NEW YORK — Delivering Good, the nonprofit organization that unites retailers, manufacturers, foundations and individuals to support people affected by poverty and tragedy, raised nearly $1.6 million at its annual gala Wednesday night.
Held at Cipriani 42nd Street, the gala honored Mindy Grossman, partner at Consello Group, with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of American Eagle and Aerie with the Vanguard Award, and Carmen Bauza, board member at Claire’s Stores, Destination XL Group, Zumiez, and OneWater Marine with the Impact Award.
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Among the nearly 500 people in attendance were Stephen Sadove, Jaryn Bloom, Jill Granoff, Andrea Weiss, Allan Ellinger, Matthew Rubel, Abbey Doneger, Matthew Shay, Lisa Gurwitch, and Janice Sullivan.
This year the nonprofit took an all-female approach, with its three honorees, hosts Atoya Burleson and Melissa Gonzalez, a performance by Lindsey Lomis, and auctioneer Lydia Fenet, who successfully auctioned off such prizes as a private shopping experience with Michael Kors, a weeklong vacation at Casa Sibyl in Las Terenas, Dominican Republic, and 10 seats in the UBS Arena Owner’s Suite for Stevie Nicks.
Matthew Fasciano, president and CEO of Delivering Good, said that people have said to him that the organization has been “the best kept secret in the industry.”
“But I don’t want us to be a secret anymore,” said Fasciano, noting that last year Delivering Good delivered nearly 16 million items of new products worth about $154 million to those in need.
Andrea Weiss, board chair of Delivering Good, revealed the organization’s One Million Bras Campaign has begun, and so far it has collected 250,000 bras, including 100,000 from Aerie. Other companies participating include Delta Galil, Lane Bryant, Wacoal, Centric Brands, Commando, Hanesbrands, Komar, Spanx, The Little Bra, ThirdLove, United Legwear, and Victoria’s Secret. “Thank you to Jen Foyle and your team for leading the charge with making generosity real,” said Weiss.
In presenting the Vanguard award to Foyle, Stacy Berns, president of Berns Communications Group (also co-chair of the event), spoke about how two weeks ago, 20 young girls were invited to the Aerie and American Eagle store on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York and were given a two-hour shopping experience with Foyle. Berns said 10 years ago Foyle ignited a movement centered around body positivity, and today she leads a $5 billion company that gives equal weight to profits and purpose.
Foyle thanked Delivering Good for recognizing her company’s commitment to helping those in need and said she’s “truly grateful, humbled and honored,” as well as the other honorees. Foyle said she was accepting this award on behalf of her team and that her company is committed to the planet, people and communities.
“We’re a nice company and we do nice things, and I’m so proud and I represent our CEO Jay Shottenstein, who has been an amazing true visionary for our company, and he literally leads the way with passion and commitment to the real world. He makes every day better,” said Foyle.
She said on Nov. 13, which is World Kindness Day, American Eagle and Aerie will donate $100,000 to Delivering Good. Delivering Good is also their exclusive charity partner throughout the holiday season.
Grossman received the Lifetime Achievement Award from her friend Caryl Stern, chief impact officer of LionTree. The two met when Stern was CEO of UNICEF and Grossman was CEO of HSN. Stern recalled she had to meet Grossman for the first time to apologize for the fact that a multimillion-dollar campaign that HSN was doing with UNICEF had failed.
“So it was not exactly a meeting that I was looking forward to,” said Stern. She said she did her homework and saw Grossman’s accomplishments.
“And now I had to go meet her [at the Four Seasons] for the first time to apologize, and to say I was worried would be a huge understatement,” said Stern. “And then the unexpected happened. We shook hands and within five minutes I knew I had found a friend.” Grossman began the conversation saying “we both screwed up our partnership, so what are we going to do together next that will make up? But maybe her language was a bit stronger,” said Stern. Grossman joined the UNICEF USA board of directors and they began to travel the world together.
Before Grossman accepted her award, there was a special presentation. Oprah Winfrey (who Grossman got to know when she was CEO at WW International) appeared on the screen and said in part, “You intentionally use your life, your work, your skills and service to deliver good to those whom you’re serving. It’s fantastic that Delivering Good is giving a lifetime achievement award to you who delivers good.”
Grossman recalled how she witnessed the hard work and dedication of the Delivering Good staff on the ground in Tampa, helping children and their families who were affected by Hurricane Idalia. She and her daughter Lizzie volunteered to help. “But it was so clear to Lizzie and I that those we helped received more than just products. They were treated with dignity. They were treated with kindness, with respect, with humanity,” said Grossman.
She said that she had planned to write her speech on the weekend of Oct. 7. “And then the atrocities of Oct. 7 occurred. And as a Jewish woman who has ties to Israel, I was devastated, incredulous, angry, horrified and scared for all my friends and family around the world that were affected in the most brutal and incomprehensible way,” said Grossman. So she found a quote from almost 100 years ago written by George Dayton, the founder of Target, which said, “Success is making ourselves useful in the world, valuable to society, helping in lifting the level of humanity, so conducting ourselves that when we go, the world will be somewhat better of our having lived the brief span of our lives.”
She said now it is critical “for each one of us to use our experience, to use our voices, to lift humanity, to create impact, to advocate for change and to galvanize others to act,” she said.
In accepting her award, Bauza, whose career has included roles at Walt Disney, Bath & Body Works, HSN and Fanatics, thanked the Delivering Good team and said it works tirelessly to make things happen, even though there are only 12 people. Bauza spoke about how she and her husband founded a program in Northwest Arkansas that helps Hispanic eighth-graders stay in school. Many of these children were the first in their families to receive a high school diploma and some went on to pursue a college education.
“And I’m happy to say the program is still going strong as a way of paying it forward” since she has had tremendous opportunities because people opened doors for her, she said.
Launch Gallery: Inside the Delivering Good Gala 2023
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