Child Care, John Legend, Charlie Puth, John Mulaney, and a trip to space
On Monday, May 9th, we celebrated our 2022 annual benefit at the Javits Center where we raised $126 million — including a $50 million commitment from New York City toward child care. As always, the event brought together some stars in entertainment, business, and philanthropy, and featured live musical performances from Charlie Puth and John Legend, and a hilarious comedy set from John Mulaney.
Thanks to a generous donation from Bombas, the benefit guests entered through an archway designed to look like the New York City skyline, constructed out of 5,200 pairs of Bombas socks — all of which will be distributed to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. And once they entered the cocktail space, guests were surrounded by “windows” of opportunity — each displaying scenes across the city.
During dinner, guests were treated to a special show from Grammy nominee Charlie Puth who performed his hit singles “Light Switch” and “Attention,” followed by an emotional rendition of “See You Again” where he was joined by the student chorus at Staten Island’s PS22.
After dinner, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, and Robin Hood’s CEO Richard R. Buery, Jr. announced the formation of the $100 million Child Care Quality & Innovation Initiative to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care programs across the five boroughs.
Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Seven Seven Six and co-founder and former executive chairman of Reddit, then joined the stage to announce a $25 million gift from his 776 Foundation and spoke passionately about his experience growing up as a first generation Armenian-American born in Brooklyn, and his desire to leave a lasting legacy of giving back.
As a surprise, Robin Hood’s Founder Paul Tudor Jones took the stage in a space suit, and welcomed longtime Robin Hood supporter Mark Bezos to the stage who then introduced a once-in-a-lifetime auction item: a trip to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, with one of the seats going to a New York City public school teacher.
Auctioneer Lydia Fenet then proceeded to conduct a spirited live auction, with the winning bid coming in at $8 million on behalf of Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin. At Ken’s request, Robin Hood will provide both seats to New York City public school teachers, in recognition of their commitment to advancing public education.
The dinner portion of the evening ended with Alexis Ohanian and Richard Buery announcing the final fundraising tally: $76 million for Robin Hood and $50 million from the city for a combined $126 million committed to poverty-fighting efforts citywide.
Guests were then invited to head back into the cocktail space for an intimate John Legend concert where he performed hits like “Ordinary People” and “All of Me.”
For those exiting the Javits who took a peek across the famous New York City skyline, they’d have seen the Empire State Building, lit up in Robin Hood Green in celebration.
We are so grateful to the amazing donors, vendors, staff, and community partners who make this event possible every year. As always, Robin Hood’s board covers all overhead costs, so 100% of the funds raised at the event will be invested in the most impactful poverty-fighting programs across the five boroughs.