Mario Caicedo went the distance as co-chairman of the Bowery Mission Young Philanthropists “An Evening on the Bowery” last night. The 33-year-old investment analyst at Marathon Asset Management LP recruited six co-workers to serve on the host committee for the event.
“The thing is, not that many people take on a leadership role. When you know someone who does, you pay attention,” said Jeffrey Stroll, a vice president at Marathon.
Besides Stroll, Marathon hosts included Michael Alexander, Andrew Brady, Matt Breckenridge, Daniel Pine and Gary Uhliar. They made up about a third of the committee. Their minimum financial commitment was $250 each.
Caicedo “completely rallied this event,” said Alexander, a senior vice president at Marathon.
The party was held at the Bowery Hotel terrace, just steps away from the Mission, and included dancing, cocktails made with Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, and a silent auction with items such as a $1,500 night at the Lower East Side club Southside and a one-year New Museum of Contemporary Art membership.
A “Bowery Swag” concession offered a red apron with the organization’s name printed on for $10 and a mug for $7. Guests received goodie bags that included Liddabit Sweets caramels. HSBC Bank USA N.A. was an event chairman.
The Bowery Mission, established in 1879 and owned by the Christian Herald Association Inc., offers food, shelter, job training, legal aid and housing placement to men, women and children. While Christian in orientation, it isn’t officially affiliated with a particular church and serves people regardless of their beliefs. Its donors come from all faiths. Last year the Mission spent $8.5 million on its programs.
Caicedo has lived near the Bowery Mission for 10 years. About five years ago he talked to one of the homeless men and decided to volunteer.
“I came to it as a neighbor,” Caicedo said. “I’ve been so blessed my whole life, so getting involved made sense.”
His role as co-chairman of the event last night required a $1,000 donation. He serves meals twice a month.
A direct experience at the Mission has drawn many of the Young Philanthropists to commit to the organization.
Dan Beksha, 25, who works as a financial analyst, joined the Young Philanthropists after volunteering once. He served on the host committee for the event.
An Easy Sell
“We decided on venue and date and price, then I pitched it to all my friends,” Beksha said. “It’s so easy to sell what they do. For me, it’s the amount of direct service: Look at the numbers,” he said, thumbing to a page in the event program.
“In 2010 the Bowery Mission provided more than 356,000 meals, 34,000 bags of groceries, and 72,100 nights of shelter,” Beksha read from the program. “It’s amazing to be a part of that.”
The event far exceeded its goals of selling 75 tickets and losing no more than $1,000, said host committee member Tom Summers, a restaurant designer: 250 people bought tickets and the event raised almost $25,000.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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