The 12th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball 2016 featured the likes of Katy Perry and Octavia Spencer and many others in support of the organization. Check it out!
Perhaps the most recognizable local characteristic of the Snowflake Ball is the enormous crystal snowflake designed by Ingo Maurer that hangs over 57th and 5th avenue, composed of 16,000 Baccarat crystals, which was lit at the beginning of the charity event, presented by UNICEF Snowflake Lighting Sponsor ALEX AND ANI. But the Snowflake Ball is far more than this: it’s an opportunity to come together for the children and celebrate the work of the leading fund in the US. The annual event has pulled in over $27 million since 2005, all of which has gone to help the neediest children around the world. The evening was full of moments of surprise, happiness, and hope, ultimately a celebration of UNICEF’s main goal: working for the children.
Held at the stunning Cipriani Wall Street location, guests arrived for a cocktail reception before settling in for the program which featured Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry being honored with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award and author and philanthropist Moll Anderson being honored with the Spirit of Compassion Award. On the red carpet, we had the opportunity to ask Moll Anderson about how to give as a younger person, as Moll has been a major supporter of UNICEF’s Next Generation effort, which hosted the afterparty. She spoke from experience: “Frankly, young people can use time. When I went to Mozambique and Jamaica, I was devoting time rather than money, and that’s powerful. That’s where the real work gets done.” On how she got involved in UNICEF, she cited an early moment and childhood (and adulthood) hero, Audrey Hepburn. Audrey’s passionate plea made UNICEF exciting for Anderson, who’s an accomplished author and tastemaker in her own right.
Others to take their time on the red carpet included Orlando Bloom, UNICEF Ambassador and last year’s honoree, Téa Leoni, Allison Williams, who’s a known supporter of the philanthropies, Tamron Hall, Kyle MacLachlan (or as we know him, Mr. Mayor), Adam Kantor (Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof), and many others. Broadway was well represented at the ball, which featured performances by Grammy Award and Tony Award Nominee Sara Bareilles and the cast of The Color Purple. The program, hosted by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, had a striking moment no one expected: honoree Katy Perry was moved to tears by a surprise introduction by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, honoring her dedication to protecting the world’s most vulnerable children. Secretary Clinton said, “We need champions like Katy now more than ever.”
“We need her passion, her energy, and, yes, her voice – ‘louder than a lion.’ We all know Katy as a global mega-star. The powerful voice who reminds us; when you get knocked down, get back up.”
For the auction, Katy make a last minute contribution: a VIP concert experience as an auction item that ultimately sold for $50,000—boyfriend Orlando Bloom opened the bidding. Octavia Spencer had her own bidding war in the auction; her final bid of $25,000 won her a VIP experience in New York City, which include tickets to a live taping of Saturday Night Live, tickets to a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, a private tour of the MoMA, along with a two-night stay at the Baccarat hotel and residence with dinner at the Grand Salon and a dinner at the Cipriani Wall Street vault.
The Dolls, Mia Moretti and Margot, performed at the program for the first time, having performed at the afterparty in year’s past. When speaking to The Dolls on the red carpet, they both mentioned they were “big supporters of UNICEF” and “thrilled to be part of the main event for the first time, for an organization that is so worth it.” Unfortunately they were whisked away in order to prepare. Other performances included Bareilles singing Otis Redding’s iconic “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, among others.
As if it wasn’t obvious, this was truly a total UNICEF affair: Guests enjoyed a custom menu collaboration by UNICEF Ambassador Marcus Samuelson as well as space decor by UNICEF Ambassador Vern Yip.
In the end, it was worth it: the evening raised more than $3.9 million for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs for children around the world.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.