'Samsung Gives' Charity Gala Celebrates Partnerships that Help Defy Barriers
At the 18th Samsung Gives Annual Charity Gala on Sept. 19 at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, the power of philanthropic partnerships was on full display. Hosted by special guest Ryan Seacrest on behalf of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, the gala brought together luminaries from the worlds of entertainment, sports and business to raise awareness and funds for important social and charitable programs that help people defy barriers and build better futures, together.
Samsung raised more than $2.4 million in charitable contributions at the gala, including proceeds raised during the evening’s auction. Every year, the funds benefit a diverse group of organizations that support at-risk and underserved youth, families and fathers, children fighting medical challenges and fund research for cures to spinal cord injuries and cystic fibrosis, among many other causes.
Among the charity partners honored during the Gala was the Good+ Foundation, founded by Jessica Seinfeld in 2001, that works to dismantle multi-generational poverty by pairing tangible goods with innovative services for low-income fathers, mothers and caregivers, creating an upward trajectory for the whole family.
“This is an exceptional experience to be highlighted as a charity partner of Samsung because this is such a special event and a well-known event,” said Seinfeld. “That we’re able to talk about our work and bring more awareness to our fatherhood program and to all the work Good+ is doing, is such a great honor.”
“The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is one of the lucky foundations that have Samsung’s support. They’re a wonderful partner because they understand what it is we’re trying to do every day,” Seacrest said just before the gala began. “Without partners like Samsung, we can’t sustain our mission.”
The Seacrest Foundation is about to launch its 11th children’s hospital television and radio broadcasting studio, where kids in treatment get hands-on tech education, training and fun.
The star-studded evening proved that collective action amplifies impact and accelerates change. “No matter who we are or what role we play, if we work together, we can make a difference far beyond what we might accomplish alone,” said Joe Stinziano, Executive Vice President Consumer Business Division of Samsung Electronics America.
“Champion of Hope” award recipient Dwayne Wade, founder of the Wade Family Foundation, which supports community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations, said getting the message out is vital to getting the work done.
“When you set out to do something like what we’ve been able to accomplish, you don’t do it for the awards, but along the way you understand how important that recognition is for you to be able to do more,” said Wade, a thirteen-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Champion.
“It was a dream of mine as a kid to give back,” Wade said, with his sister, Tragil Wade, at his side.
In a moving tribute as she presented him with the “Champion of Hope” award, Tragil, who served as executive director of the Wade Family Foundation for 10 years before launching America’s Big Sisters Foundation, said she and Dwayne made it their mission to lift up their community and help kids who grew up the way they did.
“We had to learn how to not be victims,” Tragil said, referring to their tough childhood on the South Side of Chicago. “We had to turn our disadvantages into advantages.”
Y.H. Eom, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, soon took the stage to thank the many charity and business partners gathered for the gala. “Partnerships enhance our ability to help people realize their potential and to serve local communities,” Eom said. These relationships, he said, “let us grow and learn, so that we can all do what we do best even better.”
Rounding out the evening were powerhouse performances by The Roots, benefitting the CAPA Foundation, with special guest Ciara; Wyclef Jean and DJ Irie, benefiting the Irie Foundation with the Young People’s Choir of New York City; and Portugal. The Man, benefitting the Oregon Community Foundation — all combining forces for a magical evening of good will, great deeds and phenomenal music.
For more photos from the Samsung Gives Charity Gala click here.