Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Gala

My daughter was part of the four-person special events team that pulled off this fantastic 35th anniversary fundraising gala of City Harvest, a nonprofit that feeds New York's hungry. Last night, a very pregnant Chrissy Tiegen was presented with the Heart of the City award by her husband John Legend, who also serenaded her and the audience with a surprise performance. The couple had underwritten an auction item of a meal for 20 prepared by master chef Eric Ripert, with Chrissy and John as guests, and John playing piano during the evening. The whole experience was bought by two different deep-pocketed donors for a total of $2.2 million dollars—enough for 8.8 million meals for people in need. 

I remember just after my girl graduated from college in the summer of 2016, she was on her way to the beach at Coney Island with two friends when she saw this job listed. She made her friends wait as she sat at our kitchen counter in her bathing suit furiously tapping out a cover letter. "It's my perfect job, Mom," she said with all her idealistic fervor. "Food and beverage, special events, and top chefs, but in a meaningful nonprofit setting that aims to create food security by rescuing food for the hungry." She got the call for an interview while we were at the airport about to board the plane for our week-long family reunion in Jamaica that August. The human resources woman, who serendipitously also went to Cornell, told her that she couldn't schedule her for when she returned because all interviews were to be conducted during the week she was away. They wanted to hire quickly. My daughter offered to phone in from Jamaica for her interview, but the woman said she had to be there in person. But just before she hung up she suggested my daughter give her a call when she got back anyway, in case things hadn't yet been settled.

My daughter was beside herself. We had a wonderful time in beautiful Ocho Rios with the extended family, but she still shed tears more than once that week over missing out on a chance at her dream job. The morning we returned to New York, bleary eyed from traveling all night, her phone rang. It was the human resources person, asking her to come in after all, because none of the other candidates had been quite right. A week later, my girl had the job, and she's been on a steep learning curve ever since. She now manages two of the five largest signature fundraising events each year, soup to nuts, and has a lot more on her plate than her original job description. She's discovering what my father always told me, that the reward for good work is more work. Fortunately, neither of my kids is afraid of working hard. Their grandfather must whisper to them, too.

12 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story! Your children give me hope for the world.

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    1. robin, they, and also their friends, give me hope, too!

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  2. That IS a most wonderful story! And you and your husband and all of the loving people behind and around you have prepared both of your children not only to dream big but to work hard to make those dreams come true. It's so cliche but your children have been given wings and now they fly.

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    1. Mary, i think we are both very fortunate in our children, they came here with clay that could be moulded. It doesn't always work out that way. I'm grateful. I know you are, too.

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  3. The universe clearly conspired to help your daughter land the perfect job! Looks like an amazing (and amazingly well-managed) event. I liked your father's comment about good work leading to more work -- that's certainly true!

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    1. Steve, I think we all get our work ethic from my dad! But also from my mom. Actually my husband's parents had a pretty powerful work ethic, too, so my kids probably couldn't have escaped it! And yes, that job worked out for my girl almost as if it was meant to be!

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  4. That is very impressive and a great story! I'm glad it worked out for your daughter -- it certainly worked out for the organization and the people who benefit!

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    1. jenny_o, i might be biased, but that doesn't mean i don't truly believe they are lucky to have her! but thanks for the kind words.

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  5. Sounds like a great match. I hope she has a personal plan that includes growth and professional advancement. Building her career in a field she loves is empowering. Work leading to more work is so true. Great compensation should parallel this. Here, here to successful women Susan

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    1. Susan, i lovelovelove your comment! Yes, exactly this! The good news is she is not unaware. She is working on achieving this in her beautifully millennial way.

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  6. You must be so proud. She's hard working and she makes the world a better place. Wonderful!

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