by guest contributor Stuart Allen
Photo credit: Courtesy of N Street Village
A spring snow storm didn’t stop this crowd! N Street Village welcomed nearly 900 guests for their Annual Gala at the Marriott Marquis on Tuesday, March 14th. It was a record-breaking Gala, raising well over $1,500,000 for N Street Village programs and services. Last year was the first $1M gala for N Street Village.
Two-time Grammy nominee, Andra Day served as special musical guest singing “Rise Up” with the N Street Village and Luther Place Ambassadors of Praise. Before singing, she told the moved crowed “My prayer for this song that it is healing and inspiring. I see music in its purest form as healing, and the women at N Street Village are examples of the power of healing.”
Debra Lee and Audra Day
“Tonight we are here to make our unity visible and to lift up what connects us. This is our ‘compassion economy’ and we see this currency at work every day in the halls of N Street Village,” said N Street Village Executive Director Schroeder Stribling who welcomed the record-breaking crowd. N Street Village opened two new locations– The Patricia Handy Place for Women and services at the newly renovated Phyllis Wheatly YWCA. The Village now provides safe and dignified housing for 500 individuals, and support services for 2000 each year. Stribling reminded us that “We are all more alike than we are different.”
Schroeder Stribling and Debbie Jarvis
Board Chairman Peter Shields made the surprise announcement that N Street Village had just completed the organization’s $9M Capital Campaign. He then presented the Founder’s Award to Ruth and Arne Sorenson recognizing their dedication and commitment to the Village. Ruth is Vice-Chair of N Street Village Board and Arne is CEO and President of Marriott International, Inc.
Stribling said of the Sorensons: “We are thrilled to honor Ruth and Arne Sorenson. Not only are they loyal and lovely friends to all of us at N Street Village, but their leadership and dedication to our mission has been transforming, and I know they do it all straight from their hearts. Ruth Sorenson responded: “We learn from each other. Each of our lives is full of stories. We have been welcomed into the N Street Village community, and it has been an opportunity for us to deepen our story. Thank you for this honor.” Arne shared why they support the Village: “First, the need is so fundamental. Second, we are all members of the same community. Any of us could be in exactly the same position as the women who walk into the Village.”
Peter Shields, Schroeder Stribling, Ruth and Arner Sorenson
The final award that night – The Steinbruck Awards – was presented to three very deserving N Street Village clients – Catherine, Peggy and Thomure. Their determination and positive attitudes – even in the most challenging circumstances – have been not only life changing for themselves, but for those around them. “I am humbled and honored to accept this award. It means that people recognize the change in me.” – Thomure, 2017 Steinbruck Honoree. “It has been a bittersweet journey, but I wouldn’t be here tonight if it weren’t for N Street Village. I want to thank you”– Catherine, 2017 Steinbruck Honoree. “You have made me overjoyed. To all of you who have donated, I give you my heart. – Peggie, 2017 Steinbruck Honoree.
Sandi McCoy and Hillary Baltimore
2017 Gala Co-chairs, Hillary Baltimore and Sandi McCoy, made closing remarks – a final pitch for support and thanked all in attendance for their important role in helping ensure N Street Village is here for every woman in need.
“There are lots of people in our community that face challenges every day. Thank you Peggie, Catherine, and Thomure for showing us that we can rise up.” – Hillary Baltimore
·“Tonight we are here to make our unity visible and to lift up what connects us. This is our ‘compassion economy’ and we see this currency at work every day in the halls of N Street Village.” – Schroeder Stribling.
Just because we can’t resist Richard Gere who was at last year’s event we include his video: