On The Avenue

Lighting Up #ChildrenFirst at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Katy Perry== 12th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball== Cipriani Wall Street, NYC== November 29, 2016== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - Jimi Celeste/PMC== ==
Thursday, December 1, 2016

“…5, 4, 3, 2, 1!,” the crowd—beamed in via a live stream screen from Cipriani Wall Street—counted down on Tuesday night during the lighting of the UNICEF Snowflake on 57th and 5th. Sponsored by Alex and Ani | Charity by Design, the crystal ornament represents a beacon of hope, peace and compassion for vulnerable children across the globe.

The evening, presented by Baccarat and emceed by Octavia Spencer, marked the 12th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball, celebrating the organization’s 70th anniversary of saving and protecting the world’s children. Among those involved included gala chairs Desiree Gruber and Gillian Miniter, project chair Jaime Jiménez, and nextgen chairs Daria Daniel and Sterling McDavid. During the first act of the program, Brooke Burke-Charvet presented the Spirit of Compassion Award to UNICEF Great Plains Regional Board Member Moll Anderson, who accepted the prize with heartfelt tears.

The dinner menu was designed by chef and UNICEF ambassador Marcus Samuelsson. After the meal was served, a live auction was hosted by Kate Chertavian. The most surprising moment of the evening happened when the president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl M. Stern welcomed Hillary Clinton to present the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award to Katy Perry.

Guests cheered as Clinton walked to the stage while Perry’s hit song “Roar” played. “Katy has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2013 and has traveled the world advocating for the rights and needs of children. She has visited some of the poorest places and lent her voice to kids who would otherwise be voiceless,” said Clinton. “Through her most recent global tour, she helped raised more than $1 million for UNICEF. Her powerful voice and creative lyrics remind us when you get knocked down, to get back up. We need champions like Katy now more than ever: her passion, her energy, and yes, her voice, louder than a lion.”

“Does anyone have a tissue?” asked Perry, in an pleated grecian Marchesa gown, while accepting the award. “Hillary, you motivate me and so many millions of people. We appreciate your incredible work.” She continued, “I’d like to give you all one simple reminder that we were all children at one time, born innocent and fragile. We all need a helping hand to grow into the people that we are today. If we can keep that thought in our hearts despite our differences, imagine the kindness, acceptance and empathy that would light the world and remind us that we are all in this together.”

Sara Bareilles closed the ceremony with a musical performance and The Dolls’ Mia Moretti and Margot continued the celebration with upbeat tunes during the after-party held upstairs at the venue. The event raised more than $3 million to benefit UNICEF’s mission.

To learn more about how to donate to UNICEF, visit unicefusa.org.

Photos by Jimi Celeste/PMC.


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