Bpeace’s 2008 Gala in New York raised 30% more than the prior year and included an impromptu performance by honoree Lidia Bastianich who auctioned off dinner for 10 at her restaurant Felida. “I’m going to cook you the same meal I made for the Pope when he was here,” enticed Lidia. The bidding for the meal was so spirited, Lidia offered to do it twice, and netted $11,000 for the Bpeace coffers on her twinkle alone.
As a cookbook author, public television host, chef and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich accepted Bpeace’s first-ever Economic Impact Award for her achievements as an entrepreneur and role model. Lidia came to the US after living as a displaced refugee in Trieste, Italy. As the Village Voice said, “her subsequent success makes her a living example of what Bpeace is trying to achieve.”
Bold Faced Names
The festivities at the Capitale event space attracted actor Vincent D’Onofrio and his wife Carin van der Donk. Carin owns the children’s boutique Sons + Daughters and imports knitted hats and dresses from Bpeace’s Afghan Associate, Suria. This year Carin and Vincent hosted a table at the Gala, bringing actor Ethan Hawke and film director Peter Himmelstein into the Bpeace family.
Financial journalism mixed with spoken word poetry as Margaret Brennan of CNBC hosted the evening and Queen Godis, who has appeared at The Kennedy Center and the Apollo, performed an original composition “you have to be peace to have peace.”
Follow the Money
The proceeds of Bpeace Gala ticket sales, the live and silent auctions, and Gala contributions, go to Bpeace programs to help entrepreneurs, especially women, in conflict-affected countries create sustainable businesses and employment.