New York—At the GenerationOn annual benefit last week at the Mandarin Oriental, it was hard not to get your heart warmed and tears in your eyes. GenerationOn, a youth service division of Points of Light, in partnership with Hasbro honored six extraordinary young service leaders.
“Extraordinary” is an understatement. The youngest was age 5, the oldest age 17, all had found ways of helping other underprivileged children or raising money for to help them. Receiving the fifth annual Hasbro Community Action Heroes Award were: “superheroes” Ethan Cruikshank (age 15), Gabriele Eggerling (age 10), Neha Gupta (age 17), My’Kah Knowlin (age 13), Kellon Oldenette (age 5), and Remington Youngblood (age 13).
Live Auction of Barbara Bush’s Pearls
But that was just the start. Singer/former American Idol judge Paula Abdul was on hard (fresh off an international flight and jet lagged) to present Carolyn Rafaelian, founder/creative director/ceo at Alex and Ani with an honor for her company’s community philanthropy. Charity by Design, a division of Alex and Ani, works with various non-profit organizations to create custom
bangles where a portion of the proceeds are donated to those organizations. Since 2011, Charity by Design has donated more than $10 million. In partnership with generationOn, the company created the Make Your Mark bangle, which has helped raise awareness and over $93,000.00 for the organization.
Others recognized with awards were Prudential Financial, Inc., and CBS 2 Anchor Maurice DuBois and wife Andrea.
The annual benefit which took place on May 8 at New York raised more than $730,000 to support generationOn’s mission to inspire, equip, and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service.
Some of the funds raised came from the live auction of an iconic piece of Americana: a pearl necklace worn by former First Lady Barbara Bush. On hand was son Neil Bush, son of George H.W. Bush and brother to George W., who verified that the necklace “of genuine pearls” really came from his mother’s jewelry box. In fact, the ex-FLOTUS send along a photo of herself wearing it with a signed note. The pearls fetched $13,000 for generationOn.
Among the 300 gues were generationOn Co-Founder and Benefit Co-Chair, Silda Wall Spitzer, Olympic medalist skiing stars, Shannon Bahrke and Billy Demong, and celebrity youth ambassadors, Francesca Capaldi (“How I Met Your Mother”), Cozi Zuehlsdorff (“Dolphin Tale”), Jordon Fisher (Disney Channel) and Max Page, a 9-year old who has overcome a heart defect to be a busy actor in TV shows like “Prime Suspect” and national commercials (he starred as mini-Darth Vader in a 2011 Volkswagen commercial “The Force”).