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Black Tie International:
 Literacy Partners Annual "Evening of Readings" Gala


Back row: Bill Maher, Kathryn Stockett, Tate Taylor, Sally Bedell Smith, Jeffrey Toobin. Front row: Charlene Harper, Liz Smith, Doris Diaz. Photo by: Patrick McMullan

Back row: Bill Maher, Kathryn Stockett, Tate Taylor, Sally Bedell Smith, Jeffrey Toobin. Front row: Charlene Harper, Liz Smith, Doris Diaz. Photo by: Patrick McMullan


Literacy Partners 28th Annual
"Evening of Readings" Gala


On May 21, Literacy Partners Annual "Evening of Readings" Gala met and exceeded fundraising goals, earning over
$1 million to fight adult illiteracy, thanks to the generous support of New York philanthropic and community leaders and headliners from the worlds of television, film, fashion, design and media. Additionally, Dow Jones & Company showed their support by matching $100,000 of funds raised during the evening's Humanitarian Auction.

Chaired by celebrated New Yorkers Alina Cho, Jackie Weld Drake, Parker Ladd and Arnold Scaasi, this year's event featured TV personalities and authors Bill Maher and Jeffrey Toobin, as well as bestselling author and biographer Sally Bedell Smith. All celebrity readers shared passages from their most recent works.

The 2012 Face of Literacy Award was presented to "The Help" for the enormous impact of the film and how it has inspired people around the world. Author Kathryn Stockett and Screenwriter, Director and Executive Producer Tate Taylor were in attendance to receive the award on behalf of the Academy Award nominated movie. In addition, Literacy Partners honored Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO at The McGraw-Hill Companies, for his continued financial support of Literacy Partners? programs, including his philanthropy and longtime advocacy of the programs offered at the Henry Street Settlement.

In addition, Literacy Partners honored Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO at The McGraw-Hill Companies, for his continued financial contributions and longtime advocacy of literacy and the written word. This support funds Literacy Partners programs at the Henry Street Settlement as well as an array of financial literacy workshops reaching thousands of New Yorkers.

During the event, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smith told guests about the value that Literacy Partners offers to the city of New York in the hopes of eradicating adult illiteracy stating, "We are still hoping that one day this charity will disappear."

Literacy Partners students Doreida Diaz and Charlene Harper also joined the stars on stage, reading personal essays explaining the tremendous impact that the organization has had on their lives. Both shared similar sentiments such as ?Thanks to Literacy Partners, I am not a lost person wandering around in this world. I?ve been able to accomplish something I never have before ? an education.

Throughout the night, many acknowledged the contribution that Liz Smith has made to the Literacy cause, and awarded her the LIZZIE Award, for a lifetime of service with Literacy Partners. Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, said, ?I have long admired Liz for her work on behalf of literacy and I am honored to pay tribute to the woman who I believe is the Queen of New York.

Other Gala attendees included: Annette Tapert Allen, Dari Alexander, Yanna Avis, Barbara Taylor and Robert Bradford, Peter Brown, Carol Higgins Clark, Gina Centrello, Anderson Cooper, Cristina Cuomo, Susan Magrino Dunning, Lee and Vanessa Eastman, Joni Evans, Jane Friedman, Marjorie Reed and Ellery Gordon, Sharon Hoge, Mark Jackson, Carolyn Reidy, David Schiff, Jeff Sharp, Lesley Stahl, Judy Taubman, and Carolina Zapf.

About Literacy Partners

For nearly 40 years, Literacy Partners has helped thousands of New Yorkers learn the basic reading, writing and math skills needed to succeed in day-to-day living. Through successful collaborations with major corporations, community partners and benefactors, Literacy Partners offers small, welcoming classes taught by credentialed teachers, supported by enthusiastic, highly trained, volunteer tutors. Literacy Partners is the only nationally accredited adult literacy program serving New York City. For more information, visit .


Joyce Brooks

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