On Thursday, May 13th, over 300 guests and sponsors attended our Virtual Gala and donated more than $750,000, making it the second most successful Gala in the history of Urban Pathways.

This year, we honored our Essential Workers, whose sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic enabled us to continue to provide comprehensive services – and critically-needed support – to individuals in our programs.

From street outreach and Drop-In Center services to transitional and permanent supportive housing, our staff worked as a community to ensure that our clients were not overlooked during a year of great upheaval.


In the 45-minute event, our guests enjoyed musical interludes by Sterling Strings, bid on over 50 unique items from our Online Auction, heard from Fred Shack, Chief Executive Officer, who thanked guests for their support over the past year, and watched impactful videos. They also pledged their support all the while, engaging in lively sidebar chat.

Staff and Board members, as well as Gold Sponsor Estée Lauder, and Silver Sponsors Skadden, Rockefeller Group, and Ropes & Gray, and their guests attended pre-event Virtual Happy Hours. Bill Weir, CNN Anchor, returned to emcee the event and spoke of his connection to Urban Pathways, our clients, and our CEO Frederick Shack.

As we did last year, the event included the premiere of a documentary style short film by Monarch Films: Our Past Does Not Define Us, featuring two men and a woman who overcame homelessness, addiction, substance use and incarceration to lead fulfilling lives with the help of Urban Pathways.

The event also featured videos honoring Urban Pathways’ Essential Workers and showcasing the art installation Home(-) and Garden by local artist Ronen Gamil. New this year were Caring Neighbor Bags, which were sent to all attendees who donated $125 or more.

After the feature video Our Past Does Not Define Us, attendees generously pledged over $100,000 to support our essential work with the exuberant Harry Santa-Olalla leading the call.

Bill Weir closed the evening by thanking everyone for their support and attendance, and reminding our guests that they can directly help a homeless person by supporting the work that we do.

Thank you to all who attended Urban Pathways Virtual Gala this year. The funds raised directly further the services we provide to at-risk and homeless New Yorkers.