Annual Benefit Gala Raises over $1 Million in Fight Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger's 2015 Benefit Gala was held on Tuesday, November 3rd at 583 Park Avenue in New York City, in support of our humanitarian programs around the world. In its 16th year, our annual Gala brings together our most dedicated supporters and recognizes those helping us make great strides toward ending global hunger. The 300 guests in attendance were treated to cocktails, dinner, a live auction, and an awards presentation. By the evening's end, Action Against Hunger had raised over $1 million to help save the lives of severely malnourished children and help vulnerable communities become self-sufficient.
Action Against Hunger CEO Andrea Tamburini. Photo: Eric Vitale.
This year’s event honored Google, whose partnership with Action Against Hunger began in 2013 to educate and empower Google employees with a better understanding of nutrition, global hunger, and effective ways to provide vulnerable communities with access to life-sustaining nutrition. Google's unique employee engagement efforts have leveraged the inherent power of their workforce in novel ways for the broader good. To date, Google employees have raised over $3 million through their Fall Hunger Campaign for Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving work around the globe.
As he presented our highest honor, the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award, to Linda Femling-Nielsen and Michiel Bakker of Google Food and Diane Solinger of GooglersGive, our CEO Andrea Tamburini highlighted what makes the partnership so special. "To be clear, this is not 'old-school' corporate philanthropy," he said. "Google's support stems from many smaller donations from Google staff...It's a relationship we're very proud of, and one we are extremely glad to celebrate here tonight."
Michiel Bakker, Linda Femling-Nielsen and Diane Wakely Solinger.
Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images.
In her heartfelt acceptance of the award, Linda Femling-Nielsen acknowledged the nearly 7,000 Googlers who have contributed to the campaign and shared powerful examples of the impact of her 2015 visit to Action Against Hunger's nutrition programs in West Pokot, Kenya. "Women and their babies had walked in the heat for hours to reach the site. Now think about that, they couldn't 'Google' clinic hours or map directions, they came out of trust. Trust that the team would be there because they had been there the week before and would be there in the weeks after."
The evening also featured Special Guest Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, international bestselling author, and photographer who is often referred to as the “happiest man in the world.” Matthieu, who is the Founder of Karuna-Shechen, a nonprofit organization rooted in the ideal of compassion in action, spoke of the powerful connection between altruism and happiness. Since 2000, Karuna-Shechen has been developing and managing programs for the under-served populations of India, Nepal, and Tibet.
Raymond Debbane, Matthieu Ricard and Carmen Debbane. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images.
The Action Against Hunger team wishes to extend our gratitude to Gala Chair Carmen Debbane along with Co-Chairs Rebecca Lainovic and Sandra Tamer for all of their efforts in making the evening a tremendous success. Our thanks also extend heartily to our entire Board of Directors, especially our Board Chair, Raymond Debbane.