Being an orphan is challenging no matter where you are in the world, but in Latin America, Orphans have less than a 2 percent chance of being adopted. Most of these kids spent their young adulthood in institutions, and without any help they eventually leave with grim futures. For the past fifteen years, Starfish Orphaned Foundation has been trying to give these kids a better opportunity to succeed. By providing English language skills, vocational training and computers, Starfish Orphaned Foundation is trying to give these kids a better chance at life.
Once a year, every year, an extraordinary gala is held in order to raise funds to support the organization as it continues improving lives. Almost 90 percent of The Orphaned Starfish Foundation’s operating income for the year is raised during this annual gala. This year, the affair took precedence at Cipriani Wall Street, located just a few blocks away from the bustling stock market exchange. A red carpet welcomed all the guests into the colossal building. The venue was historical, glamorous, and big enough to fit large groups of beautiful people. Although I have been to many gala places, I was still taken back a bit by Cipriani. To this day, it is my second favorite event venue to only The Plaza.
There was a cocktail reception before the dinner, so everyone was up and about looking at auctions. The silent auction had many wonderful items including celebrity signed items and lifetime trips. After walking around, I saw a crowd around some people taking photos. I got closer and noticed that everyone was looking at Miss USA, Olivia Jordan, and Miss Universe, Paulina Vega. Surrounding around these two beautiful ladies were a bunch of cute kids who I later found out were orphans who had participated in the foundation’s program.
When dinner time finally came, my hunger was dissolved by the generous portions of steaks flying out of kitchen. As the evening progressed, the Foundation honored a few people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help disadvantaged children. Few of the honorees included Pittsburg Steeler’s legend Troy and his wife Theodora Polamalu. When Troy gave his speech, I honestly did not recognize him for about 5 minutes due to him having his hair in a ponytail instead of his famous Samoan flowing afro. One of the orphans also gave a speech about how the foundation has and continues to change his life every day. It was heartwarming to see the child personally talk about how he was able to overcome hardships with the help of the foundation and make a better life.
I was seated at a table with a school principal. We started chatting and he asked me as press how we can promote this cause so that more people would support it. Without hesitation I answered that we have to look at the problem from a domestic point of view first. Do not get me wrong, I love and fully support what Starfish Orphaned foundation is doing, but I believe that it is a problem that needs assistance in our own country. Everyone had a wonderful time, and after dinner, a salsa band came out and got everyone on the dance floor. With the help of some drinks and a great mc, the live auction brought in about 1.1 million. When orphaned kids are involved, how can you not support such a wonderful cause?
To help or purchase tickets for 2016, please visit Starfish