NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:
Carver’s 80th Anniversary Gala Raises More than $1 Million
Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, Presents Child of America Award to Sean Combs
Norwalk, CT – Carver’s 80th Anniversary gala on Friday, May 11th at Shorehaven Golf Club raised more than $1 million to advance the Carver mission of “building lifetime achievers.”
In addition to Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates presenting Carver’s annual Child of America award to Sean Combs, Mayor Rilling, Representative Bob Duff, Stamford Mayor David Martin and New Canaan Selectman Nick Williams joined the nearly 300 guests in making this gala a joyous and significant event.
“This was a gala for the ages,” said Novelette Peterkin, Carver’s Executive Director. “At this event our gala committee, sponsors and guests kept faith with Carver’s founders and our namesake, George Washington Carver, in giving all we could to help this generation of Norwalk’s youth succeed in school and life. Carver was founded 80 years ago on values and built through the years on integrity. Carver’s original volunteer leaders may never have envisioned Carver’s reach and success today, but in all the important ways, Carver never changed. The success of this year’s gala demonstrates how much we care about achieving the very best for each Carver child.”
Sean Combs was especially appreciative of the Carver award and mission. He spoke at length about the pivotal role after school and summer programs played in his youth and his commitment to such programs across the country today.
For the live auction Mr. Combs offered his East Hampton mansion for a week where the famous “White Party” was held. Then he helped the auctioneer to auction it. He was up and engaging with our audience. Combs then doubled the auction offering, selling it to the two top bidders for $25K apiece.
A number of Carver students and alumni spoke to resounding standing ovations. There were many other high points, including Carver alumnae Gabriel Pierre-Louis singing during the reception; a special video greeting by Carver kids; the high drama of the Silent Auction, Paddle Raise and Live Auction managed by the thrilling Robbie Gordy; a music video of Carver kids and Carver Alumnus Kenneth “FNX” Shuler rapping Carver’s new anthem, “We Are Carver”; and then the exuberant fellowship afterward.
About Sean Combs
Sean Combs is the definition of a mogul. As the Chairman and CEO of Combs Enterprises, he has a diverse portfolio of businesses and investments covering the music, fashion, fragrance, beverage, marketing, film, television, and media industries with companies such as Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Sean John, Combs Wine & Spirits, AQUAhydrate, The Blue Flame Agency, REVOLT Films and REVOLT MEDIA & TV. Combs has always applied the same drive and entrepreneurial spirit that has defined his entertainment and business success to his philanthropic work and political activism. He led the response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, pledging one million bottles of water along with a long-term commitment to provide water to Flint citizens until the issue is resolved. He raised more than $2 million for New York City public schools and children suffering from HIV and AIDS by competing in the New York City Marathon. He has supported organizations including the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the Boys & Girls Club, and others that create opportunities for young people. And, he has served on the board of the Hip Hop Action Network and rallied millions of young people to register to vote and vote during the 2008 election through his Vote or Die project. In 2016, Combs also announced that he was launching a charter school in Harlem. In the same year, Combs also donated $1 million to Howard University to establish the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund. Mr. Combs’ philanthropy continues and is something Carver honors with its annual Child of America award.
About the Child of America Award
Last year’s honoree was Marcus Mabry of CNN. Other past Child of America Award recipients include Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Roger Wilkins; Geoffrey Canada, former President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Cynthia Thompson, National Chair of The Girl Scouts Of America; James Comer, the Maurice Faulk Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale; Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE; The Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, the Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church in New York City; Debo P. Adegbile, then the Director of Litigation, NAACP LDF; Dr. Marlen Bodden, Legal Aid Society and author; Morris “Mo” Pleasure, American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist; and Richard Whitcomb, President Emeritus of St. Luke’s School.
About the Carver Foundation of Norwalk
Carver is Norwalk’s largest provider of after school programs for middle and high school students, and the largest provider of summer programs serving K through 9th grade students, operating in 10 Norwalk schools and the Carver Community Center. Carver provides a special after school program for the 5th grade students at Brookside and Tracey Elementary Schools. This academic year, Carver is serving 3,819 unduplicated individuals: 1,323 students in after school and summer programs, 164 students in college, and 2,332 people in community programs. Since 2005, 100% of Carver seniors have graduated on time. Over the last three years, over 95% of Carver seniors enroll in college immediately following graduation. 85% of Carver college students graduate from 4-year colleges and universities within 6 years. Carver received the highest ratings from Charity Navigator and Guidestar, far exceeding industry standards for financial health, transparency and accountability to donors.
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