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Celebrity Philanthropy News 2  3
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Black Tie International:
Volunteers of America-Greater NY / 21st Annual Winter Gala
Tere Pettitt,  David Matera and Willie Geist,




A New York Winter's Eve, emceed by Willie Geist, co-host of the Today Show and Morning Joe, raises funds to support Volunteer of America's

wide ranging social service programs


(New York, NY) -  More than 350 philanthropic New Yorkers ? members of the real estate, finance and corporate communities ? joined together to celebrate Volunteers of America-Greater New York's 21st annual gala, A New York Winter's Eve.  This annual fundraiser was hosted by Willie Geist, Today Show and Morning Joe co-host.  Held in The Plaza Grand Ballroom, the event raised over  $700,000 to benefit more than 90 life-changing social service programs that help tens of thousands or people and families in need in the Greater New York area every year.

New York-based boutique media agency OOH PITCH and its co-founder David Matera received the Spirit of the Founders Award for their invaluable support throughout the years and for their significant contributions to this year's Operation Backpack?, Volunteer of America's annual back-to-school campaign that outfits homeless children with brand new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies, as well as the Veteran's campaign.


Tere Pettitt, President and CEO of Volunteers of America-Greater New York, said, ?At Volunteers of America-Greater New York, we are devoted to helping our most vulnerable and at-risk neighbors by providing a lifeline of indispensable services. Because of the generosity of our friends and supporters, thousands of individuals and families in need are living safe, healthy, and productive lives in the community. This year, we were delighted to honor David Matera and OOH PITCH with the Spirit of the Founders Award for their passion and dedication to our mission.

Volunteers of America-Greater New York is one of the oldest and most comprehensive social services charities, serving vulnerable New Yorkers for nearly 120 years. The services provided allow individuals and families to overcome obstacles in order to live safe, healthy and productive lives. Volunteers of America-Greater New York is committed to aiding the homeless, families escaping domestic violence, struggling veterans, preschoolers with developmental delays who also live in poverty, adults living with HIV/AIDS and other serious health issues, youth aging out of foster care, and so many others.

"I am honored to receive this year's Spirit of the Founders Award,? David Matera, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Holt Media Companies and CEO/ Co-founder of OOH PITCH, noted. ?At OOH PITCH, we understand the importance of giving back to the community we live in and are committed to supporting Volunteers of America's tireless efforts to help thousands of New Yorkers in need." 

Serving as event chair were board members Roxann Taylor and Tom Johnson.


Also in attendance was Paige Davis, well-known host of TLC's Trading Spaces and seasoned stage actor (Broadway's ?Chicago? and ?Boeing Boeing?). Ms. Davis is also a Volunteers of America-Greater New York Board Member and spokesperson for the organization's Operation Backpack campaign.


Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Todd English, an internationally acclaimed and recognized chef.

The live and silent auctions were led by Lucas Hunt, professional auctioneer.  Among the unique auction items were a trip to Bermuda, a dinner for ten with wine pairings in the Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza curated by Chef Todd English, a private movie screening, as well as fabulous Broadway shows, including Hamilton, a walk-on role in Chicago and dinner packages.

# # #


ABOUT VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA-GREATER NEW YORK:  Volunteers of America has been at the forefront of social service for nearly 120 years, helping individuals and families in need overcome obstacles to living safe, healthy and productive lives. Across the country, 2 million people in 400 communities in 46 states feel the impact of Volunteers of America's work every year. Locally, tens of thousands of men, women and children in need benefit from Volunteers of America?s life-changing, often lifesaving work including the homeless, families affected by domestic violence, children with special needs, adults living with HIV/AIDS, behavioral health or substance use issues, at-risk youth, veterans struggling to find their footing and the frail elderly.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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