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Children's Benefit Gala

2016-2017 Annual Report

Education Through Music raised over $900,000 for its New York City music education program at its annual Children’s Benefit Gala held June 12, 2017, at Cipriani 42nd Street. This highly-anticipated annual gala is ETM’s largest fundraising event supporting the steadily growing roster of school and students who benefit from music education as part of a complete academic curriculum. The Gala honored real-estate giant, Cushman & Wakefield for their generous support of music education in New York City schools. John Santora, Vice Chairman, President, Tri-State Region, accepted the award on behalf of Cushman & Wakefield.

NBC sportscaster Bob Costas served as master of ceremonies and kicked-off the evening sharing his insights about the important benefits of music, like sports, on a child’s overall academic and social development. Guests were then treated to special performances by ETM partner school students; Grammy Award-winning violinist and longstanding ETM Board member Joshua Bell; international opera superstar Renée Fleming and string trio sensation Time for Three.

Esteemed auctioneer Selby Kiffer oversaw the live auction of items including exclusive vacations and entertainment experiences and Bill Evans, senior meteorologist for WABC-TV in New York City ran the evening’s paddle-raiser netting an overwhelming $200,000.

The evening included a sumptuous dinner, world-class entertainment and one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items for the 450 guests, including actress and singer Vanessa Williams and America’s Got Talent 2016 winners Raii and Whitney Smith.

“The Children’s Benefit Gala is the highpoint of our fundraising year because if unites all the generous sponsors, donors, friends, students, principals and teachers as well as ETM staff members and volunteers for an evening of celebration of all that we have accomplished through the ETM program,” says ETM Executive Director Katherine Damkohler. “We are truly blessed. The ETM music education program’s steady growth over the last 26 years — doubling in size between 2012 and 2016 — would not be possible without the overwhelming support of our generous contributors. The funding we receive at the Children’s Benefit Gala and throughout the year will greatly increase the impact and expansion of our program over the coming years.”

Education Through Music honored Cushman & Wakefield at its 2017 Children's Benefit Gala.

An education isn't complete without music.