buildOn Gala Raises a Record $4.1 Million for Service & Education!
For the first time in buildOn’s history, we celebrated the annual buildOn Gala in New York City at the iconic American Museum of Natural History.
During the record-breaking evening, buildOn honored John M. Angelo, Co-founder and CEO of Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Leon G. Cooperman, Chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc., with the Global Impact Award for their unwavering support and dedication over the past 15 years.
John Angelo stated when accepting the Global Impact Award, “They [buildOn] do not pour services, money or resources into tough neighborhoods … Instead, they empower youth to lead the change and break the cycle through their own service and through education. What I love about their approach is that it works.”
Lee Cooperman added, “What I find most inspiring about the buildOn students is that they don’t want to leave the South Bronx, they want to change it – from the inside. Every day these students tackle issues that affect their families and friends through service. They commit to their education. And they lift up their communities.”
Leading up to the Gala, buildOn students put their gratitude for the Gala Honorees on display by painting a mural in the South Bronx neighborhood where Cooperman grew up. The students intend for the mural to be a beacon of hope and change in the community. As Bronx buildOn student Elly Martinez expressed from the Gala stage: “We wanted it to be meaningful, beautiful and to be something that would inspire others – as you’ve inspired us.”
Watch a video documenting the creation of the buildOn students’ mural in honor of John Angelo and Lee Cooperman:
buildOn also celebrated our Corporate Partnership Program sponsors who each contributed $100,000 and serve directly with buildOn students. Companies and individuals honored include: Angelo Gordon; Deutsche Bank; Goldman Sachs; CSI; J.P. Morgon; PWC; Weil, Gotschal & Manges; KPMG; GE and Michael Gordon.
The incredible evening also included performances by the Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir from Harlem and hundreds of buildOn students. Through poetry, song and storytelling, the students shared their own stories of how the organization has become a powerful tool of change in their lives, schools and communities.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support buildOn’s work to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.