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Outward Bound's High-Powered Benefit

June 12, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

New York City Outward Bound fundraiser dinner Cathedral of St. John the Divine Thursday, 06.07.01, 6:30 PM onward
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Getting to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on West 110th Street on a Thursday evening can be an Outward Bound experience in itself. But according to attendees at this year's New York City Outward Bound benefit dinner, the trek was worth it once they got inside. Ceiling-gazers marveled at the Gothic architecture, and we heard more than a few people say they didn't know you could have a dinner for 600 in the middle of a church. But the navigation challenges weren't over yet: Attendees had to find their seats by using clues about bridges in New York and across the world.

Event planners from Thomas Martin Events worked with Outward Bound to execute the event. Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions served a delectable rack of lamb for the main course. The evening's speakers spoke at the pulpit, which was so grandly decorated that it appeared more like a royal balcony than a simple podium. The d?cor included simple orchid centerpieces provided by the cathedral. The Michael Carney Orchestra--led by Michael Carney, son of the famous Art Carney--performed on a platform surrounded by pews.

The New York City Outward Bound program attracts members of the cr?me de la cr?me of New York society who also keep in touch with their down-to-earth sides. Many organizers, including New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr., have been long-time participants in Outward Bound and stay involved because of the dramatic way it changed their lives. Other dinner chairs included Viacom's Richard Bressler; Jane Clayson of CBS's The Early Show; Kenneth Lerer, executive vice president at AOL Time Warner; Sony Music's Tommy Mottola; Peter Olson, chairman and CEO of Random House; and Geoffrey Worden, president of South Street Capital. The dinner committee chairs were Amy Bernstein and Marcie Setlow.

It was fitting that one of this year's honorees, AOL Time Warner co-chief operating officer Bob Pittman, received the Expeditioner's Award. He played a key role in the business equivalent of an Outward Bound experience: the completion of the America Online and Time Warner merger. Julian Robertson, chairman of Tiger Management a longtime supporter of Outward Bound, received the Educational Leadership Award.

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