On April 9th, more than 600 guests helped Food Bank raise $2.1 million at the star-studded 2014 Can Do Awards Dinner, presented by Bank of America at Cipriani Wall Street. Mario Batali and Susan Cahn, long-time Food Bank supporters and the 2013 Can Do Awards honorees, served as Honorary Chairs and Jodisue and Scott R. Feldman served as the evening’s Co-Chairs.
This year’s honorees included Toyota, MSNBC, Dorothea Bongiovi and Every Day Is A Miracle, who were recognized for their commitment to eradicating poverty and hunger. As Food Bank President and CEO Margarette Purvis pointed out in her passionate and inspiring speech, “The meal gap that exists in New York City is so incredibly wide that it is going to take every single one of us to reduce it. It’s also going to take a new vision and new leaders like those we are honoring tonight.”
Master of Ceremonies, Cat Greenleaf, host of the Emmy-nominated Talk Stoop, engaged the crowd at the evening’s festivities, which featured appearances by Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Bevy Smith and Chris Canty, whose remembrances of growing up in the Bronx captivated the audience. “I grew up on Bartow Avenue in the Bronx and I’m proud to say that I’ll always be a Bronx boy at heart,” Canty said. “I’ve seen both the challenges as well as the great potential in my own community.”
In addition to a silent auction, highlights of the evening included a live auction with such prizes as dinner prepared in your home by the “Three Castrati,” acclaimed chefs Mario Batali, David Chang and Tom Colicchio, lunch with Anthony Bourdain at Brasserie Les Halles, as well as a Mission Auction for pledges up to $50,000.
Our special musical guest, the legendary Aaron Neville, closed out the night with an amazing set including classics such as “Stand By Me,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” capping off a fun-filled event renewed everyone’s commitment and determination to ending hunger in New York City.