New York is my city. It's easier for me to strut than to walk down the streets of Manhattan, it's impossible not to feel beautiful, looking at the lights of the Empire State, feeling the air, people watching, I just love it and nothing compares. Nothing. And last night The AFA owned NYC. Justin Timberlake may be bringing sexy back but last night The AFA team brought Illuminations back to this city. And it glittered.
What a night. What amazing fun to be surrounded by so many people who believe in our work and in our shared vision of family. To say that the guest list was an NYC Who's Who is an understatement. Melinda and I were thrilled to greet Ron Delgaudio and Russell Gellis at the door. I was so glad to give my old friend Helena Chicketano a big hug and to catch up with the kids (to me everyone under 40 is a kid) from Cornell. I was honored to reconnect with Owen Davis, Michael Drews, Marc Goldstein, Linda Applegarth, Michael Zinger, Lisa Maleska, Terry Fortino and his beautiful wife, Santiago Munne, Julie Tavoso, Barbara Sirios who I absolutely adore, Larry Walsh, Joel and Teresa, Cristina Matera, of course my secret crush Alan Penzias, gal pal Dana Kelly, and so many others. How cool to drink champage with Justin, Rich, Brian, Allison, all our BFF's from EMD. To welcome Doug Weiss to our house. To finally meet Mark Fuerst (yes Mark, you are really more handsome in person than on your facebook profile page).
Of course the music was fabulous, Brenda looked gorgeous and the food was amazing, but the high points for me? Of course, it was all about the kids, the next generation that we so strive for. Connecting with Gaelin Rosenwaks, Zev's beautiful daughter, was a moment I will always remember. Seeing Carolyn Berger's son, Ethan, all grown up! When did that happen Carolyn? And Patricia Mendell's sons, young men, I can't begin to tell you what it meant to me, to see these struggled for babies re-entering our fold now as young adults. What a future they are all positioned to create.
But it was the babies, of course, that stole the show. Gary and Tony's little boy, and Ricky and Anthony's little girl, gurgling and cooing during Ken's opening remarks, sorry Ken but they scooped your thunder right out from under you! The poignancy was lost on no one.
And the high point for my kids? The left over scooter pies from the dessert buffet that Connor and Caitlin of course, had to have for breakfast this morning.
Wow. I am so proud of this team. The AFA staff, our board, our sponsors and our friends. Our collective commitment to integrity, honesty, best practices for non profits, and of course our mission of helping people to build family. In case you don't know it yet, let me say that this, folks, is the team to be on.
New York is my city. I was proud and honored last night to share it with the most amazing people I know.