Robin Hood Raises $54.5 Million at New York Benefit
- Proceeds help fight New York poverty under charity’s new CEO
- Manhattan event draws Wall Street titans, celebrities
The Robin Hood Foundation raised $54.5 million at its benefit Monday night, revved up by a new leader and a $15 million challenge grant by billionaire Ken Griffin, founder of hedge fund firm Citadel.
Robin Hood will use the money to fight poverty in New York City under incoming CEO Wes Moore, the U.S. Army veteran, Rhodes Scholar and onetime Citigroup investment banker who starts next month.
“It’s inspiring to see this many people come together to focus on poverty, but really poverty is the wrong choice of word,” Griffin said in an interview at the Javits Center in Manhattan. “We’re here to focus on the people struggling to make ends meet. An enormous amount of people here came from trying circumstances. My father was first in his family to go to college.”
The annual event is one of the largest fundraisers in the country for any cause, and draws a powerful mix of Wall Street titans, politicians, nonprofit innovators and celebrities. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Jeb Bush, Lloyd Blankfein and Henry Kravis were among the 3,700 guests. Also spotted were Jukay Hsu, who’s teaching coding to low-income adults through his Coalition for Queens; Dan Kass, whose JustFix helps New Yorkers get home repairs; and Christine Quinn, CEO of Win, which provides shelter for families. Dave Chappelle, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jennifer Lopez were on hand.
“I stand here today because people saw something in me before I was ready to see it in myself,” Moore said from the stage.
Larry Robbins, founder of Glenview Capital Management, led the fundraising appeal. He is chairman of Robin Hood Foundation and was co-chair of the search committee that picked Moore with Geoff Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone.
Alex Rodriguez, the former Yankees third baseman, was co-chair of the benefit. The other co-chairs were Emily and Len Blavatnik; Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab; and Jackie and David Simon of Simon Property Group.
Robin Hood was founded by a group including Paul Tudor Jones, Glenn Dubin, Peter Borish and David Saltzman, who ran the organization for more than 27 years until stepping down in December and joining the board. The foundation provides grants and management assistance to nonprofits, seeds new ventures and facilitates partnerships to work on issues like homelessness, job training and education.