Last week, Robin Hood's annual benefit raised $126 million, including a $50 million commitment from New York City toward a $100 million joint child care initiative.
The event brought together the biggest names in entertainment, business, and philanthropy, and featured live performances from Charlie Puth, John Legend, and John Mulaney.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright, and Robin Hood CEO Richard R. Buery, Jr. announced the formation of a Child Care Quality & Innovation Initiative to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care programs across the five boroughs. Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Seven Seven Six and co-founder and former executive chairman of Reddit, joined the stage to announce a $25 million gift from his 776 Foundation towards Robin Hood’s $50 million commitment. A $10 million commitment by Bezos Family Foundation was also announced.
“Last night was a testament to the generosity of the Robin Hood community who came together once again to raise a remarkable sum of $126 million – including a $50 million commitment from New York City,” said Robin Hood’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard R. Buery, Jr. “Robin Hood envisions a New York City where your starting point in life does not define where you end up in life, and we are so grateful to our donors and the amazing talent who joined us last night for helping us to continue that mission on behalf of the 1.4 million New Yorkers living in poverty.”
Additionally, Blue Origin donated a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one lucky auction winner to travel to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. This “buy one give one” item enables a New York City public school teacher to also travel to space. The live auction raised $8 million for Robin Hood, thanks to a winning bid from Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin. At Ken’s request, Robin Hood will provide both seats to New York City public school teachers, in recognition of their commitment to advancing public education.
Highlights of the evening included:
- Thanks to a generous donation from Bombas, guests entered through an archway designed to look like the New York City skyline, constructed out of 5,200 pairs of Bombas socks, which will be distributed to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness via shelters citywide.
- Notable New Yorkers, including Tracy Morgan, Stephanie Ruhle, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul participated in the event through on-stage remarks, video messages, and voiceovers.
- Co-chairs included Lisa and Mark Bezos of HighPost Capital; Meredith Kopit Levien of The New York Times Company; Kathryn Minshew of The Muse; and Karen and Chuck Phillips of Recognize.
- Robin Hood partnered with A Greener Festival to track and reduce the event’s environmental impact and will continue to work to integrate sustainable practices.
Robin Hood’s community partners Generation USA, Coney Island Prep, CUNY BMCC’s Early Childhood Center, and All Our Kin were on full display in films and on-stage remarks throughout the evening.
- Charlie Puth delivered an exciting performance of his hit singles “Light Switch” and “Attention,” followed by an emotional rendition of “See You Again” where he was joined by the student chorus at Staten Island’s PS22.
- Alexis Ohanian spoke passionately about his experience growing up as a first generation Armenian-American born in Brooklyn, and his desire to leave a lasting legacy of giving back.
- Robin Hood Founder Paul Tudor Jones took the stage in a space suit to encourage attendees to give what they could, while building anticipation for the live auction.
- Mark Bezos spoke about his history with Robin Hood and his own life altering experience of traveling to space, as he introduced the auction item on behalf of Blue Origin.
- Auctioneer Lydia Fenet conducted a spirited live auction for the space trip, with the winning bid coming in at $8 million.
- A mock-up of Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule became a piece of notable decor.
- John Legend ended the evening on a high with a live concert featuring hits like “Ordinary People,” “Save Room,” and “All of Me.”
- The Empire State Building lit up in Robin Hood Green in celebration of the organization’s impact.
The 2022 Benefit builds on the success of last year’s star-studded event, which featured Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers, Cecily Strong, Bowen Yang, and more, successfully raising $77.5 million in support of Robin Hood’s effort to get families back on their feet, kids back on track, and New Yorkers back to work. As always, Robin Hood’s board covers all administrative costs, so 100% of the funds raised will be invested in poverty-fighting programs citywide.