The Doe Fund held its annual Gala benefit Thursday, October 25th at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event drew over 500 guests and raised more than $1.7 million for its flagship Ready, Willing & Able program, which provides a working way home for men with long histories of homelessness and incarceration.
The event was a celebration of the community of supporters that The Doe Fund has cultivated over its three decades of service in New York City. Guests enjoyed a musical performance by the Cardinal Spellman High School Gospel Choir. The Doe Fund’s social enterprise, Dishes by Doe, was on hand to assist with food preparations and to sell its award-winning confections. The pinnacle of the evening—a “fund-a-need” live auction—raised over $400,000 for the Ready, Willing & Able program.
The highlights of the evening were the personal stories of transformation made possible by Ready, Willing & Able. The evening featured a film screening that documented the lives of two men who came to The Doe Fund after decades of incarceration. In addition, David Caban, one of the youngest graduates of Ready, Willing & Able, delivered the keynote address, which recounted his journey from homelessness to finding a family at The Doe Fund.
The Doe Fund’s founder and president, George McDonald, reflected on the need for safe havens like The Doe Fund for men in crisis. “When the world seems upside down, and for the men we serve, it often does—that is when we need our family,” he said. “After 30 years, and over 23,000 men served, The Doe Fund has become a family with shared values, self-respect, and success.”