The Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation held their annual gala “New Orleans to New York” at the Stephan Weiss Studio, Urban Zen, in Greenwich Village. The foundation is dedicated to providing gifted young women new opportunities for achievement by supplying them with the tools they need to ensure a brighter future. Inspired by their personal life experiences; the power duo quietly awarded scholarships out of their own pockets for years. Starting the foundation was a natural progression that is currently providing scholarship and mentorship to a growing number of amazingly gifted young women.
The annual gala is a tribute to their beginnings in New Orleans where they launched their support of students living in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The celebration boasts the best of New Orleans food, music and culture with the backdrop of New York City. The jazz party hosts celebrities, business leaders, and philanthropic supporters, including Donna Karan, Bevy Smith, Dr. Steve Perry, and Greg Cunningham, from Target, the presenting sponsor of the event. The guests and scholars were serenaded by a Jazz performance by Irvin Mayfield, Jr. and members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Several of the scholarship recipients spoke of their unique experiences and the profound impact that the contributions have had on their lives, which was the highlight of the evening.
The Soledad O’Brien + Brad Raymond Foundation continue to provide young women with a bridge between obstacles and opportunity, by giving them the resources to overcome barriers and reach their highest potential. For more information go to http://obrienraymondfoundation.com/index.html
Click gallery for photos of the event.