In a story published online Friday and in yesterday's Styles section, The New York Times went behind the scenes of last Thursday’s New York Women’s Foundation gala, exploring the obstacles the first-time benefit faced: The economy is in a state of disarray, the charity is not a household name, and the benefit competed with the highly anticipated vice presidential debate. Despite the challenges, the foundation managed to eke out a happy ending by drawing 280 guests, including Robert De Niro (thanks to his wife, event chairwoman Grace Hightower) and Mayor Bloomberg, and raising $675,000.
The article’s overarching focus, however, was on the economy's affect on benefit season. “I think it’s going to be overall disastrous for charities, with no end in sight,” Sanford J. Schlesinger, a New York trust and estates lawyer, told The Times. Some of his clients have put off creating foundations and are rethinking major gifts.