The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City was the setting for First Candle’s annual Charity Gala, an evening to benefit the organization’s efforts to help babies survive and thrive. First Candle (formerly SIDS Alliance) is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits committed to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Thanks to the generosity of the more than 350 guests and fabulous live and silent auctions, more than $180,000 was raised to help save babies lives.
The event gave special recognition to the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, Inc. for its role as Benefactor Sponsor of the event for the past three years and honored All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC) for its steadfast commitment to the philanthropic community and the “Power of Partnerships.” ABC has long been a supporter of First Candle, offering the expertise of its senior leadership and board members and providing nearly $160,000 to fund critically needed educational outreach programs. The organization’s ABC Kids Expo is the largest juvenile products trade show in the world.
The chair of this year’s event was Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, mother of Alexis Claire Martin who died of SIDS in 2003. With the help of family and friends, prior to the Gala Margaret had raised more than $238,000 for the Alexis Claire Martin Memorial Fund to sponsor programs of research, education and advocacy to help babies survive and thrive. Margaret used her position as chair as an opportunity to share her passion for First Candle with her wide network of friends and colleagues. The event’s success is a testimony to her dedication and spirit.
The tremendous success of the silent auction can be attributed to Margaret’s co-chair and auctioneer David Bernahl, II, of Coastal Luxury Management in Monterey, California. His personality and infectious excitement made the room come alive and resulted in generous bidding and a total of $90,000 for First Candle.
Formerly the Windflower Ball, the event also recognized founder Esmeralda Williamson-Noble for her ongoing contributions to the event. The Windflower Ball began as a labor of love for the Williamson-Noble family after the death of their son Alexander to SIDS in 1995. The proceeds of the Gala will benefit the Alexander Williamson-Noble Memorial Fund at First Candle.
If you are interested in sponsoring or attending the 2011 Gala, please contact Erin Leatherwood at 800.221.7437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.