Why This Gala Wasn't All About Raising Money

Humanitarian organization Medair held its first gala to help bring awareness to its efforts.

By Michele Laufik April 12, 2017, 7:15 AM EDT

Photo: Kent Miller

Typically, the main goal of a gala or benefit is to raise money. At the inaugural Medair New York gala, raising awareness of the organization was just as important.

The non-profit offers a variety of emergency relief and recovery services, including maternal and reproductive health care, health and hygiene education for mothers and caretakers, and preventive health care for children around the world.

“We are not well known in the U.S., and [supporter Peter Mann] wanted to help get Medair known in the U.S. and NYC in particular,” explained Jim Jackson, executive office director of the humanitarian organization. A gala could help accomplish that mission.

HL Group Events, the company who produced the March 30 event at Stephen Weiss Studio in New York, highlighted the nonprofit's global efforts by using materials and supplies found in the field such as steel, wooden pallets, and buckets throughout the gala's design.

In addition to a cocktail reception and a seated dinner, the black-tie evening event also featured a silent auction and live auction by Sotheby’s, which included work by street artists such as Shepard Fairey, Logan Hicks, WhIsBe, Phoebe New York, Thrashbird, Fnnch, and Wrdsmth. This also influenced the event's overall design and fabrication, with spray-painted detailing on the collateral materials and even on the auction paddles. A mix of 150 street artists, designers, art collectors, media, and influencers attended the gala.

“We are incredibly grateful for the many artists who donated their talent and work to help the world’s most vulnerable people,” Jackson said.

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