Delivering Good Raises Record $2.1 Million at Industry Gala

A rowdy and generous crowd came out Wednesday night for Delivering Good’s annual gala at Cipriani 42nd Street, where a record $2.1 million was raised for the nonprofit organization that provides people impacted by poverty and tragedy with new merchandise donated by retailers and manufacturers.

Bringing together the worlds of sports, fashion and finance, the event honored Steve Sadove, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc., with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Todd Kahn, CEO and brand president of Coach with the Vanguard Award; Nicole Pullen Ross, partner, New York Private Wealth Management Region Head, head of sports and entertainment solutions at Goldman Sachs, with the Impact Award, and Tackle Tomorrow, a nonprofit that provides resources to students who struggle to read, with the Innovation Award, accepted by Charles Haley, president, and Clifford Fischer, board chairman.

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Ken Downing, creative director of Halston and a Delivering Good board member, was once again the evening’s emcee, and Harry Santa-Olalla conducted a lively auction where a seven-day stay in Casa Sybil in the Dominican Republic went for $10,000 and tickets to a Dallas Cowboys game-day experience drummed up $20,000.

Ken Downing and Charles Haley
Ken Downing and Charles Haley

The auction, which included shopping sprees at Lafayette 148 and Brooks Brothers; signed footballs from Haley, a former outside linebacker and defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, and a fund-a-need raised $203,000.

There were also musical and dance performances by Brooklyn United Music and Arts Program and Sons of Serendip. More than 500 people attended the gala, including Morris Goldfarb, Abbey Doneger, Haim Dabah, Allan Ellinger, Stephen Lamar, Lisa Gurwitch and Michael Setola.

In the past year, Delivering Good organized and distributed $229 million in new products, said Downing. These products went through the organization to 800 agencies.

Andrea Weiss, chairman of Delivering Good and founder and CEO of The O Alliance, said the evening was not about acknowledging the successes “but we must also shine a light on the hard work that lies ahead.” She said unfortunately, there will always be a need since there’s always another disaster, conflict or economic crisis. “That’s just the facts,” she said, adding that the organization’s work couldn’t happen without the great generosity of their donors and partners at Delivering Good.

Matthew Fasciano, the new president and CEO of Delivering Good, noted that the organization has distributed $3 billion in new product to families in need since it was founded 37 years ago. “Delivering Good sits at the crossroads of social impact and environmental sustainability providing companies with a responsible way to deal with excess merchandise that also helps support a wide range of social issues. It’s a win-win-win for individuals, businesses and the planet,” he said.

When presenting Kahn with the Vanguard Award, Lew Frankfort, the former chairman and CEO of Coach Inc., noted that Kahn joined the Delivering Good board after Hurricane Katrina “and his vision and leadership has helped build Delivering Good into the strong organization it is today.” He said Kahn has also done a remarkable job as CEO of Coach the last two years.

Andrea Weiss, Lew Frankfort and Todd Kahn.
Andrea Weiss, Lew Frankfort and Todd Kahn.

“Todd is a man for all seasons always, and he brings his best self to any situation he encounters,” said Frankfort.

Kahn thanked his boss, Joanne Crevoiserat, CEO of Tapestry Inc., whom he said “handed me the keys to the most important piece of the Tapestry portfolio — ‘Here it is, don’t screw it up,” he recalled.

Kahn noted that the reason he likes Delivering Good so much is “our industry supports so many great causes and this is the one charity that uses our product to do good. We have changed lives.”

Receiving the Impact Award, Goldman Sachs’ Ross — who in addition to her commercial responsibilities is co-chair of the steering committee for One Million Black Women, which is a $10 billion investment focused on Black women and sits on the board of the United Negro College Fund, Brookings Institution and Hampton University, recalled advice she received in college from her late father when she was a finance and economics major, but wanted her life to make a difference.

Matthew Fasciano, Charles Haley and Nicole Pullen Ross.
Matthew Fasciano, Charles Haley and Nicole Pullen Ross.

He told her, “You’re not defined by what you do from nine to five. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be able to do both, and I’ve been really, really lucky,” she said. As a Black woman on Wall Street, she had a wonderful career of “firsts” and “onlys,” she said.

“I have been enriched by the opportunities to give — to give time and give voice, on behalf of others, and to give advice, which is occasionally good, and to give love. I have been given the opportunity each and every day to make an impact,” said Ross.

Haley, who received the Innovation Award, shared his personal struggles with reading and thanked Delivering Good for helping Tackle Tomorrow combat illiteracy through the donation of products for children in need.

In accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Sadove thanked the Delivering Good board and said “what they do is remarkable.”

“This is one of the great organizations,” said Sadove, praising the charity for working so efficiently. He also said this is an industry that does a remarkable job in building relationships. Generally, he has resisted being honored, but he agreed to this “because of the quality of work they do,” he said.

“The theme we’ve been talking about is coming together for good. I can’t think of a better theme because we’re a society that’s divided. I don’t care whether someone’s left or right or blue or red. The issues that we’re facing tonight with people in catastrophes, disasters, poverty, there’s a real need. Coming together as an industry providing new goods for people so they can build their self-esteem and they can survive difficult situations is what this evening is all about,” said Sadove.

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