(From left to right) Honoree Peter Meyer of TD Bank; Restoration President Colvin Grannum; Honoree Marjorie Moon of the Billy Holiday Theater; Chairman Rhea; Dinner Co-Chair Valentino Carlotti; Mistress of Ceremony Soledad O’Brien of CNN; and Restoration Chairman Wayne Winborne. (Photo by LETICIA BARBOZA) - More photos on Flickr
Brooklyn, NY. Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration), the nation’s oldest community development corporation, celebrated its 45th anniversary at the Restore Brooklyn annual benefit on Thursday, June 28. The event the Skylight One Hanson (formerly the Williamsburg Savings Bank), honored John B. Rhea, Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority; Peter Meyer, President of New York City Market for TD Bank; and Marjorie Moon, Executive Director of the Billie Holiday Theatre.
“This year’s theme, ‘Restore Brooklyn’ is aptly named and serves as testament to the remarkable renaissance that has seized our borough and which Restoration is so proud to be a part of,” said Colvin W. Grannum, President of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “From improvements to our community’s economic and physical landscape, to exciting arts and culture venues that continue to renew Bedford Stuyvesant rich artistic legacy, to ambitious environmental and education initiatives that empower residents, Restoration remains at the helm of this remarkable transformation. This year’s honorees embody the vision, commitment, and love of community which Restoration holds so dear.”
Restoration honored TD Bank NYC Market President Peter Meyer with its Robert F. Kennedy Award for his outstanding dedication to the Brooklyn community as Chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and board member to numerous nonprofit and civic organizations, including the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Queens Museum, and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.
“Restoration is a remarkable community asset and I am so pleased to be honored by this iconic organization,” said Mr. Meyer.
New York City Housing Authority Chairman John B. Rhea is a distinguished leader as well as a tireless advocate for early childhood education and the arts, with over 20 years of corporate experience as both an advisor and senior executive at a number of the world’s leading corporations. He has served on the board of such organizations as Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. As Chairman of the largest public housing authority in North America, Mr. Rhea manages 100 Brooklyn housing developments with 58,692 units. Restoration honored Mr. Rhea with its Jacob Javits Award, and is working closely with NYCHA on several initiatives to better serve housing residents.
“Restoration’s commitment to Brooklyn families, many of whom live in NYCHA-managed housing, is an invaluable community resource. I am pleased to join Restoration as it celebrates this milestone in its history,” said Mr. Rhea.
Marjorie Moon has been the Executive Director of the AUDELCO- and Obie-award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre for more than thirty years and is an accomplished producer, with more than 150 productions under her belt, at venues from Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Washington, D.C.’s Warner Theatre and Historic Tacoma Theatre to Broadway. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Billie Holiday Theatre has been the crown jewel of Restoration’s Center for Arts & Culture for decades, as well as a prime venue for Restoration’s signature events, such as the annual RFK Memorial Holiday Party and book-signings with today’s best-selling authors.
“The Billie Holiday Theatre has long partnered with Restoration to bring the Central Brooklyn community award-winning theatre and dance performances as well as quality family programming. I’m so pleased to be a part of this fine work and to be honored at this year’s 45th anniversary Restore Brooklyn benefit,” said Ms. Moon.
In addition to the award ceremonies, the evening included a celebration of Restoration’s recent achievements, as well as preview plans for the coming year, which include an ambitious educational agenda and efforts to create a greener, healthier and more economically viable Central Brooklyn.
Launched with bi-partisan support from Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob K. Javits, as well as local community activists in 1967, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has been recognized as the pioneering model for non-profit community development corporations across the country. Restoration takes a holistic approach to community development, providing a full spectrum of programming, including workforce development, affordable housing, social supports, financial literacy, education, and the arts. Proceeds from the “Restore Brooklyn” benefit enable Restoration to sustain this myriad of programs and services that directly improve the quality of life for Central Brooklyn’s residents.
American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault and wife Kathryn Chenault were Honorary Co-Chairs at this year’s benefit. Renowned actress, writer, and activist Ruby Dee is Honorary Patron. Benefactors that serve as Vice Chairs at the event include representatives from: Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group; the JPMorgan Chase Foundation; the Offensend Family Foundation; and Joseph and Nancy Sponholz. Co-chairing the Benefit Committee are Renee Altomonte, Kira Watson LeBlanc, and Lesia Bates-Moss. Dinner Co-Chairs are Senior Vice President of TD Bank Ralph Bumbaca and Goldman Sachs Partner Valentino Carlotti. American Express and Hudson City Savings Bank conduct the Salute to Honorees. In the past, other attendees have included representatives from Citibank, Bank of America, Bank of New York, HSBC, Viacom, Nixon Peabody, and Cravath, Swaine and Moore, among many others.
Some 400 guests attended this year’s annual benefit, which is especially important, as it commemorates Restoration’s 45th anniversary as the nation’s first community development corporation. The evening has historically attracted hundreds of guests from the corporate, government, and non-profit sectors, including Robert Kennedy, Jr., Franklin Thomas, and American Express CEO Mr. Chenault