The annual National Urban Technology Center Gala Awards Dinner was held at the elegant uptown Pierre Hotel in New York City this past Wednesday, June 13th. Celebrating 23 years of investing in today’s youth to create tomorrow’s leaders, Urban Tech pulled out all the stops, raising a record amount of support for their newest integrative school curriculum, Dignity for All (DFA).
DFA is a comprehensive program designed by the team at Urban Tech to advocate for bullying prevention. This hands-on approach educates teachers, parents, and students about the root causes of bullying promote empathy and build respect within the school community.
Journalist Alicia Quarles hosted the night’s festivities with grace and a touch of humor. She has been working with Urban Tech for seven years and now sits on the board. Quarles is so dedicated to the cause that she rushed uptown, changing in a cab for the event after working downtown all day, simply saying, “Because these kids are worth it.”
Also in attendance were this year’s honorees: David J. Grain, founder & CEO of Grain Management, LLC, a private equity firm, and his beautiful wife Dr. Lisa Grain, a dedicated healthcare professional who sits on the board of trustees at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., honorary chair member, was also in attendance, along with Pat Bransford, president of Urban Tech and her daughter Kathryn Bransford Zukerman. When asked about Dignity for All, Bransford said, “We are focused on the whole school. We cannot help one individual and make safer schools; it has to be the whole school.”
The gala began with a cocktail hour in one of Pierre’s extravagant halls. Guests sipped cocktails as they perused the impressive silent auction before moving to the grand ballroom. Throughout dinner, more was learned about Dignity for All and its importance through an audiovisual presentation. This was followed by a live auction with fast-talking comical auctioneer Howie Schultz, who seemed to have a gift for not only making people laugh but also open their wallets for the cause. With Schultz’s help, Urban Tech raised enough funds in one night to adopt six schools and equip them with the Dignity for All program and hands-on training.
If you’re looking to do some good in the world, consider a donation to Urban Tech. Every donation helps, big or small. Investing in our youth is how we build our future. For more information, please visit urbantech.org/gala.