In an impressive show of concern and support for improving the conditions facing refugees in all parts of the world, over 800 renowned luminaries representing the corporate, philanthropic, diplomatic, and entertainment communities attended the prestigious Rescue Dinner to benefit the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Every year, the IRC hosts an array of fundraising events in New York, as well as in cities across the United States, to support their global humanitarian mission. The organization relies on a worldwide network of supporters from all walks of life and in all fields, who also host creative fundraisers to benefit the IRC. This year’s signature Rescue Dinner was hosted at the New York Hilton.
Humanitarian Support for Refugees Worldwide
The IRC’s mission is to provide humanitarian support to the world’s refugees. The IRC is currently the only international relief agency that is actively responding to the world refugee crisis on all fronts, with chapters inside war-torn Syria, as well as neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.
The IRC is on the ground in Greece, where thousands of refugees are arriving into Europe; as well as in 29 cities across the United States, providing crucial support to refugees from Latin America, the Middle East, and all parts of the world.
The IRC responds to some of the most profound humanitarian crises in the world, delivering lifesaving aid to struggling communities while developing opportunities for recovery in the long term. The IRC provides essential aid to families and individuals in the grip of war, conflict, violence, and natural disasters, both in the United States and in countries where crucial resources required for crisis recovery are lacking. The IRC responds to crises within 72 hours, and remains engaged witg beneficiary communities in order to help them regain stability, and assist individuals and families in rebuilding their lives.
Freedom and Humanitarian Award Honorees
Amid inspirational stories of formidable courage, resilience, hope, and recovery shared by IRC staff as well as actual beneficiaries of IRC programs, two visionary philanthropists were honored for their pioneering leadership and impactful contributions to the mission of the IRC.
The legendary Diane von Furstenberg, global fashion icon and renowned philanthropist, received the IRC’s prestigious Freedom Award, an award that honors community leaders who have made extraordinary contributions in support of refugees while championing the causes of liberty, freedom, and dignity around the world. Ms von Furstenberg was honored for her outspoken advocacy and activism, as well as her global efforts on behalf on the world’s refugees.
This year’s annual John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award was bestowed upon noted business leader Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Inc. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset-management company, and supports humanitarian crises around the world by providing funding and support to trusted and established partners such as IRC that are on the ground, delivering aid and services to refugees.
The John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award was created to honor the memory of John Whitehead’s 50 years of dedication and leadership at the helm of the IRC, and is presented annually to those individuals that exemplify Mr. Whitehead’s spirit and passion for global humanitarian causes, and those who have made significant contributions to lifesaving relief programs around the world.
Mr. Fink was honored as a global business leader who has spearheaded efforts to promote responsible, long-term business practices and philanthropy to benefit the world’s most vulnerable communities and individuals at a time when governments are providing little to no support. Mr. Fink was recognized for his leadership role in leveraging private sector contributions and commitments to addressing major humanitarian issues such as those we are seeing around the world today.
Leaders from All Sectors Support IRC Efforts
This year’s annual Rescue Dinner raised $16.8 million in support the IRC’s crucial humanitarian work around the world, demonstrating that in fact, a wide variety of individuals, companies, communities, and organizations have indeed come to the forefront of the world’s humanitarian crisis to offer support, relief, and hope.
Broadway star Ariana Rosario performed for the hundreds of guests in attendance, which included a wide array of contributors and supporters, such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, Kathryn Bigelow, Belly, Jason Blum, Tom Brokaw, Lester Holt, Keegan-Michael Key, and artist Marc Quinn.
The corporate community was represented as well. Media mogul Barry Diller was in attendance, as was renowned business leader Jacob Gottlieb, CEO of Altium Capital, a leading investment fund that supports growing companies in the health care industry that are spearheading transformative and lifesaving technological advances in the medical field. Gottlieb is known for his commitment to supporting the most critical humanitarian causes, as well as the most significant medical advances globally, providing improved outcomes in patient care and cures around the world.
The annual IRC Rescue Dinner in New York is the IRC’s signature fundraising gala to raise awareness as well as much-needed funds for the IRC’s fundamental humanitarian relief efforts globally. Annual events such as the Rescue Dinner provide opportunities for supporters to learn more about the IRC and become involved in supporting its ongoing efforts.