A chorus of children from The New York Foundling family service agency put on an extraordinary show on Sunday, December 2, with their own rendition of the song “Tomorrow” from the smash Broadway hit “Annie the Musical.” For many of the elementary school children in the chorus, hailing from the city’s child welfare system and attending The Foundling’s Haven Academy Charter School in South Bronx, the performance was their first taste of a Broadway show. The group sang at the famed Palace Theatre in front of a crowd of nearly 500, including “Annie the Musical” composer Charles Strouse and Foundling supporters and benefactors.
The Foundling honored some of its greatest benefactors including Bill Rudin, Vice Chairman and CEO of Rudin Management Company, Inc., and Anthony Watson, Chairman and CEO of EmblemHealth at a private reception before a matinee show of “Annie” on Broadway. Rudin and Watson were originally scheduled to be honored for their work protecting children and preserving families at The Foundling’s “Tomorrow is Tonight” “Annie”-themed gala in November. However, due to Hurricane Sandy, the charity gala and dinner were canceled.
The Foundling has announced that it has raised $1 million in donations and that every donor remained committed to their support of their work in the city. The weight of this donation will mean even more to The Foundling children and their families who participated in the performance at Palace Theatre. Many reside on Staten Island and have been struggling to rebuild their lives and homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Bill Baccaglini, CEO of The New York Foundling, said, “Over the years, through good times and bad, The Foundling has been blessed with supporters who care deeply about the people we serve — New York City’s most vulnerable children and families. Their remarkable dedication to our cause is evident today. With their continued support we’ll be able to save thousands of children from a ‘hard knock life.”
Among the other Foundling supporters at Sunday’s reception and performance were the original “Annie” actress and singer Andrea McArdle; Tony Award winning and “Annie the Musical” Producer Arielle Tepper Madover; Tony Award winning and Stage Director James Lapine; Philanthropist and Chair and Co-founder of New York Harbor Parks Marian Heiskell and her family and Mrs. Wellington Mara and her grandchildren. Also in attendance were current “Annie the Musical” on Broadway cast members and CNN “Starting Point” anchor and Foundling volunteer, Soledad O’Brien, who served as emcee of the program and attended with her family.
Since 1869 The New York Foundling has built an extensive network of community-based services aimed at helping save children in need, preserve families and bolster healthy communities. Some of The Foundling’s services include providing foster homes and specialized facilities or safe havens for children whose safety is at risk. With the founding principle “Abandon No One” The Foundling continues to touch the lives of more than 13,000 people in the greater New York City area each year. For more information, please visit the New York Foundling website.