Jean Shafiroff to Co-Chair Annual Mission Society Gala Again This Spring

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the New York City Mission Society will hold its annual Champions for Children fundraising Gala. This year's event will honor legendary actress and singer Diahann Carroll and entrepreneur Don Peebles, as well as recognize three lifetime members of the Mission Society's Board of Directors. Co-chaired by Jean Shafiroff and Katrina Peebles, the benefit will support the Mission Society's programs and services that help youth and families in our city's most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success.

"We are proud to chair the annual benefit for this worthy organization, because the New York City Mission Society makes a real - and lasting - difference in the lives of so many New Yorkers," Jean Shafiroff and Katrina Peebles said. "Through robust programs, events, and services, the Mission Society is leveling the playing field for New Yorkers who live in some of our city's poorest neighborhoods. It's important to step up, and use our hands and hearts to change lives for the better."

The Gala will be held at the Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle in Manhattan, starting with cocktails at 6:30 PM followed by a 7:30 PMprogram with dinner, music, and dancing. To purchase tickets to the event and learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit: https://www.nycharities.org/Events/EventLevels.aspx?etid=9605

In addition to Gala Co-Chairs Jean Shafiroff and Katrina Peebles, this year's Gala Committee includes Tommie Pegues (Gala Vice Chair), Peggy and John Bader, and Leah and Stanley Rumbough. Benefit Committee Members are: Alston & Bird, LLP, American Securities Foundation, Flo Anthony, Elaine Bernanke Appelle, Kim Bingham, Sophia Bishop, Jerry Bonura, Geoffrey Bradfield, Henry Buhl, Victor de Souza, Lee Fryd, Penny Grant, Jo'Vion (J.D.) Greer, Shannon Hales, Michelle Herbert, Missy Kilroy & Jay Moorhead, Barbara and Francis Kairson, Jr., Margo Langenberg, Brian Monroe, Riki Kane Larimer, Dustin Lujan, Lauren & James Peterson, Kim Renk & Greg Dyer, Natalie S. Ross, Helen Shelton, and Brooke and Derek Steinhiser.

At the Gala, the Mission Society will honor the ongoing and vital support of three lifetime members of its Board of Directors: actress and philanthropist Dina Merrill Hartley, whose family has supported the Mission Society for four generations; Lloyd W. Brown, II; and LTC Francis W. Kairson, Jr. (Ret).

WABC News Anchor Bill Ritter, a longtime supporter of the Mission Society, will emcee the event. Performing that evening will be Kathy Sledge, the legendary voice of Sister Sledge; acclaimed singer Alex Donner and his Orchestra, and students enrolled in the Mission Society's free afterschool music education program, GRIOT.

The Mission Society will present the legendary Diahann Carroll with its Champions for Children Award. Born in Harlem, Ms. Carroll is an award-winning and trailblazing actress, successful entrepreneur, and devoted humanitarian. One of America's major performing talents, she has starred on stage, screen, and television. In addition to winning Tony and Golden Globe awards, Ms. Carroll has been nominated for Emmys, Grammys, and an Oscar over her long and prestigious career. She also has devoted considerable time to support causes that are important to her. She served as an ambassador and national spokesperson for Lifetime Television's breast cancer awareness campaign, and has been recognized for raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Ms. Carroll was the first black actress in television history to star in her own series, Julia, on NBC, which soared to the top of the Nielsen ratings and received an Emmy nomination. Her television credits include Dynasty, A Different World, Soul Food, Strong Medicine, and Whoopi. Her recent appearances include White Collar on the USA Network and a role in the film Peeples.

Equally stunning on stage, Ms. Carroll has received acclaim for her performances in Sunset Boulevard, Bubbling Brown Sugar, and House of Flowers, and won a Tony Award for her performance in Richard Rodgers' No Strings. Her film work includes Claudine, Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy & Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Eve's Bayou. In 2010, she filmed her stage show, "The Lady-The Music-The Legend" for PBS TV, and her one-woman show at Feinstein's regularly sold out.

Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue (Don) Peebles is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, one of the country's few national privately held real estate investment and development companies with portfolio of projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami Beach. Mr. Peebles also is a top-selling author of The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth. He a regular guest on CNN, CNBC, and FOX, as well as a highly sought-after speaker.

Mr. Peebles is an avid supporter of mentoring to expose youth to the value of entrepreneurship. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus, is on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York, is a member of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez's Business Roundtable, was a two-time former member of President Barack Obama's National Finance Committee, and former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About the New York City Mission Society

The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, our progressive portfolio of educational, workforce development, cultural enrichment, and community-building programs make a positive, long-term impact on the City's most underserved communities by promoting academic achievement, and providing career opportunities and cultural enrichment. Each year, we serve more than 12,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events. Learn more at http://www.nycmissionsociety.org.

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