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Lifting Girls Up

2023 Gala and College Shower

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

6:00–9:00 p.m. 
Cipriani • 25 Broadway, New York, NY

6:00 p.m.  Doors open and cocktail reception
7:00 p.m.
  Formal program and dinner
10:00 p.m.

Text "ginyc2023" to 1 (325) 603-3395 to give

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Evening Program

Opening Performance 


Nikki M. James • Performing "Human Heart" from Broadway’s Once on This Island
Actress and Broadway Performer 

Welcome and Opening Remarks


Abbi Crutchfield • Gala Host
Actor, Comedian, Host of Hulu’s Up Early Tonight

Cate Luzio • 2023 Gala Committee Chair • Girls Inc. of NYC Board Member
Founder and CEO, Luminary

Stephanie Ruhle • Girls Inc. of NYC Board Member
Journalist, News Anchor, Host of the 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC


Erin Ward • Fundraising Host
Auctioneer, Founder & CEO of Star Benefit Auctions


Presentation of the 2023 Strong, Smart & Bold Leadership Award
Kate Spade New York


Dr. Pamela Maraldo • CEO, Girls Inc. of New York City 

Taryn Bird • Accepting award on behalf of Kate Spade New York

Director, Kate Spade New York Foundation 

CEO Remarks


Dr. Pamela Maraldo • CEO, Girls Inc. of New York City


Presentation of the 2023 College Shower Student Honorees

Film: Be the Change • Emily Dombroff, Filmmaker

April Caldwell • Chief Programs Officer, Girls Inc. of NYC


Keynote: Emannuela Boateng • 2023 College Shower Honoree 






Olivia K • Performing original song, “Good Things”
Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist


Presentation of the 2023 Strong, Smart & Bold Leadership Award
Leah C. Johnson


Clare Bushell • Daughter of Leah C. Johnson


Leah C. Johnson • 2023 Honoree

Executive Vice President & Chief Communications, Marketing and Advocacy Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


Film: Monica and Alexa • Michael Muchnij, Filmmaker


Closing Performance 


Smashworks Dance Company

Thank you for supporting Girls Inc. of New York City. All proceeds will go toward our life-transforming programs for girls and young women across New York City.

2023 Gala Honorees

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Accepted by Taryn Bird, Director of Kate Spade New York Foundation

Kate Spade New York empowers women and girls around the world by putting mental health at the heart of their social impact work. Kate Spade New York Foundation supports women's economic empowerment, access to opportunity, and pathways to mental wellbeing to underserved communities of women in New York City and beyond. 


Girls Inc. of New York City is pleased to honor Kate Spade New York for its groundbreaking work in supporting the mental health of women and girls worldwide. In partnership with the Kate Spade New York Foundation, GINYC is bringing innovative, indispensable mental health programming to thousands of girls and young women.

Leah C. Johnson

Leah C. Johnson

Executive Vice President, Chief Communications, Marketing & Advocacy Officer for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


Leah has been at the nexus of Lincoln Center’s ongoing transformation into a place all New Yorkers can feel welcome. 


She holds leadership positions across several organizations and sits on numerous non-profit boards dedicated to creating and maintaining diversity and equity within the NYC arts and culture community, including: Vice Chair of the Board, New York Public Radio; and Trustee and Member of the Executive Committee, and Founding Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee of the Board at the Museum of the City of New York. She serves as a mentor with Women in America and was Vice Chair of the Board of Planned Parenthood New York City. She is a director at Monro, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNRO).

2023 College Shower Student Honorees

Adhuresa U. 
Aleha S.
Alicia D.
Amy T.
Ashley M.
Ashley O.
Courtney S.
Dejanae G.
Emmanuela B.
Ezinne I.
Fatema J.
Fatima M.
Fiona C.
Halla A.
Joselyn R.
Kadiatou D.
Lendita A.
Liana E.
Melanie R.
Melissa M.
Natalia C.
Saja E.
Samantha R.
Sofia R.
Vicki Z.
Zadia R.
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Nikki M. James
Actress and Broadway Performer 


Olivia K
Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist


Smashworks Dance Company

Hosted by


Abbi Crutchfield
Actor, Comedian, Host of Hulu’s Up Early Tonight

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Erin Ward
Auctioneer, Founder & CEO of Star Benefit Auctions

2023 Gala Honorary Committee

Emma Bredin

Joyce Chang, Managing Director, Chair of Global Research, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Arielle Jacobs, Actress/Broadway Performer

Nikki M. James, Actress/Broadway Performer

Barbara Kavovit, CEO of Evergreen Construction

Sarah LaFleur, Founder & CEO, M.M. LaFleur

Amelie Lonergan Vassort

Helen Lo, Founder & Board Chair, Lo & Sons

Laura McPhail, Partner, Hedley May

Brooke S. Richman, Founder & CEO, Coop & Spree

Angela Scott, Founder & Chief Visionary Officer, The Office of Angela Scott

Michelle Smith, Founder & CEO, MICHELLE SMITH

Caroline and Lizzy Tierney, Co-Founders, Daughter Lessons

2023 Gala Host Committee

Cate Luzio, Gala Host Committee Chair

Cali Cole

Meredith Meyer

Camille Mantelin

Jill Schuck Taylor

Natalia Papowitz

Thank you to our gala sponsors.


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Thank you to these generous individual sponsors.


Stacy Gordon

Meredith Meyer


Susan Axelrod

Emma Bredin

Katherine Farley & Jerry Speyer 

Susan Pollack

Jill Schuck Taylor

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Thank you to these generous in-kind donors.


Amali NYC

Barbara Green

Bear Lakes Country Club

Brooklyn Boudoir



Coop & Spree

Dear Sunday


EDEN BodyWorks

Estee Lauder

Flora 761


Jim Arnoff Coaching & Consulting

Kate Spade New York

Kendra Scott

LEGOLAND New York Resort

Lo & Sons


Madison Square Garden Sports

M.M. LaFleur

Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC)

National Football League (NFL)

New York Jets


Premier Chess

Savor Beauty + Spa

Skin Spirit

Sui Yoga



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