On Wednesday night, the Harlem community and beyond joined together to raise up our neighbors who had suffered the terrible explosion at E 116th and Park Ave. weeks ago. Through ticket sales, raffles, and auctions, we were able to raise over $50,000 to support the efforts of the American Red Cross of Greater New York in aiding the survivors. And those who could not give money gave their time, effort, and goodwill, all of which made the benefit a truly a night to remember.
People came from all over to help. The cast of Chicago, the Rakiem Walker Project, the National Jazz Museum of Harlem All-Stars, and Jazzmeia Horn treated us to amazing performances. Karl Franz of 67 Orange and Red Rooster's own David Powell mixed fantastic drinks behind the bar, and guests didn't go home hungry with food from Red Rooster, Barbuto, Ricardo's Steak House, Hot Bread Kitchen, and ice cream from Luca & Bosco.
The ever-gracious Melba Wilson welcomed all as the emcee of the event, and a special thanks goes out to Chefs Amanda Freitag, Aaron Sanchez, and Jonathan Waxman, who co-hosted the event with me.
If anyone ever wonders what Harlem is, they only need to look at an event like the Harlem Helps Benefit. Thanks to all who came to Ginny's on Wednesday — in a time of need, you made Harlem come alive.