CHILD OF AMERICA GALA
Each year, our Gala Committee organizes a wonderfully successful party for some 300 guests, traditionally at the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien. Our 80th Anniversary Gala was held at Shorehaven Golf Club.
Joining us in this celebration were Ray Dalio presenting our Child of America award to Sean Combs, elected officials, Carver students and alumni, many generous supporters, program partners and staff, devoted friends and volunteers. It was a time of joy and of raising crucial support for the enduring work of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk.
There were many memorable moments during the evening: Carver alumnae Gabriel Pierre-Louis singing during the reception; a special video greeting by Carver kids; Carver alumni sharing their stories; the high drama of the Silent Auction, Paddle Raise and Live Auction managed by the thrilling Robbie Gordy; Ray Dalio presenting the Child of America award to Sean Combs; a music video of Carver kids and Carver Alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler rapping Carver's new anthem, "We Are Carver"; and then the exuberant fellowship afterward.
Here is an excerpt from THE HOUR article announcing Sean Combs as Child of America honoree, written by Stephanie Kim, Monday, April 16, 2018. See the entire news article here
NORWALK — Sean “Diddy” Combs will be visiting Norwalk to accept the 2018 Child of America Award at the Carver Foundation’s 80th anniversary gala in May.
Novelette Peterkin, Carver’s executive director, said Combs felt honored to be named this year’s recipient once he learned more about what the foundation is doing for urban youth in Norwalk.
Carver is the city’s largest provider of after-school and summer programs for middle and high school students.
“That’s near and dear to him. He does a lot of philanthropic investment in programs like Carver,” Peterkin said. “And we’re honored that he accepted our invitation.”
...“We try to honor exceptional role models for Carver youth and it’s called Child for America for a reason, because we look to honor someone who’s national,” Peterkin said. “He inspired my generation and he continues to inspire the younger generation now.”
...Ray Dalio, founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates and a supporter of Carver since 2009, will present Combs with the award at this year’s gala on May 11 at the Shorehaven Golf Club, 14 Canfield Ave. in Norwalk. A tribute music video will also be shown at the gala created by Norwalk’s Factory Underground and Carver alum and Norwalk rapper FNX.
Last year's gala was on Friday, April 28th, 2017, when we had the great privilege of honoring Marcus Mabry of CNN and Austin McChord of Datto, Inc. and in raising vital new funds for the benefit of Carver kids! See the Facebook photo album here. See the Silent and Live Auction here! See the gala Program Journal here! See more details at the 2017 gala website that will remain a permanent online record of this year's event.
Past Child of America Award recipients include Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Roger Wilkins; Geoffrey Canada, former President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Cynthia Thompson, National Chair of The Girl Scouts Of America; James Comer, the Maurice Faulk Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale; Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE; The Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, the Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church in New York City; Debo P. Adegbile, then the Director of Litigation, NAACP LDF; Dr. Marlen Bodden, Legal Aid Society and author; Morris “Mo” Pleasure, American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist; and Richard Whitcomb, President Emeritus of St. Luke’s School.