive Director Judith Rivkin.
Jr. Committee attendees included Matthew Beatus, Rebecca Davison, Hallie Davison, Alex Garson, Anna Irwin, Genevieve Irwin, Laurie Keith, Matthew Koven, Christine Layng, Jessica & Jeffrey Larson, Eliza & David Leach, Emily Manice, Harriet Manice, Kristin Sundberg and Tara Vohra.
Christodora works with New York’s less-privileged, urban youth to develop environmental awareness, leadership skills and academic success through stimulating educational and outdoor programs. The organization reaches 2,000 mixed-income students each year, in the sixth through the twelfth grades – three-quarters of whom have never been outside of their city walls before. Programs take place during and after school in partnership with the New York City’s parks, museums, and schools. In addition, the organization’s wilderness programs take the students out of the city, on weekends and during school vacations, to the Manice Education Center in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1897, Christodora’s programs have grown exponentially since its modest beginnings, where the organization sponsored social and cultural activities, such as George Gershwin’s first public concert in 1914.