RAN Took Manhattan

posted by Rainforest Action Network

Every so often you go to an event – perhaps even a fundraiser – and you’re struck by the quality of the evening. The venue is perfect – not too big – not too small. The entertainment – the food – the drinks – the guests – the hosts. Everything, amazingly, perfect.

Well, RAN had a party in NYC this last Saturday that was perfect. It was hosted by Chris Noth and Whoopi Goldberg – with a surprise and amazing appearance by the magical Norah Jones.

The goal of the evening was simple: grow RAN’s profile in New York, increase our base of friends and support, and get closer to making our budget for the year. Well, we certainly raised our profile; there were some 30 journalists and photographers, a Green Carpet out front of the exclusive and hip nightspot that Noel Ashman and Chris Noth own, The PLUMM, as well as the over 250 guests. Many of the guests were from the shows created by Dick Wolf, Law and Order. (Dick also sponsored the event, along with several other people noted here: www.ran.org/give/ny).

Peter and Jennifer Buffett were there as sponsors. They seemed to have a wonderful time – as did the many friends they brought. Paulette Cole – of the wonderful ABC Home and Planet foundation (as well as yes, the wonderfully groovy and hip ABC Home and Carpet store) was there with several of her favorite people…and the list goes on. Well, okay, one more. Nellie McKay made a performing appearance – she was a hoot! All these people are wonderful – and they all turned out for RAN.

We are so fortunate to have such a growing surge of support for our work – for the hope that our work brings. And I am so lucky to be in a position to help forward that – to help it by celebrating those who support us and engaging those who could…so that we can all move forward into the world we want to create, the future we want for ourselves and our children.

We are not alone. We are in good company. And the more that we can reach out to others like us, others who believe that RAN is indeed on to something, that we are on the right track, then the more is our potential, our power to affect.

The evening started at 6:30 with a special reception hosted by Chris and Whoopi – everyone moved upstairs at 7:30 for the main event – with an hour to enjoy delicious cocktails and sumptuous organic hors d’oeuvres. Then I stood in the brightest light in the world and introduced Nellie McKay- a very witty performance from the “next anti-war senator from the Great state of Connecticut.” Then Whoopi Goldberg congratulated everyone on tearing themselves away from Fashion Week – and noted the crowds indubitable fashion…and talked about the environmental problems facing us as she sees them…which was spot on from my point of view. She sees RAN as eminently worth support and said she was very happy to be there in support of our work. (Earlier when asked if she had any vices, Whoopi said, “Books.”) And then Chris took the microphone and told folks about his relationship to RAN, about his long time supporting us and his pleasure at being able to offer this event venue…and encouraged everyone to support RAN with their dollars.

Thank You Chris!

Jim Gollin, our wonderful Board Chair, gave quick thanks and told folks about his support for Ran and belief in our work – and then up was our charismatic and wonderful Executive Director, Michael Brune. Mike told us about RAN’s work – about our Tasmanian Forests campaign and about our Freedom from Oil efforts. He inspired…and then handed over to Chris again who then handed it over to the fantastic Norah Jones!

Norah and her pal Jesse Harris played for about half an hour – and even played a song that had never been played in public before – so it was a premiere event! Then I had the honor of thanking everyone for their support – and reminded folks that we need their support – that we need your support – to do what we do. I also encouraged folks to bring their friends to RAN – to enable others to “become a part of the solution.”

The party went on long into the night – and an after-party hosted by the wonderful David Neubert – also a sponsor – eventually found some of us eating a late dinner – 2:30 am? – up the street. It was hard to call it a night. Much fun was had. Many friends were made. And much ado was made about RAN. (And how often do I get to bed at 4am?)

How wonderful. How wonderful indeed. We are so very lucky to have such good friends in New York. We are so lucky to be able to so such important work. And of course, lucky to be able to have such amazing events designed to support us.

Maybe it isn’t luck. In fact, I’m sure it isn’t.

If it is, we’re generating our own. RAN works hard – and has worked hard since 1985 – for the forests and their inhabitants to stop the forces of out of control, “business as usual” corporate-backed “development” and destruction.

We’re moving fast and we’ve got a lot to do. With three campaign areas and a possible new one on the horizon, and with many individual moving parts within each, we’ve got our work cut out for us. And it’s ace once in awhile when that means we get to celebrate as we bring new people into the fold to learn about what we do, to support our work, to join us.

Thank you New York!

Next stop – REVEL! RAN’s annual award dinner. Get your tickets now!

And if you’d like to see photos from the event, have a look at:

RAN’s Flickr account

Patrick McMullen

Splash News and Photos

Wire Images