Thank you for joining us in celebrating the Down syndrome community and building on 7 years of accomplishments at GiGi’s Playhouse NYC at our annual "i have a Voice" Gala that was held on May 1, 2019 at the iconic Edison Ballroom in Times Square.
Our 2019 "i have a Voice" Gala featured Meredith Vieira, 15-time Emmy Award-winning host, executive producer, and anchor as our host for the evening. We had the pleasure of awarding John Cronin, Co-Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of John’s Crazy Socks and Sara Hart Weir, President and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) as our 2019 Honorees.
Special recognition was given to Evie Palmer, the newest GiGi's Playhouse NYC Ambassador by our current Ambassador, Safia Al-Rawi. Truly deserving to be leading examples of change and acceptance. Our Brooklyn Programs Coordinator, Regine Polenz, deservedly received artwork (by Safia) and a certificate for her outstanding leadership and direction with Brooklyn's growing and diverse demand for our "Best of All" programming.
Special performances included jazz trio, OhLaLa!, our very own "we have a voice" Community Chorus led by Broadway's own Laurie Gamache and turning up the dance floor, celebrity DJ Yoshi on the wheels of steel. And of course, our very own LIVE Painter, Peter Loftis, whose artwork was auctioned on the night.
Our auctioneer LJ, was a hit and really fired up the crowd. Helping us raise funds that continue to provide FREE programming for Individuals with Down syndrome from all 5 boroughs of NYC!
A surprise video cameo from one of the songwriters of the Oscar-nominated smash hit song "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, shared his sentiments and applauded the "we have a voice" Community Chorus' performance.
Needless to say, the 007-themed 2019 "i have a Voice" Gala was a success. We cannot thank you enough for your support. We look forward to seeing you at the Playhouse and at next year's Gala!
Thank you to our Gala Sponsors
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About our 2014 Gala on the Hornblower Hybrid:
Over 200 Playhouse supporters and fans came out on the beautiful Hornblower Hybrid cruise ship, which circled the statue of liberty in the twilight of a beautiful March evening. It was a star-studded evening, to be sure: Chris Wragge of CBS 2, mingled with the new champion of the Down syndrome community, Jimmy Jenson. Jimmy accepted an award in his honor with touching composure and grace.
Jennifer Davis, Jimmy's running partner and supervisor at his assisted living community, was elegant in a floor length red dress.
Jason Kingsely, author of Count Us In was there with his stylish mom, Emily Perl Kingsley, Sesame Street producer/writer and author of Welcome to Holland.
Notably, the highest grossing auction item was original art by individuals with Down syndrome who participate in our weekly Gratitude Committee volunteer program. Talk about Gratitude!
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GiGi's Playhouse NYC hosted a cocktail fundraiser on February 23rd 2013 at 48 Lounge. This annual event, themed "I Have a Voice," took place in 15 cities nationwide. New York City is the newest location to join the network and one that serves families throughout New York City and the tri-state area.
"Our organization has really had a positive impact on so many lives", says Debbie Morris, President of the board of managers for GiGi's Playhouse NYC. "To see all of our efforts appreciated and the community come together at our fundraiser is incredibly rewarding."