Ron Perelman slipped on the shiny black jacket, turned around to show off its gold “NYPD” letters on the back, and raised both arms in triumph, to whoops and hollers.
The chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. was on the stage of the Waldorf Astoria ballroom last night as the honoree of the New York City Police Foundation’s 40th anniversary gala.
Backed by firms like JPMorgan Chase (which recently donated $4.6 million for technology modernization), and individuals such as Mark Kingdon, president and founder of Kingdon Capital Management LLC, the foundation supports NYPD initiatives such as Crime Stoppers and the International Liaison Program, which sends officers abroad to share their expertise with other police forces.
Perelman, who has supported the foundation for two decades, wore the NYPD jacket for the duration of the event, which he spent mingling at a table covered in dark blue satin and decorated with white hydrangeas in a gold box.
Across from him sat Jon Bon Jovi, in a shiny gray suit, sipping tea before his performance with the New York City Police Band.
Perelman played the drums alongside Bon Jovi, whom he described as “one of my closest friends in the world.”
Other friends of Perelman’s on hand were Michael Douglas, director Penny Marshall, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Jonas and Chevy Chase, all of whom politely abandoned their chicken and sweet pea risotto to pose for photographs with star-struck guests.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (who sat next to Bon Jovi during dinner) took the stage to present the Hemmerdinger Awards for Excellence to Criminalist III Katharine Ferrante, Sergeant Herve Guiteau, and auto mechanic Norman Kara. A police helicopter crew, composed of Special Operations Division Detectives Fernando Almeida, Steve Browning, Chris Condon, Michael Sileo, and William Stevens received the Chuck Barris Foundation “Cop of the Year” award for rescuing two West Point cadets from a ledge on Storm King Mountain.
Chase had a blanket compliment for all New York City police officers. “I’ve always loved New York cops,” he said standing near the bar at the cocktail reception earlier in the evening. “They have a sense of humor, they’re slovenly, but you know that they can save your life in a second.”
The event drew 700 guests and raised almost $2.3 million. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, was a sponsor.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)