Denise LeFrak, Frankie Valli & Johnny Rzeznik Honored at 20th Annual Caron Gala
Last night New York's elite came together with music legends for Caron New York's 20th Annual Gala Fundraiser at the elegant Cipriani on 42nd in New York City, NY. The event raised over a million dollars, all of which will be used towards charity recovery services. Caron's own Harris Stratyner Ph.D , Honoree's Frankie Valli and Denise LeFrak Calicchio were joined by Paul Williams, James Lipton, David Johansen and comedianStewie Stone. The Goo Goo Dolls Johnny Rzeznik was also honored but at the last minute was unable to attend.
During the evening's presentation guests heard a performance by the NYU a capella group Ani V'Ata of Frankie Valli's songs and a special rendition of the song "Denise, Denise.", followed by a welcome from Caron's Chairman of the Board John Fitzsimons. There were heartfelt testimonials from Caron graduates and key staff including Rev Jack Abel, President and CEO Doug Teiman and Regional Vice President Todd Whitmer. A beautiful film introduced Denise LeFrak Calicchio, who was presented with and accepted The Richard J Caron Ward of Excellence from Juliana Terain. This was followed by a hilarious comedy skit from Stewie Stone and a personal presentation from last year's Artistry and Advocacy Award honoree Paul Williams to Frankie Valli. Throughout the evening, each participant in their own way articulated the pressing need for addiction treatment and made clear that recovery is not just about abstinence from drugs or alcohol, but the possibility of living a beautiful and full life.
Television personality Ira Joe Fisher and Gala co-chair Neil Lasher encouraged guests to make spontaneous contributions and coupled with the silent auction - featuring generously donated unique items from Joe Walsh, James Taylor, Bon Jovi, The David Letterman Show, Tiffanys and honorees Frankie Valli and Denise LeFrak Calicchio - over a million dollars was raised.
Caron is a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, which gives more money towards addiction treatment scholarships than any other organization - and last year alone provided more than 17 million dollars to individuals and their families. Caron New York continues its mission of providing "Recovery for Life" through unique services offered for adolescents, young adults, adults and their families.
Each year Caron New York celebrates individuals who have made an impact through their art, their philanthropy, their vocation and their scope and audience. Previous Artist Award recipients include Roseanne Cash, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Patti LaBelle and Paul Williams.
Photo by Scott Baker