HKSB News Release
September 30, 2010, New York — At its 34th Anniversary Sound & Light Gala (held Thursday, September 23rd), Helen Keller Services for the Blind honored four very special women for their commitment to the community and their support of HKSB.
The evening’s theme was “Women Who Make a Difference,” and honorees included Jill Arkwright Harvey of Analytic Asset Management, actress Abigail Breslin, WABC-TV co-anchor Michelle Charlesworth and KPMG’s Managing Partner Kelly Watson.
The event was held at Abigail Kirsch’s Stage 6 at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With the Williamsburgh Bridge and Empire State Building as a backdrop, guests started the evening by mingling over hors d’ouvres and cocktails—some of it served on strolling tables (courtesy of Screaming Queens Entertainment). Dignitaries stopping by to say a few words and offer congratulations included Assemblywoman Janelle Hyer-Spencer, Councilmember Steve Levin and State Senator Marty Golden.
After the cocktail reception the guests departed the fourth floor terrace space and entered the third floor dining hall, all done to the accompaniment of music from the Hank Lane Band. Xamayla Rose Persadi, representing the Brooklyn Borough President, began the awards ceremony by presenting HKSB Chairman Christopher D. Maher with a proclamation from Marty Markowitz. “On behalf of all Brooklynites,” Persadi read, “I (Marty Markowitz) salute and commend the administration and staff of Helen Keller Services for the Blind for their long record of service to the blind and visually-impaired, and I congratulate this evening’s honorees as they are most justifiably paid tribute for their commitment to HKSB.”
BDO USA’s Sofia Blair presented the first award to Jill Arkwright Harvey. “Jill’s passion shines through in her lifelong dedication to philanthropic causes,” said Blair. “She doesn’t just get involved—she lives and breathes the causes she believes in and through her, you start believing too.”
One of HKSB’s biggest and most vocal supporters was honoree Michelle Charlesworth, who jokingly questioned the organization’s judgement in honoring her. Charlesworth spoke about the various programs HKSB offered and even implored the audience to visit its website.
“These four very distinguished women have helped us help others so we are honored to be able to celebrate that tonight,” said Tom Edwards, President & CEO of HKSB.
Sponsors of the evening’s festivities included: Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC, William Blair & Company Foundation, Analytic Asset Management, Lutheran Medical Center, Luxottica Group, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Christopher D. Maher and KPMG. Contributors included Tom Swann, Mason Rees, David Trahan, Charlotte Williams, Linda Delapierre, Sheryl Finch, Krstin Angelino and Annemarie Smith.