The Durst Organization presents an auction and awards gala to benefit and recognize Health People’s Kids-Helping-Kids Mentoring Program, which trains older teens with sick or missing parents to be mentors to younger children in the same difficult situations. The works of art for auction are curated with the theme of “See the Children Through the Trees”, reflecting how parentless children in NYC are invisible and have no state, city or federally funded support programs.

Being auctioned are works that range from internationally acclaimed artist April Gornik’s “The Woods” to Ross Bleckner’s abstracted leaves in “Early Every Morning”; from Milton Glaser’s blazing “Red Tree” to an original signed panel from Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury to Walter Channing’s 8 foot sculpture in which a natural tree trunk seems to “whirl” to the sky. And for the ‘leaf peepers’, unique celebrity “Leaf Autographs” donated by Dolly Parton, John Updike, Michael Bloomberg, Lauren Bacall, and others will be auctioned.

The hosts of the “See the Children Through the Trees” auction and awards night gala include; Larry B. Wright, Carl Berstein, Bill Boggs, Milton Glaser, Edwina Sandys, Richard Kaplan, Barbara Roberts, Stephanie Stokes, Stanley Cohen, Edward Enck, Dr. Hal Strelnick and Chris Norwood.

The honorees and awards include: Renowned artist April Gornik will receive the inaugural Health People’s Leadership in Art and Civic Society Award; Tomas Rivera a graduate of Health People’s Kids-Helping-Kids Mentoring Program will receive the Youth Leadership Award. Tomas recently returned from being stationed with the US Army in Iraq and is now a pre-med student planning to help his community; Julia Gruen, Executive Director, of the Keith Haring Foundation; Ed Martin, the Director of International Insights at the Hershey Company and Director of Pause to Support a Cause, an innovative new business philanthropy initiative, involving major corporations around the world, which links charities and nonprofits to the $18.9 billion market research industry.

To view the artworks, you can visit the gallery of the Conde Nast Building, 4 Times Square ( 42nd st. & Bwy), New York City. The “See the Children Through the Trees” exhibit may be seen daily from 9am to 6 pm. You can also bid in the silent auction at until Thursday, October 15th 2009.

The Auction and Awards Gala takes place on Thursday October 15th, 2009, from 6:00pm-9:00pm at the gallery of the Conde Nast Building., 4 Times Square, New York City.

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