Blog: Tuesdays Children: "Let Our Past Change Our Future"
As we approach the eleven year anniversary, it somehow still feels like it was yesterday, vividly remembering where we were when each of us heard the news. Whether it was a relative, a friend, a colleague- each of us lost someone on September 11th, a day that as New Yorkers and as Americans, we were forever changed. The repercussions of that fateful morning are still unfolding more than a decade later, as families of the victims continue to struggle to resume that sense of normalcy that most of us now take for granted. Enter Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit organization that aims to alleviate some of the financial and emotional burden left in the wake of the unforgettable tragedy. And Thursday evening’s Annual Gala creatively titled “Let Our Past Change The Future” served as an inspirational reminder that each of us can still impact the lives of those directly impacted by terrorism.
Despite our emotional ties to the incident as City residents, the evening served as an uplifting celebration of sorts to insure the funding of the Tuesday’s Children organization in perpetuity. The Lighthouse at Pier Sixty’s immaculate space along the Hudson River was wonderfully transformed into a grand ballroom with sunset views toward the New Jersey skyline from the back terrace. Attendees were treated to an evening of live entertainment, silent auction items that would make even the most aggressive jetsetter swoon, and several poignant video packages, highlighting some of the real people that the organization has impacted.
The Gala would honor Academy Award Nominated Director and Tony Award Winner Stephen Daldry for his incredible work on the powerful 2011 film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” which generously supported families of 9/11 victims. Daldry’s acceptance was brief but heartfelt, espousing the many virtues of Tuesday’s Children with genuine honor in his voice. Throughout the course of the night, the crowd gathered was also treated to performance pieces featuring the talented children from “Matilda the Musical,” which is opening on Broadway in the spring. Their rendition of “When I Grow Up” was especially rousing as the many attendees rushed toward the stage for a better vantage point of the pint sized performers singing their hearts out. p>
Capping off a truly special night, Grammy Award winning artist Macy Gray performed a stirring rendition of 2000’s smash hit “I Try” followed by “Beauty in the World” from 2010’s ‘The Sellout.’ On her 45th birthday, the enigmatic crooner captivated the mostly seated crowd with her signature bluesy rasp and soulful vocal harmonies, outfitted in an eye catching ensemble tangerine dress and fluffy black scarf below her unmistakably kinky hairstyle. Comedienne Carol Kane was even spotted in the crowd taking in all the Gala had to offer. But while the brightest spotlight shone upon the evening’s performers and honorees, the prevailing message was fundraising for the organization. With upwards of $500,000 being raised through text message donations, ticket contributions, and even more through the silent auctions on display, the incredibly well run “Let Our Past Change The Future” Gala event was a complete success. But an isolated event is insufficient to sustain the many charitable works of the organization and there’s always more that each of us can do. To learn more about Tuesday’s Children and how you can get involved or to make a simple donation, check out tuesdayschildren.org and support the critical programs being offered to the families of victims of terrorism. And also, do yourself a favor and make sure to check out the very powerful 9/11 documentary “From The Ground Up,” a not for profit film created by the widows of the brave first responders on Netflix or at their website.
- Jane Van Arsdale