CaringKind Gala and Year-End Giving

Carol Berne
Senior Vice President of Development

When CaringKind closed its office in mid-March and transitioned to our staff working remotely from home, one of our most important fundraising events was in jeopardy. Our Forget-Me-Not Gala takes place annually in the spring of each year, just before we close our fiscal year on June 30th. The gala accounts for roughly 20% of our operating budget, so losing these critical funds presented significant financial challenges. Our Gala leadership was already in place, including our Gala emcee Bill Ritter, our Corporate Leadership honoree Mr. Ivan Cheung, CEO of Eisai USA, and our Gala chair, Rachel L. Posner. We were also honoring our own Jed Levine, with the Lifetime Leadership Award.

After discussion with our Board, we moved from an on-site gala to a virtual event on October 26th. In addition to Gala leadership, we added a few new names and elements to the 40-minute program. David Hyde Pierce, our generous dear friend, stepped in as Special Guest and made a significant gift in honor of Jed. As we were celebrating our renowned connect2culture® program, we held a roundtable discussion on the arts and Alzheimer’s moderated by Dr. Max Gomez, CBS-2 Medical Reporter, and rounding out the evening, an orchestra musician and teaching artist with The New York Pops, one of our cultural partners, performed.

Holding a virtual event presented challenges but also offered new opportunities. We are proud and delighted to have raised our goal of $750,000 to support our much-needed and free caregiver programs and services. As tickets were complimentary this year, we were able to introduce new friends to our work and raise funds from donors who traditionally are not able to attend the gala because of price. We could not have reached our goal without the generosity of our sponsors, and would like to highlight the following: Board member Elaine Thomas and her husband, Joseph Healey for their Visionary support, Innovator support from The Allergan Foundation and Eisai; Trailblazer support from Envision Communications, LLC, Board member Mark Zurack and wife, Kathy Ferguson, The Henes Family, Inspīr Carnegie Hill, Board member Ben and Meredith Jenkins, Board member Linda LaGorga and Sunrise at East 56th Street. For a complete list of our sponsors, please visit our website at Thank you all!

As CaringKind is 95% privately supported, we have continued without interruption our fundraising efforts by launching our 2020 Year-End Campaign. You can read more about what we have accomplished this year, both in person and virtually, and how important your support is to us by reading our CEO’s letter on page 8. We know that this has been a very hard time for many — emotionally and financially. Please know that CaringKind is here if and when you need us. Donations, both large and small, ensure that CaringKind can continue to be the compassionate voice and knowledgeable counsel that thousands of families have relied on for 40 years.

Thank you, as always. Be well.

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