It was a rollercoaster of emotions at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan last night, as the annual Delivering Good Gala returned to an in-person celebration. From the excitement at reuniting over a delicious seated dinner and watching the awards ceremony live once more, to the emotive and poignant speeches delivered by people who’d had their lives changed by the organization’s tireless efforts, it was a reminder of how good it feels to, well, deliver good.
The interactive evening, hosted by retail guru and Delivering Good board member Ken Downing, also incorporated musical performances and plenty of surprise moments. The black tie affair raised an incredible $1.3 million for the non-profit, which has been a transformative service for people in need across the country since its inception in 1985.
Audience members cheered as The Ralph Lauren Corporation was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award (accepted by David Lauren via video), SAP took home the inaugural Innovation Award, and Tanger Outlets was honored with the Impact Award.
Some 400 attendees fought back tears as throughout the night, they witnessed firsthand accounts of how Delivering Good had impacted the lives of an immigrant family with a sick father, a formerly incarcerated healthcare worker from the Bronx, and a young mom-of-three from Syracuse, NY trying to get back on her feet. Letters were also read to the room, detailing the joy of a child getting new shoes for school and a man who thanked the organization for a shirt that he could proudly wear to church as his family struggled during COVID. In the poignant words of Downing himself, “If you’re not moved by these stories, then there’s no point in being here.”
Downing added in a release, “The greatest impact Delivering Good can make is by assisting families in need through our local partners. The positive force of families, whether born or chosen, can lay a solid foundation for a person to achieve their dreams.”
President and CEO of Delivering Good Lisa Gurwitch also said: “Thus far in 2021, more than 500 companies have donated over 20 million units of new, useful products that have been distributed to over 800 community partners. This has allowed Delivering Good to make a profound impact on millions of lives challenged by adversity.”
To help Delivering Good further its reach and fundraising goals, people can take part in the silent auction (with priceless prizes galore!) until November 12.
See highlights from the night, below: