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Friday, October 20, 2023

Gala 2023 Sets New Record, Honors Governor Kathy Hochul and Board Member Kara McShane

On Thursday, October 19th, Breaking Ground held our annual Celebrating Home & Community Gala at The Glasshouse on Manhattan's West Side. We were thrilled to honor two exceptional leaders from the public and private sectors - New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, and Breaking Ground Board Member Kara McShane.

Nearly 800 guests joined us to mingle with a who’s who of the New York real estate community, with a cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner. See a full set of photos from the event here.

Bg Gala 23 Michael Franco

Breaking Ground Board Chair, Michael Franco, kicked off the evening’s program, welcoming our attendees and setting the stage for our distinguished honorees: “The Governor of the great State of New York, Kathy Hochul, leads the fight for affordable and supportive housing. We are so grateful for her efforts to make New York a better and more equitable place, and we are privileged to honor her commitment to expanding opportunity for all New Yorkers." Michael acknowledged that the Governor was unable to join us as she was traveling internationally to show support for Israel.

Michael proceeded to thank our second honoree, noting that "Kara [McShane] is a dynamic leader in the real estate business nationally, but New York is her home and she has dedicated her volunteer efforts to providing housing for those less fortunate here. I feel privileged to call her a friend and to have served on the Breaking Ground board with her for the past five years to help solve the homelessness crisis in our city."

Bg Gala 23 Brenda Stage

After thanking fellow board members and the team at Breaking Ground, Michael introduced Breaking Ground President and CEO, Brenda Rosen.

Brenda began with Breaking Ground's mandate to 'meet people where they are,' saying that it's "about treating every individual with the respect, understanding, and dignity they deserve...because solving the problem of homelessness doesn’t only make financial sense; it also translates to better health and quality of life for all of us. Finding solutions that build and restore lives also builds and restores the dignity of all New Yorkers."

Touching on Breaking Ground's largest project in years, 90 Sands, Brenda introduced the night's video featuring Breaking Ground tenant Leslie Mills sharing her journey out of homelessness. After the video, Brenda returned briefly, reminding the crowd that "more than 98% of people who exit homelessness to a Breaking Ground apartment find long-term stability. Ninety-eight percent! That is what our hope and humanity can accomplish."

Later in the evening, Alan Wiener, Head of Multifamily Capital for Wells Fargo, gave a touching introduction to Kara McShane.

Kara McShane, Head of Commercial Real Estate at Wells Fargo and the evening's distinguished honoree, took to the stage with a personal and inspiring speech, calling on memories of first moving to New York City, raising a young family, how the experience of homelessness affects everyone, and what it means for people to have the opportunity to rebuild their lives through the work of organizations like Breaking Ground. The crowd gave a standing ovation as she left the stage, celebrating Kara's heartfelt tribute.

Bg Gala 23 Louise Carroll Stage

Breaking Ground Board member Louise Carroll capped off the program with a final thanks to our exceptional honorees and thanked everyone who joined us to raise significant funds for Breaking Ground's outreach and housing programs.

Each year, Breaking Ground serves over 11,000 people across our programs and housing resources. Through street outreach, upwards of 500 chronically homeless New Yorkers come indoors to transitional and permanent supportive housing, and more than 5,000 people sleep under a Breaking Ground roof every night. And with over 1,500 units of permanent supportive and affordable housing in development, we’re always working to help more people come off the streets and find a stable, secure home.

We extend a very special thanks to our gala sponsors, who helped us set a new record and raise over $3.3 million to aid the most vulnerable homeless New Yorkers. Many more people just like Leslie have an apartment and the support they need to find stability thanks to your generosity.

If you are interested in supporting the gala, please click here to donate and designate your gift in support of the "Celebrating Home & Community Gala 2023."

Investor Sponsors

Dechert LLP
The Lucretia Philanthropic Foundation
Lili Lynton & Michael Ryan
Wells Fargo

Developer Sponsors

Blank Rome
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Chatham Financial
The Durst Organization
Monadnock Construction Inc.
Rona & David Picket
The Rubin Family
Sidley Austin
Starwood Capital Group & Starwood Property Trust
Ann & Robert Tirschwell
Nicholas Tsang & Jane Van Cleef
UAG – Urban Atelier Group

Builder Sponsors

BFC Partners
Cannon Heyman & Weiss
Capital One

Douglaston Development
Eastdil Secured
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Peter Ezersky
Fidelity National Title
Jill & Michael Franco
Fried Frank
Gotham Organization

Joy Construction
JP Morgan Chase
Kellner Herlihy Getty & Friedman LLP
Nancy & Michael Lascher
Kara McShane & Hawley Chester
North Shore Risk Management
RBC Capital Markets
SL Green Realty Corp & Caesar's Entertainment
Stewart National Commercial Services
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Two Trees Management Co, LLC
Vornado Realty Trust

Groundbreaker Sponsors

Acor Capital
Affinius Capital
All New York Title Agency
Baker Tilly
Bank of America
Blackstone Real Estate Capital Markets
Bridge Investment Group
Chicago Title Insurance Company
First American Title & TitleVest
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Mega Contracting Group
Mesa West Capital
Mizuho Americas
Morgan Stanley
Prime Finances
Rialto Capital Management
Standard Chartered Bank
Carolyn Sullivan & David Walsh

Benefactor Sponsors

Apex Investments
BMO Capital Markets
Bradford Allen
The Melissa & John Ceriale Family Foundation
Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co.
COOKFOX Architects
Dattner Architects
The Ferman-Kessler Family Foundation
GFP Real Estate
Highpoint GC
Hudson Housing Capital
Jackson Lewis
The Jantile Group
Kramer Levin
Pemmil Affordable LLC
Proskauer Rose
Room & Board
Sebco Laundry Systems
Kim O’Connor & Benjamin Stacks
Trinity Church Wall Street
Truist Bank & Grandbridge Real Estate Capital
Hon. Sally E. Unger
US Bank
Michele & Michael Werner

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