Miss A Columnist

Anne Blessing is a communications professional and recent NYC transplant. She previously served as Miss A City Editor in Nashville, where she lived for more than two years working full-time as a publicist. Anne hails from Virginia, and received a bachelor's degree in Media Arts and Design and Studio Art from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. In her spare time Anne enjoys working as a stylist at LOFT, traveling, exploring the Big Apple, and taking Pilates and Zumba fitness classes. She is passionate about giving back, fashion and the arts, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Recap: The New York Foundling Children Perform At Annie The Musical

(From L-R) Musician/Producer and songwriter Jimi K. Bones, Chief of Staff at EmblemHealth Carolyn Gainey-Ballard, The New York Foundling CEO Bill Baccaglini, Casting Director-Musician-Actress Nefertiti Jones, CNN “Starting Point” anchor Soledad O’Brien and The New York Foundling children (Photo Credit: Charles E. Manley)

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 hitAnnie 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.

(From L-R) “Annie” composer Charles Strouse, The New York Foundling CEO Bill Baccaglini, EmblemHealth Manager of Special Events Denise Shearer, Chief of Staff at EmblemHealth Carolyn Gainey-Ballard, EmblemHealth Director of Brand Strategy and Community Marketing David Flemister, CNN “Starting Point” anchor Soledad O’Brien (Photo Credit: Charles E. Manley)

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.”

From L-R: “Annie” composer Charles Strouse, CNN “Starting Point” anchor Soledad O’Brien, The New York Foundling CEO Bill Baccaglini (Photo Credit: Charles E. Manley)

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.

From L-R: “Annie the Musical” actress Lilla Crawford (who plays Annie) is surrounded by children from The New York Foundling talking with O’Brien. (Photo Credit: Charles E. Manley)

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