North Salem, NY, July 02, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Friends of Karen, a children’s charity, had one of its most successful events ever with its June 14 gala “An Evening in Venice” benefit, raising $370,000 to help hundreds of children battling cancer or another life-threatening illness in the New York Tri-State Area.
The fireworks really started when Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, who received the organization’s Humanitarian Award, took the stage. Friends of Karen provides emotional, financial and advocacy services to families caring for a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness. Vowing to “use my voice for the children,” Mr. Rivera put on a #42 Yankees jersey and started an auction, offering a private pitching clinic, “or anything you want me to do at your home for your children.” The crowd went wild, and Mr. Rivera ended up auctioning off not only the jersey (which he signed for the winner), but two pitching clinics.
“It’s an honor to give back and help the children,” he said. “Any of us could easily be one of those kids [featured in the Friends of Karen video].
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and former Junior League of Northern Westchester president Becki Fleischer were honored with the Sheila W. Petersen Award. Named in honor of Friends of Karen’s founder, this award is given to persons who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to Friends of Karen’s mission and children.
“When we think about Friends of Karen’s mission, it’s equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring,” Ms. Fleischer said. “Thank you for the work you do day in and day out, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to come together tonight as a community to show that we care.
Added CNN Anchor John Berman, the event’s emcee, “Cancer is an astronomically expensive illness, and every dollar you contribute tonight will help a family get through a harrowing situation. You can’t imagine what an impact Friends of Karen has on their lives.”
“Friends of Karen started with one child, Karen, in 1978 and since then has touched the lives of more than 13,000 children,” said Judith Factor, the charity’s Executive Director. “Our honorees are incredibly generous in spreading the word about the Friends of Karen lifeline.”
Friends of Karen is the only organization in the New York Tri-state Area that provides vital, practical and comprehensive support, at no cost, to families caring for a child with cancer or another life-threatening illness, from diagnosis through treatment. Driven by compassion for families facing the most difficult experience imaginable, Friends of Karen helps free them of everyday needs and concerns, so they have more time to love. Friends of Karen consistently achieves Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating.
Friends of Karen serves all qualified families without regard to race, religion, or national origin. For more information, visit www.FriendsOfKaren.org or call (914) 617-4042.