We would like to thank everyone who came to our 25th Annual Gala on December 6th at the Tribeca 360 Event Space. It was a night filled with appreciation for our donors; highlights from our grantees and program partners; and of course recognition of our deserving honorees, Marla Kaplowitz of MEC, Anna Griffin of CA Technologies, and Jacki Kelley of Bloomberg.
Below, we have shared an excerpt from Anna’s speech, which we feel captures the spirit of the evening:
Thank you. I couldn’t be more honored to be in a room of people I’ve admired my entire life – The New York City advertising and media community. I remember in my youth admiring the Divas of Madison Ave, relishing every word ever written by David Oglivy, and my own life and culture being shaped by the very advertising messages that came from the minds of those in this city. The folks in this room have always been the greatest story tellers I’ve ever known. And their stories have made a difference, not only for companies and brands but for individuals.
That’s what makes tonight special. We are a group united by our passion, and talent to create and tell stories but also our belief that the individual matters. That one life can make a difference. That every individual has an equal opportunity to change the world.
When we can combine these two gifts (our talent for stories and empathy for others), we are left with the remarkable opportunity to change destiny. How? Destiny follows story. We are all a product of the stories we’ve been told. Some of us have been told stories of hope, triumph, achievement and possibility. Others have been told stories of doubt, limits, and impossibilities. To change your outcome in life you must change your story. I applaud the JAR Foundation for the programs that are allowing the youth of NYC to author new stories for themselves. By allowing them mentorship from people who can create new paths, by allowing them exposure to new possibilities, and by investing time and volunteerism to create new dialogues in their lives, which they may not be receiving at home or in the classroom.