With the start of summer, Gotham initiates a Season of Giving. At last’s Thursday’s meeting of Gotham Queens (which I nicknamed “GQ” when it rebooted under new leadership a few years back), we circulated an envelope. The idea is fives, tens and twenties much the way grass-roots on line fundraising is the craze in politics. The difference: instead of a candidate, you insert your business card with the name of your preferred charity on it. At the Gotham Holiday/ Winter Cocktail Party, depending on the amount collected at our meetings, donated on line to the Gotham Foundation, and matching donations, two to four charities get selected for significant awards.
Friday’s blogger credits Ester Horowitz a former Gotham Networker of the Year for coining the term and promoting what morphed into annual charitable fundraising campaign.
If you recall a past commentary here (‘Cause it matters), you know my preferred charities and causes involve Services Now For Adults Persons (“SNAP” – I chair its board of directors and two Gothamites – Mindy Stern and Renee Richter serve on its board.), the causes of the New York Grand Lodge and my home FDR Lodge 613 of the fraternal Order Knights of Pythias, and the Theresa Foundation (founder by Gotham member Vincent Russo and wife Susan).
How Gotham makes it happen: In the offices of Klein Zelman, Rothermel, Jacobs & Schess, during the afternoon preceding the evening’s cocktails, CPA Michael Garibaldi who co-chair Gotham’s New York and Long Island Legal Groups picks the “winning” donor’s business card with the name of the charity. All performed under the supervision of Lisa Waterman.
Several years ago, my card got selected. Gotham Foundation donated to the Pythian Diabetes Research Association which supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Last December as reported previously, Raj Goel selected two charities, one of which was my “Knights.” After consultation with fellow FDR member Bobby Kaufman (a Past Chief Deputy Supreme Chancellor in the order), we decided the award to directed to FDR’s Foundation (The other choice was the Pythian Humanitarian Fund of the Grand Lodge which Bobby co-chairs.), Kings-FDR Tolerance Foundation. At FDR’s Charitable Awards and Installation Night on June 14, Foundation President Ira Spiegel announced a donation in the amount “funded” by Raj to the Parker Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in New Hyde Park. I delivered the check last week.
This year my brand new business card printed by Gotham members Scott Levine’s Minuteman Bellerose (and redesigned by Scott’s associate and GQ chair Fred Morante) contained the acronym SNAP (and I hope Michael (hint hint) pulls my card among the deserving others). SNAP hosts it annual Wine Down as summer ends; it’s a fun event as our construction Attorney, Gotham’s Steve Glassberg will attest.
When the envelope passes at your upcoming Gotham meeting, or if you attend tomorrow’s Golf Outing and at the dinner opt to bid on a hard to get table at Rao’s (Norm Spizz oversees the auction), please support the Gotham Foundation’s season of giving, and/or via credit card (fees waived – thank you Marc Halpert!). Obviously non-members can support this worthwhile giving as well.