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Thanks to our generous donors – the Eleanor Crook Foundation, Carla Hall and Desmond G. FitzGerald – who matched the evening’s gifts!


Eleanor Crook | Spirit of Helen Keller Award

We are thrilled to honor Eleanor for her philanthropy, advocacy, and vision of creating a world in which every mother can nourish her children. In 1997, Eleanor co-founded the Eleanor Crook Foundation with a single goal: to end severe hunger and malnutrition. In 2017, the foundation pledged $100 million to fight malnutrition through research and advocacy. Eleanor, partnering with Helen Keller, is helping children and families access the vital nutrition they need to stave off malnutrition and avoid a lifetime of struggle.

Carla Hall | Helen Keller Visionary Award

Carla is an internationally recognized author, chef, and television personality who first won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and introduced the world to her philosophy to “always cook with love.” Carla advocates for the power of food to connect us all and brings this ethos to her humanitarian work. She also experiences firsthand how transformative a pair of eyeglasses can be. She uses her public platform to shine a light on families vulnerable to malnutrition and vision loss and encourages us to take action.

Our Hosts

Gigi Jorissen
Board of Trustees
Retired Consultant

Desmond G. FitzGerald
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Senior Partner, Holyoke Partners, LLC

Kathy Spahn
President and CEO
Helen Keller Intl

Eunice Reddick
Board of Trustees
Retired U.S. Ambassador

Reynaldo Martorell, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees
Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition, Senior
Advisor, Global Health Institute, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University

Craig Evans
Director, Major Gifts
Helen Keller Intl

Special thanks to our lead supporters!

True Potential Sponsor
Charles Butt
Harry DeVerter / Tait | Weller
Desmond G. FitzGerald

Fierce Optimism
Karin and Henry Barkhorn
Peirce Moser and Mitch Eitel
Catherine James Paglia and The Robert & Ardis James Foundation
Toppeta Family Foundation

Bold Determination
Eleanor Crook Foundation
Anthony Dorment
Carla Hall
Karen Harris
David M. Glassman
Mark Menting and Laura Jean Wilson
Merck & Co., Inc.
Maria Morris
Beverly Miller Orthwein
The Trebek Family Foundation / Jean Trebek
Barbara and Chris Wall

Courageous Compassion
D. Brooks Betts
The Robert B. and Emilie W. Betts Foundation
Paul and Gigi Jorissen
Wendy D. Lee
Linville Family Foundation

Thanks to our Gala Co-Chairs who led the way!

Jennifer A. Buda
Mary Lindley Burton
Desmond G. FitzGerald
Jim and Nydia Gaffey
Gretchen Grant
Gigi Jorissen
Javier La Fianza
Peirce Moser and Mitch Eitel
Bill Toppeta

Meet our previous Helen Keller Intl honorees here.