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On Monday, November 4th, Pencils of Promise celebrated their 2019 Gala at Cipriani Wall Street by honoring Grammy Award Winning artist and producer Lil Jon, comedian and Emmy-winning host of the “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah and innovative social charity community Karmagawa, as well as featured a dynamic performance by Grammy-winning artist YEBBA.
Over 500 guests gathered to celebrate global education non-profit Pencils of Promise (PoP) as they honored some of their most remarkable supporters, raised funds for their work educating children in developing nations and highlighted their transformative impact over the years.
CEO Tanya Ramos kicked off the night by announcing Bozoma St. John as Pencils of Promise’s first Global Ambassador to Ghana, in which she will serve as a thought partner and increase awareness and visibility for PoP’s impactful work in Ghana and will support messaging around their innovative programming. St. John send her heartfelt gratitude via video message and shared her excitement to be representing and showing off “her home away from home.” Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, presented the first award of the night to fellow South African, Emmy-winning host of the “Daily Show” and Activist Award Honoree Trevor Noah.
Noah spoke of the how world governments should follow in Pencils of Promise footsteps and learn how to effectively approach education for all. Lewis Howes took the stage next to introduce Philanthropist Award Honoree Karmagawa, accepted by co-founders Timothy Sykes and Matt Abad. Following a brief intermission for guests to dine on a gourmet meal by renowned Chef JJ Johnson and pose in front of the custom mural designed by Gala co-creative director Kelsey Montague, master of ceremonies Harry Santa-Olalla conducted a lively auction featuring items like a pottery class with Gigi Hadid, tequila tasting and dinner with Lil Jon, a master class with Gary Vaynerchuk and more. Visionary founder Adam Braun then took the stage to press the final award of the night, the Visionary Award, to Grammy-winning artist and producer Lil Jon.
Lil Jon delivered an emotional speech about not only the impact he has seen PoP make in communities, but also the inspiring force in which these communities rally together to help build the schools alongside PoP. He rallied the crowd by encouraging them to “give a damn dollar” because any amount of money can help change someone’s life. Closing out the night was Grammy-winner singer/songwriter YEBBA, who mesmerized the audience with a haunting melody of original songs. By the end of the evening, over $1.5 million dollars were raised to help provide quality education for children around the world.
Visionary Award – Lil Jon
Philanthropist Award – Karmagawa
Activist Award – Trevor Noah
ALL THOSE IN ATTENDANCE:
Trevor Noah (comedian and Emmy-winning host of the “The Daily Show”), Lil Jon (Grammy Award Winning artist and producer), Karmagawa (innovative social charity community), YEBBA (singer/songwriter), Adam Braun (Pencils of Promise founder), Kelsey Montague and Evan Mock (Gala Co-Creative Directors), Gary Vaynerchuk (PoP Board of Directors), Carl Lentz (Hillsong East Coast Lead Pastors), D’Banj (Musician), Timothy Goodman (Designer), Sara Foster (Actress), Jordan Foster (Celebrity Stylist), Lewis Howes (PoP Advisory Board Member), Lily Chee (Model), Lucy Vives (Model), Lyss Boss (Model and Influencer), Chris and Lori Harder (Entrepreneurs), Jourdana Phillips (Model), Jim Kwik (Entrepreneur), JJ Johnson (Chef), Timothy Sykes (Co-Founder of Karmagawa).
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NIGHT:
- Gary Vaynerchuk donated $80,000 for a tequila tasting and dinner with Lil Jon.
- CEO Tanya Ramos announced Bozoma St. John as Pencils of Promise’s first Global Ambassador to Ghana.
- Trevor Noah personally auctioned off tickets and meet and greet experiences for “The Daily Show” for $20,000.
- Gigi Hadid (from afar) auctioned off an opportunity to take a pottery class with her with her for $35,000.
- CEO Tanya Ramos pledged their plan to build 1,000 schools and double the amount of students served.
- The Gala raised over $1.5 million dollars to help educate underprivileged children.