With the theme of Family, The Salvation Army Greater New York Division held its 68th Annual Gala December 8 in the Broadway Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, uniting old friends and new into the Army's family. Hosted by former New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl and broadcaster Bob Papa, the evening featured a Musical Invocation by Will & Anthony, a Christmas Message delivered by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, performances by The Army's Greater New York Youth Band & Chorus and a concert by Vanessa Williams.
Lt. Colonel Guy D. Klemanski presented the Army's highest honor, The Pinnacle of Achievement Award, in memoriam to the Wellington and Ann Mara Family. Owners of Giants, the Maras worked closely with The Salvation Army during their years of philanthropic giving. "The Maras represent The New York Giants, of course, but they also have giant hearts, which they use to give back, creating immense positive changes for those around them," Colonel Klemanski said. One of their 11 children, John Mara, the President and CEO of The Giants, accepted the award.
The Fire Department, City of New York, which like The Salvation Army is celebrating its 150th anniversary, was presented with The Army's Community Service Award.
The evening, attended by nearly 800 people, also kicked off The Salvation Army's annual Red Box Campaign, which provides what for some individuals and families might be the only gift they receive this Christmas, a box filled with food, warm clothes and toys. Last year the Red Box Campaign generated more than $450,000 in support.