Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S.), the internationally renowned children’s charity, today announced that it has raised over $800,000 at the 27th Annual Gala and a portion of proceeds will benefit victims of the Sandy Disaster. The gala, which took place on December 6th, 2012 at Cipirani, was attended by over 500 guests, and recognized the important support from retailers and vendors in K.I.D.S. mission to meet the needs of those struggling to survive poverty, natural disasters, low literacy, domestic abuse and illness. $800,000 is HUGE!!!
Olympic Gold Medalist Jordyn Wieber served as special guest emcee, and opened the event with her personal story of challenge and triumph to win a medal in the 2012 Olympics. She movingly spoke of the importance of never giving up hope to reach a goal. Following, children from the Broadway Youth Ensemble performed popular songs with themes of hope.
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker presented the keynote address which, with humor and passion, discussed the importance and responsibility of individuals and organizations coming together to help others. He spoke of his family’s experience growing up in a supportive community and the role it played in his life today. Mayor Booker accepted the K.I.D.S. Agency Partner Award on behalf of Newark Now. A long-time partner of K.I.D.S, Newark Now provides services and programs to more than 15,000 impoverished Newark families. The award was presented to Mayor Booker by Television Host Wendy Williams.
K.I.D.S. Retailer of the Year Award was presented to Army & Air Force Exchange Service. The K.I.D.S. Manufacturer of the Year Award was awarded to Kahn Lucas, and accepted by Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas/Madame Alexander and a member of the Executive Committee of the K.I.D.S. Board of Directors. During Mr. Kahn’s acceptance speech, a beautiful presentation was shown of children in Ethopia receiving brightly colored dresses from Kahn Lucas.
K.I.D.S. Donor Partner Award went to the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and was accepted by Carter Keithley, President of the Toy Industry Association, Inc. Executive Director Jean Butler, unable to attend, gave words of support in a pre-recorded video presentation.
According to K.I.D.S. chairman, Kevin Burke, “We are delighted to have an esteemed list of honorees and guests to help us achieve our goals and enable us to continue help more children in need.”