Holiday Whoopi for SAGE

by Kristopher Fraser Photographed by Greg Louganis, Eric Marcus== The 31st Annual Toys Party== Pier 60, NYC== December 11, 2016== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - Aurora Rose/ PMC== ==
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Supporters and allies of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) came together on Sunday, December 11, sat Pier 60 in New York City for the 31st Annual Toys Party. Robby Browne, David Tufts and Chris Kann hosted the event, which benefits LGBT elders, as well as children, through participating charities.

Thousands of toys were collected as guests filled the venue for the special holiday celebration. Before the night was over, more than $300,000 was donated on behalf of LGBT elders. Special attendees included LGBT icons Levi Jackman Foster, Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis and longtime SAGE supporter Whoopi Goldberg.

“This special annual event is the perfect way for SAGE supporters to touch the lives of children in need,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “The Toys Party is another example of how SAGE prioritizes the most vulnerable among us. The gift of giving during the holiday season benefits everyone involved, especially the LGBT older adults for which SAGE is deeply committed.”

Toys R Us donated a virtual mountain of toys that was augmented by gifts brought by attendees. More than 5,000 toys will be given to kids in need this holiday season. Ketel One served as presenting liquor sponsor for the third year in a row and Uber, the official transportation partner of the Toys Party, provided discounted rides to guests. Norwegian Air added a nice touch with its Aura machine, which gave guests a new way to chart their next getaway and named one lucky winner of two roundtrip tickets to Paris.

Addressing a sea of enthusiastic partygoers, Goldberg emphasized the importance of intergenerational dialogue through SAGE Table, SAGE’s groundbreaking national program set to launch in May 2017. “This is not a fundraiser, this is a ‘friendraiser,’” said Goldberg about the new program. “SAGE is one of the most important organizations that I am aware of, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Everybody forgets when they’re younger that getting old is just around the corner. So, you have to make sure you’re looking out for those who have come before you, and appreciate what was done. On May 18, we’ll get to know each other.”

Hosts Browne, Tufts and Chris were in attendance, mingling with more than 2,500 guests. Kann, a distinguished real estate broker with the Corcoran Group, is both a SAGE board member and supporter through the annual Toys Party. “This party is highlight of the holiday season for many in the LGBT community. It’s a chance to get together and celebrate, and the fact that it also supports SAGE is an added bonus,” he said.

Browne, founder and co-host of the annual event stated, “The Toys event has grown tremendously since it began 31 years ago. I’m very proud of the special family that’s formed around such an inspiring cause. Knowing that we can give so many toys to children in need during the holiday season is a true blessing. SAGE continues to be an important part of my life and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help give back to LGBT elders through the great work that SAGE does every day.”


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