Bob Appel * Harry Belafonte * Jacques d’Amboise * Joy Henshel * Keith Reinhard * Chita Rivera * Liz Smith * Caroll Spinney
Monday, April 11, 2016 | Mandarin Oriental New York
NEW YORK, NY: March 14, 2016 – At its third annual Eight Over Eighty benefit gala, The New Jewish Home will pay tribute to eight New Yorkers who, in their ninth and tenth decades, continue to live lives of remarkable achievement, vitality and civic engagement. The event, at the Mandarin Oriental New York on Monday, April 11, is expected to attract more than 450 guests and raise more than $1 million for the nonprofit New Jewish Home’s rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and home healthcare programs, which together serve 12,000 older adults each year.
The honorees, each of whom will be celebrated in a video vignette, are financier Bob Appel, singer and humanitarianHarry Belafonte, ballet great Jacques d’Amboise, philanthropist Joy Henshel, Broadway superstar Chita Rivera, legendary ad man Keith Reinhard, gossip queen Liz Smith, and Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch,Caroll Spinney. These men and women represent the best of the best in arts and entertainment, advertising, business, volunteerism and philanthropy. They are movers and shakers who are still contributing and still making waves, in the process showing the world that trailblazing is ageless. Biographies of the honorees follow below; for photos, please visit www.8over80.org.
“By 2030, 30 percent of the U.S. population will be over 80,” said Audrey Weiner, President and CEO of The New Jewish Home. “Like the teeming energy New York itself, the variety of accomplishments and the personalities of our eight honorees shows us what it means to age like a New Yorker. In other words, the sky’s the limit for these vibrant men and women, still going strong over 80.”
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GALA BENEFIT COMMITTEE
Helen and Bob Appel, Carol Becker, Margot and Norman Freedman, Robin and Scott Gottlieb, Susan and David Haas, Ruth and David Levine, Melanie Katzman and Russell
Makowsky, Rose-Lee and Keith Reinhard, Elissa and Jim ‘Great Neck’ Richman, Tami Schneider, Elizabeth Grayer and Aidan Synnott.
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Bob Appel is President of Appel Associates, a money management and investment firm, and was a partner of the investment advisory firm Neuberger Berman for 20 years. He is Chairman of the Board of Jazz at Lincoln Center, to which, in 2014, he and his wife, Helen, made the largest individual gift in the organization’s history. He is also a trustee emeritus of Cornell University and a committed fundraiser for Weill Cornell Medical College, home of the Helen and Robert Appel Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease Research.
Harry Belafonte is an outstanding performer and producer whose album “Calypso” became the first recording in history to sell more than a million copies. He is also a humanitarian with a long and distinguished record of human rights advocacy that includes serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and organizing the multi-artist “We Are the World” recording, which raised millions of dollars for emergency assistance in Africa. Belafonte’s many awards include the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of the Arts.
One of the finest classical dancers of our time, Jacques d’Amboise is also an arts education leader who created a model program that has introduced thousands of school children to the magic and discipline of dance and the founder of the National Dance Institute. As a dancer, Mr. d’Amboise is most remembered for his portrayal of what critics called “the definitive Apollo.” A choreographer as well, his credits include almost 20 works commissioned for New York City Ballet.
Joy Henshel is a longtime, esteemed director of The New Jewish Home’s Sarah Neuman Center as well as being a prolific philanthropist in the areas of the arts, health, social justice and Jewish organizations. Her public service includes her appointment by Mayor John Lindsay to the New York-Tokyo sister city program in 1966, and two years of work for the events firm planning and executing Liberty Weekend, the four-day celebration of the restoration and centennial of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. Mrs. Henshel is an active trustee of Surprise Lake Camp, a longtime volunteer at White Plains Hospital, the mother of four daughters, and a very generous donor to The New Jewish Home.
Under the leadership of Keith Reinhard, DDB Worldwide, one of the world’s largest and most creative advertising agency networks, produced award-winning work for Volkswagen, Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, Dell Computer, JC Penney, Ameriquest and many other clients. Reinhard himself gave birth to such memorable advertising characters and slogans as, for McDonald’s, the Hamburglar and “You Deserve a Break Today,” which in 1999 Advertising Age named the best advertising jingle of the 20th century and one of the century’s top-five campaigns.
After her breakout portrayal of Anita in 1957’s West Side Story, the great Broadway star Chita Rivera went on to earn a Tony nomination for Bye Bye Birdie and Tony Awards for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Her many other spellbinding performances include those in Nine; Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, (another Tony nomination); The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and The Visit, for which she received her tenth Tony nomination. Rivera has received the Kennedy Center Honors award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
A writer of humor, wit and empathy, Liz Smith is much more than a gossip columnist, though she helped define the term. Smith began writing in the 1950s and has never stopped, working for Hearst, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, the New York Daily News, “Live at Five,” Newsday, the New York Post, and now The Huffington Post and New York Social Diary. She is a best-selling author and has the distinction of being the only columnist to have had her column printed in three major New York City papers simultaneously.
For more than 40 years, Caroll Spinney has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, in the process earning four Emmy Awards, two Gold Records, and two Grammy Awards. In 2000, the Library of Congress declared Spinney’s Big Bird a “Living Legend.” With J Milligan, Spinney has written The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers. Spinney recently received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences.
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Serving New Yorkers of all faiths and ethnicities for 167 years, The New Jewish Home is transforming eldercare as we know it. One of the nation’s largest and most diversified not‐for‐profit geriatric health and rehabilitation systems, Jewish Home serves 12,000 older adults each year, in their homes and on three campuses, through short-term rehabilitation, long‐term skilled nursing, low-income housing, and a wide range of home health programs. Jewish Home believes that high quality care and personal dignity are everyone’s right, regardless of background or economic circumstances. Technology, innovation, applied research and new models of care put The New Jewish Home at the vanguard of eldercare providers across the country. For more information, visit www.jewishhome.org.