When an organization eschews the traditional hotel ballroom and instead takes over New York City's convention center for its annual fund-raising dinner, you know you're dealing with heavy hitters.
Few organizations can claim more heavy hitters than the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation, an organization that taps some of the brightest financial minds and deepest pockets in the country to raise and invest big dollars to fight poverty in New York City. The foundation's 24-member board of directors includes Paul Tudor Jones II, chairman and CEO of hedge fund Tudor Investment Corp.; Stanley Druckenmiller, chairman and CEO of Duquesne Capital Management LLC, another hedge fund; and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Since 1988, the foundation has used grants to invest some $90 million in city-based programs ranging from schools to a teen pregnancy prevention program to a 24-block neighborhood improvement project in Harlem. In 2000, the last date for which information was available, the foundation reported assets of $63 million and grants totaling about $13 million.
Recently, it hosted its annual benefit at the massive black glass box on the east bank of the Hudson River known as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In the process, the organization hauled in $14.7 million to add to its investment base, including $4.2 million from an auction. The night's host was actor Mike Myers. Singer Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac provided the entertainment for the 3,000 attendees.
Among the financial luminaries in attendance were Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller, Stephen A. Cohen, Ron Insana, Jean-Marie Messier and Arthur Samberg. Others joining the party included David Bowie, Walt "Clyde" Frazier and Diane Sawyer, according to a list sent out by the Robin Hood Foundation.