Harboring Hearts founder Michelle Javian, co-founder Yuki Kotani and Executive Director Missy Rahman welcomed 200 guests to a sold-out benefit evening to support heart patients and their families during their most critical times of need at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center on November 7th. The special night began with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, an awards ceremony and live musical performances from Alex Getlin, Demi Grace and Broadway Star Antoine L. Smith.
Honorees included Emile Bacha, M.D., Maryjane Farr, M.D., Jack Copeland, M.D. and heart transplant recipient and official Portraitist of Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Amy Sherald. Dr. Jennifer Haythe spoke about her friend and colleague Dr. Farr’s tireless efforts to help heart patients throughout her career and Elizabeth Moran shared a heartfelt story on how Dr. Bacha saved her little girl.
Kevin Pemberton spoke about his partner Amy Sherald’s work after Auctioneer Paul Flores encouraged attendees to raise their paddles in support of this worthy cause. Benefit Chairs Linda J. Addonizio, M.D., Ralf J Holzer, M.D., William Cherry, Robin McArthur-Murphy and Dana Jean Constantino along with Board Members Sergio Lagunes, Sheila McCaffrey, Ryan Melkonian, Jessica Melore, Hope Geier Smith and Russell G. Tisman welcomed special guests including Fashion Designer Derek Lam, Elizabeth Rosecrans and Vincent Geiss. Harboring Hearts extended a special thank you to the LiveOnNY Foundation for a game-changing grant they provided this year.
The night raised over $280,000 for Harboring Hearts, a 501 ©(3) public charity dedicated to providing critical financial and emotional assistance for heart patients and their families. In 2008, Michelle Javian lost her father to heart disease. For two years while she was by her father’s side at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Michelle witnessed firsthand the lack of refuge and community support for heart patients and their families.
Around the same time, Yuki Kotani’s father was in the same hospital, under the same surgeon, awaiting a heart transplant after years of battling heart disease. Michelle approached Yuki with the idea to create a charity to help these families and on April 10, 2009, the 1-year anniversary of Michelle’s father’s passing, Harboring Hearts received notice of their official 501c3.