FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Doe Fund Raises $1.8 Million at Star-Studded Gala,
Launches “Campaign for Opportunity”
Celebrities, Civic Leaders, and Philanthropists Pledge Support
for Formerly Homeless, Incarcerated Men in New York City
NEW YORK — New York-based nonprofit organization The Doe Fund held its annual Gala Benefit Thursday, drawing more than 500 attendees and raising $1.8 million for the organization’s programs which serve formerly homeless and incarcerated men and veterans.
In advance of the organization’s 30th anniversary in 2015, the “Campaign for Opportunity”– a $20 million expansion plan– was launched to specifically address the needs of young men affected by the criminal justice system.
The campaign will enable the organization to serve 1,000 more individuals annually with new transitional and supportive housing facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
The Doe Fund’s founder and president, George McDonald, called the explosion of incarceration and homelessness among young men a “crisis of opportunity,” and remarked that, “Each of us deserves the opportunity to live by our own hands; to lay down roots and grow our families. And until every person in this great country has the opportunity to work and pursue a path of prosperity and independence, our work is not yet complete.”
Harriet Karr-McDonald, Executive Vice President for the organization, echoed that sentiment. “We cannot afford to lose another generation of children to incarceration,” she said. “We have to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society have the opportunity they need to uplift their lives and the lives of their families.”
The event’s guests included some of the most notable names in entertainment, city government, and philanthropy including Orange Is The New Black star Selenis Leyva; former MTA chief Joe Lhota; Latin music sensation Ana Isabelle; TONY award-winning writer and actor Dick Scanlan; actress and model Zineb Oukach (Kohana); St. Vincent star Ray Iannicelli; and television legend John Amos.
Two graduates of the organization’s flagship Ready, Willing & Able program spoke to the crowd, thanking them for supporting the organization that saved their lives. Richard Norat, who spent twenty years incarcerated before joining Ready, Willing & Able left the audience emotionally stunned, saying, “People like you are the reason why my hope didn’t die in prison.”