Last night, I attended the Robin Hood Corporation's annual Gala at the Javits Center. This is one of the biggest philanthropic event of the season, as a kazillion and one dollars were donated right in front of our eyes within minutes. Hosted by Diane Sawyer, Tom Brokaw, Conan O'Brien, (who joked that the net worth of the room was higher than most countries), Robert Pittman and loads of other do-good-ers with dough, we were treated to performances by Sheryl Crow, Shakira, Wyclef and John Legend. There was a live auction with trips to Africa and Australian going for a cool half mil, and an NBC package including a cameo appearance with Dwight Schrute on "The Office."
Robin Hood has been stealing from the rich and giving to the poor in New York city for 20 years now. Last year they were able to invest $138 million in 230 grants and initiatives, $12 million to build two chargter high schools in poor neighborhoods and $30 million for a new teacher training institute.
Besides the live auction, for only $1 million, you could make a donation and secure a gold brick with your name on it to be used in the 2008 building projects around the city. And don't worry, if the recession has got you sweating this year, you can buy a silver brick for only $25K. We finished the evening watching Shakira shaking away and loads of investment bankers try to follow along. If the amount of dough donated last night is in any gage of the economic climate in the mist of a recession, I'm not so sure we have that much to fret about.