Observer Philanthropy 2013
RALPH LAUREN PINK PONY SOFT RICKY
The Pink Pony Ricky Bag is the most recent addition to the collection of Ralph Lauren’s iconic accessories. 25% of the purchase price of all Pink Pony products benefits the Pink Pony Fund of the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, which supports initiatives for cancer care and prevention.
Last month, more than 700 tuxedoed and ball-gowned revelers gathered in the Museum of Natural History’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life for the annual S.L.E. Lupus Foundation gala. As the attendees feasted on black American caviar, Margaret Dowd, the foundation’s executive director, was marveling at something else: the size of the crowd.
The foundation had not seen so many people at its annual gala since 2007. “It’s been very tough the last few years, and we had to cut expenses drastically,” she said. “In 2009, many of our donors said, ‘Our portfolios were really harmed and we have to cut our donations, but we’ll be back.’ And they did come back. This year has been much, much better.”
The benefit raised $2.5 million—a significant jump from the $2.2 million raised at last year’s. Things have not returned to the 2007 level, when the gala’s $3.2 million haul set a national record, which has yet to be topped, for lupus research funds collected at a single event, but the foundation is on track to raise 10 to 12 percent more this year than the previous one. Ms. Dowd added that the nonprofit’s spring luncheon saw such a dramatic spike in attendance this year—a 30 percent increase—that next year they plan to hold it in the Plaza.
It’s common for celebrities, athletes and politicians to talk about “giving back” to others in recognition for the support they received as children or young adults.
Sometimes they actually do it. Sometimes they do it in ways that are absolutely inspiring. Such is the case of John A. Paulson.
New Yorkers who live on Central Park certainly reap the benefits of parkside abodes, especially when it comes to resale values, but they’re less than generous about giving back.
Only 17 percent of parkside denizens have donated to the Central Park Conservancy since 2010, according to a recent story in Crain’s by Michael Gross. And Mr. Gross, chronicler of luxury New York real estate and the author of consummate building biography 740 Park should know. Not only does Mr. Gross seem to have his eye on every move that uptown dwellers make, but he’s also a parkside resident himself.
Jonathan and Elizabeth Tisch’s donation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art will build more than a new Costume Institute Gallery-it could canonize a new set of fashion-design superstars.
Last week, the billionaire Tisches made a $10 million gift to the Met that will fund a 4,200-square-foot namesake gallery and state-of-the-art storage for Read More
Despite appearances to the contrary, billionaire philanthropist George Soros is probably not issuing grants via email spam originating from a U.K. Microsoft Live email account. A colleague at The Observer this morning received two emails purporting to grant a $900,000 George Soros Empowerment Award to the recipient. The humorous text of the email follows:
GEORGE Read More
The history of celebrities penning children’s books is a sordid one. Sure, there have been a few decent works (Ricky Gervais’ Flanimals comes to mind), but just as often, the results reflect an attempt to infect young minds with self-serving nonsense. Think of John Travolta’s Propeller One-Way Night Coach, which promotes flying Read More
Billionaire investor George Soros’ efforts to legalize marijuana in California appear to have been wasted. Despite a $1 million donation in support of California’s Proposition 19 and a heartfelt op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, voters have spurned the budding ballot issue.
Advocates attempted to sell the Regulate, Control and Tax Read More
Shortly after the publication of his Wall Street Journal editorial extolling the virtues of marijuana legalization, Bloomberg reports that billionaire money manager George Soros has donated $1 million to support California’s Proposition 19. Approval of the state referendum would make it legal to possess and grow marijuana for personal use.
Soros may Read More
Carlos Slim, who is by Forbes‘ reckoning the world’s richest human, doesn’t see much value in giving away his money, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Slim said that the “Santa Claus” route is not for him — a surprising analysis, given his grey beard and slightly portly silhouette. “Trillions of dollars Read More