New York | United States
New York city is spoilt with a string of annual social events that are steeped in both history and tradition. One of these longstanding galas is the annual Lenox Hill Spring Gala. Each year this fundraising event sees New York’s glamour set step out in all their finery to support this historic institution and this year was no exception.
The glitzy event saw the large hall at Cipriani 42nd Street filled with dedicated supporters, newcomers and New York society’s ‘regulars’ enjoy a sit-down dinner and dancing throughout the evening. The tables were spectacularly designed with each being individually decorated by acclaimed interior designers.
Kicking off the evening, as with most if not all charity events, was the speeches from various parties involved. These not only served as a reminder of what Lenox Hill contributed to the community but also highlighted the impact that contributions make to their work and how it influences the organization’s reach through events like the Lenox Hill Spring Gala. We were reminded of the mental health, nutritional and fitness, education, social, health, legal and housing assistance that they offer on a daily basis to more than 15 000 people in need. Furthermore, they serve around 350,000 meals a year, three meals a day, five days a week. These are served to citizens of New York ages 3 to 103.
One of New York’s philanthropy pillars, Sana H. Sabbagh, was honoured for her outstanding and continuous work at Lenox Hill Neighbourhood House. In her speech, Ms Sabbagh thanked everyone for the honour as well as for their kind words. She then proceeded to read the poem If by Rudyard Kipling that her father had always told her were words to live by.
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
Her words, that so perfectly encapsulated the entire evening was met with deafening silence throughout her speech and followed by thunderous applause when she concluded. Sana H. Sabbagh managed to convey and rouse in all those present the desire to assist were needed is for our fellow man and reminded everyone, which is so easy to forget in moments, the reason for the Lenox Hill Spring Gala.