Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Last updated 4 hours ago
Mar 7 2011 | 10:54am ET
On Thursday evening the hedge fund community gathered together in midtown Manhattan and raised over $2 million to support the fight against child abuse and neglect. Over 1,200 industry participants attended the 13th Annual Open Your Heart to the Children Benefit, where Skybridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci was honored with the Hedge Funds Care Award for Caring. This year, Jay Peller, managing director of Citco Fund Services and Dean Backer, managing director at Goldman Sachs, co-chaired the benefit. FINalternatives recently spoke with Peller to find out more about the event and the organization it benefits.
FINalternatives: There are so many good causes to consider when founding a charity, how did the founders of Hedge Funds Care choose abused children as the focus of their fundraising?
Peller: Our founder, Rob Davis, began his first career as a teacher where he encountered children who were obviously abused and/or seriously neglected right in his classroom. And most importantly, child abuse, unlike other childhood issues such as juvenile diabetes, or pediatric oncology, does not have a constituency of parents advocating for those children. Child abuse and neglect is a hidden problem, happening usually behind the closed doors of the house or apartment. And it is not a topic that people want to discuss. For that reason it is often misunderstood. What better cause for the hedge fund industry to embrace?
What sort of programs/projects to help prevent and treat child abuse has Hedge Funds Care supported to date?
Hedge Funds Care has awarded 680 grants to programs and projects that prevent and treat child abuse for a total of $23.7 million since inception. Within the umbrella of child abuse prevention and treatment, Hedge Funds Care’s focus areas are in education, prevention, intervention, advocacy, research, and training. Currently funded programs include awareness and education programs that teach children how to recognize and report abuse through the use of puppets, support and intervention services for sexually exploited young girls, and training for professionals on providing evidence-based treatments for abused children. For a full list of our current grantee descriptions, please visit our website.
How much do you hope to raise with this year's Open Your Hearts to Children gala?
In 2010, the East Coast Committee of Hearts raised $2 million through the Annual New York Open Your Heart to the Children Benefit. This year, the Committee has been working tirelessly to surpass last year’s goal in an effort to distribute even more funds to local child welfare organizations. [Editor’s Note: They did surpass last year’s amount, raising over $2 million on Thursday evening.]
(Photos by Todd Marti)