Blog: 2014 Urban Tech 2014 Gala
Transforming lives is certainly no easy task, but the use of technology certainly makes initiatives aimed at teaching that much easier. That’s where The National Urban Technology Center comes into play. The non-profit organization utilizes the training and mentoring of teachers and parents to encourage positive growth in children in areas like education and leadership, social skills, even in making healthy eating choices. Wednesday night, the organization hosted their 2014 Gala Dinner amid the panoramic setting of Tribeca 360‘s space, while welcoming in a cavalcade of celebrity guests along the way.
With proceeds from the evening set toward continuing the organization’s focus in particularly underserved areas of New York City, Urban Tech‘s sizable array of silent and live auction items were of particular interest to the many guests arriving shortly after 6pm. Experiences like VIP access to meet Derek Jeter at his ‘Farewell to the Captain’ party, limo service and box seats to a Katy Perry concert, and the opportunity to be the special guests of tennis legend Billie Jean King to the US Open were just a few of the special auction items up for bid. Silent auction items like Judith Ripka jewelry, Flywheel makeover packages, sports memorabilia, vacation and Broadway show experiences all certainly had attendees fumbling for their wallets in anticipation of a frenzied bidding war as the evening progressed.
Meanwhile, as many philanthropic folks grabbed glasses of wine during the opening cocktail hour, the red carpet began to be fluttered with flashbulbs, signaling the arrival of the many of the evening’s special guests- from all walks of the celebrity spectrum. Actors like True Blood‘s stunning Anastasia Ganias and Covert Affairs star Hill Harper joined the likes of former New York Knick John Starks, model Jordan Murray, DJ Mel DeBarge and perhaps the night’s most anticipated arrival- Orange is the New Black’s Diane Guerrero, who in person, is absolutely jaw-dropping. Honorees for their efforts in Educational Leadership and Community Service- Christopher J. Williams, Stephen M. Coan and Kimberly B. Davis respectfully, walked the carpet with their families, in genuine awe of their own recognition, while news anchors like the evening’s emcee E! News personality Alicia Quarles, WPIX11′s Tasmen Fadal and CBS2′s Maurice Dubois also made brief appearances and posed for pictures with guests.
The National Urban Technology Center casts a wide net as far as its plethora of different programs are concerned and its focus is as varied as preventing bullying and prepping for college-life. But the organization’s ability to be so flexible is perhaps its greatest asset and with so many socioeconomic factors affecting the population of underserved children, it’s important to appreciate that there are resources that are able to be utilized to really make an impact on the things that these students are able to control. Though Urban Tech is just a piece of the puzzle, it’s a piece that deserves commending and is certainly, one that is worth supporting.
Though the Gala has ended, there are plenty of reasons for you to check out the Urban Tech website. See how you can become more involved in your community here.
- Jane Van Arsdale