* The Fortune Society, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit reentry service organizations providing programs and support to more than 7,000 formerly incarcerated individuals every year, celebrated five decades of criminal justice advocacy and services at its 50thAnniversary Gala at ThreeSixty° in Tribeca. Attended by nearly 400 business and government leaders, philanthropists, and criminal justice advocates, the event raised more nearly $825,000 that will support a vast array of services including alternatives to incarceration, supportive and permanent housing, counseling, employment services and job retention, and education and family services that help Fortune’s clients lead successful lives after involvement with the criminal justice system. Among the evening’s highlights was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Fortune Founder, David Rothenberg for over 50 years of dedicated service to helping justice-involved individuals rebuild their lives and to criminal justice reform.
* Samaritan Daytop Foundation hosted its annual gala and raised more than $730,000 to support its rich array of programs and services including life-saving treatment programs for those battling substance abuse, innovative services for veterans, and programs for homeless individuals, families, women, children, and seniors. Honored for their work as activists and philanthropists in the fight against poverty, homelessness and drug addiction were former New York Mets player and manager Bobby Valentine and award-winning actress and producer Luna Lauren Vélez. J.W. Cortés, Marine combat veteran turned actor, MTA police officer, singer and philanthropist, and a recurring star of the Fox series Gotham, was the Master of Ceremonies.
* On Thursday, October 26th in New York City, the Unique People Services (UPS) held its 26th Anniversary Gala - A Celebration of Unique People - at the Marina del Rey Caterers on the Long Island Sound. During the evening the organization celebrated 26 years of accomplishments and began a new chapter in the history of the organization, as they launched their first affordable supportive housing complex- Lynn’s Place, stated to be opened in spring 2018. WABC News reporter AJ Ross hosted the celebration and an opening performance by entertainment phenomenon, We’ McDonald, season 11 finalist on NBC TV’s the Voice created an unforgettable evening as more than 250 friends of UPS gathered to help raise funds in support of their mission. The roster of honorees included Former New York City Mayor, the Honorable David N. Dinkins, who was presented The Lifetime Achievement Award by New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray. Honorees also included Ms. Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress, activist, and Chair and Founder of the DIVA Foundation, which is a foundation that advocates for those effected by HIV/AIDS. Ms. Ralph was the recipient of the agency’s Lynn Wonsang Award.