2008 Gala

A Caring Hand held its sixth annual fundraising gala, Handing Our Children A Brighter Future, on May 1, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom.


The evening honored Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor Africa and co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, with the Philanthropic Achievement Award. Ethan and Grassroot Soccer use sports to provide HIV/AIDS education for youth in Africa. The gala also honored President and Founder, Susan Esposito-Lombardo for her tireless efforts in the opening of the Bereavement Center. ACH commends the work of these inspiring individuals. Shep Messing graciously chaired the gala this year while Cousin Bruce Morrow volunteered his time as the Master of Ceremonies.


2008 Courage Awards were presented to Carmelo Cataudella, Filip Cataudella, Mary Cataudella, Pina Maria Cataudella, Salvina Cataudella, Alex V. Iskenderian, Jason A. Iskenderian, Kara L. Iskenderian, Meryl A. Iskenderian, Sheri Iskenderian, Rachel Gold, Lauren M. Lanzi, Nicole Kozin-Lupo and Jane Oster in recognition of their bravery and perseverance in the face of a loss.


This year’s gala moved in a different direction from previous years and made guests feel like kids again with carnival-themed snacks and games to echo the mission of A Caring Hand, the Billy Esposito Bereavement Center. The gala featured an exciting silent auction and sweepstakes, the opportunity to win a grand prize while playing skee ball games, and fun “kid” food such as macaroni and cheese, cotton candy and ice cream.


Sponsors included A&P Family of Supermarkets; A.S.J Gentile’s; Bear Stearns, Big City Moms; Bulova Gale Foundation; Cassese Family Fund; Eplanet Films; Eye5 Marketing, LLC; Gotham Magazine; Jordana PR; Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman LLP; Marty & Kathy Pelcyger; Rent Quest; Stuart & Elise Fraser; The Esposito Family; The Gantcher & Spodek Families; The Saul & Eleanor Lerner Foundation; The Needham Group, Inc.; The Oster Family Foundation; and Reality Cares.


Cuisine was provided by AJ Maxwells, Barna, Big Daddy’s Diner, Bobby Van’s, City Crab, Danal, Duke’s, Edible Arrangements, Po, Pop Burger, Ruby Foo’s, STK, Supermac, Tong, and Victors Café. Spirits were provided by AOC Wines, Brooklyn Brewery, Fizzy Lizzy, Dewar’s, Linlin Vodka, Pellegrino and Tommy Bahama Rum.


Thanks to everybody who attended!