PHOTOS: The NYSPCC Hosts Seventh Annual Food & Wine Gala, Honors Vicky Cornell

The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (The NYSPCC) held its seventh annual Food & Wine Gala Wednesday night at The Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. Chef Elizabeth Falkner, whose participation in over 40 culinary competitions – including Top Chef and Iron Chef – has earned her the status of celebrity chef, designed a one-of-a-kind, innovative menu for the guests. The exquisite food was paired with world-class wines provided by Millbrook Vineyard and Winery from the Hudson Valley.

Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville, who is also a member of The NYSPCC’s Children’s Council, served as the evening’s host while Mary Pulido Ph.D., Executive Director of The NYSPCC, gave an emotional speech about The NYSPCC’s work championing society’s most vulnerable children through programs like the Trauma Recovery Program, Safe Touches Program, Supervised Visitation Program, and a national partnership with The Athlete Assistance Fund to prevent child sexual abuse in the sport of gymnastics.

“We don’t want there to be any barriers for children and families who need our services. We work with the poorest of the poor…and so all our services are free,” said Dr. Pulido at the event. “I’m grateful that so many of our supporters could be here to see the difference their donations make in the lives of these children. They literally are saving lives funding the services of The NYSPCC and I cannot possibly thank them enough.”

The Gala raised over $625,000 to fund The NYSPCC’s Trauma Recovery Program. The program offers a specialized therapeutic program for children, ages 5-18, who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, neglect, traumatic bereavement, or who have witnessed family violence. The Food & Wine Gala is one of two fundraising events for The NYSPCC; the other being the annual Spring Luncheon, which in April 2019 featured an inspirational Q&A session with Educated author Tara Westover and MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle.

Humanitarian and wife of the late Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Chris Cornell, Vicky Cornell, who at the Gala was presented with The NYSPCC’s inaugural “Strength of Our Society Award” for her work with The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to raise funds and to support charitable organizations serving children who are facing homelessness, poverty, abuse, and neglect worldwide, said: “My involvement with this organization is in tribute and to honor Chris’s dedication to helping society and its most vulnerable children. This wish drove us to create our foundation, and he would be proud to see the work being done thanks to all of you in this room. Chris and I wanted to make a difference, to help children, and thank you for supporting The NYSPCC.”

Additional VIP attendees included NYSPCC President of the Board Karl Wellner, journalist Kimberly Guilfoyle, Creative Fashion Director Chloe Mendel, restaurateur Scott Sartiano, model Allie Rizzo, author Kalliope Karella, publisher Hailey Lustig and her finanicer husband Stephen Prince, philanthropist Krista Shulz Corl, celebrity stylist Sofia Karvela, former New York City and Boston Police Commissioner Bill BrattonDaniel M. Healy, the executive director at JBJ Holding to the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors, TODAY Show contributor and author Elizabeth Mayhew, Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services David Hansell, business executive and former Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, and his wife Maarit Glocer, a dedicated Board member of The NYSPCC.

The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (The NYSPCC) is one of the most highly respected child protective agencies in the world and a 2019 recipient of funding from the New York Times’ highly-selective Neediest Cases Fund Endowment. Founded in 1875, the NYSPCC helps the most vulnerable children of our community recover from trauma. And, more importantly, it helps prevent child abuse through its work with parents, teachers, children and foster care agencies. The NYSPCC’s amazing work is used as a model for child abuse prevention centers across the nation. The NYPSCC has investigated more than 650,000 cases on behalf of over two million children and has educated over 47,000 professionals working with children on child abuse and neglect issues.

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