New York, Sept. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), the leading supplemental education nonprofit in New York City, will host its 2013 Annual Benefit Dinner on October 2 to raise funds to support educational programming for its inner city middle school, high school and college students, as well as a physical expansion to Brooklyn, which will mark the organization's first facility opening outside of Harlem. The organization aims to raise more than $1 million at the dinner - its largest fundraiser of the year - through ticket sales, a silent auction and other donations.
HEAF is a high-impact, supplemental education and youth leadership nonprofit that turns high-potential, but underserved New York City inner city public school students into high-achieving college graduates. The organization enrolls students in middle school and supports them until they are successfully admitted to ― and graduate from ― four-year colleges. For the last 24 years, HEAF has successfully served students in Harlem and surrounding neighborhoods and, recently, the organization has been sharply focused on expanding its presence into other New York City boroughs with the ultimate goal of serving students citywide. HEAF is eyeing Brooklyn, which has a number of public schools in need of supplemental education support for its first expansion.
Since its founding, HEAF has maintained a proven track record of success with 100 percent of students graduating high school and going on to higher education, 83 percent completing an undergraduate degree within six years and 35 percent obtaining advanced degrees. This compares to 65 percent of all New York City students graduating high school and only 37 percent of African-American and Hispanic male youth completing high school in four years. It is through HEAF's innovative and rigorous programming that it is able to achieve such impressive results. The HEAF Annual Benefit Dinner plays a critical role in ensuring these programs are able to continue and the organization is able to carry its mission forward.
"HEAF's success calls for us to expand our footprint," said Ruth Rathblott, HEAF President and CEO. "Our goal is to help more students of promise succeed in college as well as life, so that one day underserved students will no longer feel discouraged that their opportunities are limited."
The benefit dinner, hosted by the HEAF Board of Directors, also serves as a celebratory event for the organization. This year's event will honor Arshad Zakaria, President and CEO of New Vernon Capital, LLC, and Fern Khan, HEAF Board member and former Dean of Continuing Education at Bank Street College, for their accomplishments and contributions to education and the Harlem community. In addition, HEAFalumni will participate in a special presentation led by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, and CNN host and TIME Editor-at-Large Dr. Fareed Zakaria will give a keynote address on the challenges in urban education.
"Instilling future-mindedness in our students and encouraging high lifetime aspirations based on continuing disciplined effort is the key to HEAF's success. We change lives and thereby change communities," said Daniel Rose, HEAF Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the HEAF Board of Directors. "We are confident that HEAF can become a national model for transforming urban education, so we want to replicate it widely. We hope that others will join our cause and enable HEAF to expand its reach in Brooklyn and beyond."
Sponsors of HEAF's 2013 Annual Benefit Dinner include:
The dinner's previous honorees include Michael D. Colacino and Richard H. Neiman in 2012, Richard J. Mack and Vincent A. Mai in 2011, Alexandra D. Korry, Brigadier General George B. Price and Merryl H. Tisch in 2010 and Judith Aidoo and Dr. Fareed Zakaria in 2009.
Event and Ticket Information:
The dinner takes place on Wednesday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, in New York City. For ticket information, contact Event Associates' Marianne Carey Hayes at (212) 245-6570, or email email@example.com. For sponsorship information, contact HEAF's Danforth Preston at (212) 663-9732 ext. 37.
For more information about HEAF or to get involved, visit www.heaf.org.
The Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) is a high-impact supplemental education and youth leadership nonprofit that turns high-potential but underserved New York City public school students into high-achieving college graduates. HEAF enrolls qualifying students in middle school and supports them until they are successfully admitted to ― and graduate from ― four-year colleges. HEAF offers a variety of after-school, Saturday and summer educational and youth development programs that enable students to develop the intellectual curiosity, academic ability, social values and personal resiliency they need to ensure success in school, career and life. HEAF's track record of success is unmatched in the industry: 100 percent of HEAF students graduate college, 100 percent go on to higher education and 35 percent obtain advanced degrees. For more information about HEAF or to get involved, visit www.heaf.org.
Jennifer Myers RF|Binder Partners for HEAF (212) 994-7516