GOAL, the Irish international relief agency that draws heavily on the support of sports stars and personalities, raised an impressive $850,000 at its recent ball held at Cipriani’s Wall Street in lower Manhattan.
The event, organized by GOAL’s American arm, GOAL USA, was a twentieth anniversary celebration of an organization that daily deals with anything but life’s celebratory side at its field operations in Africa, Asia and Central America.
The 20th anniversary gathering was a sellout and in addition to the money raised, all event costs were covered by sponsors, thus freeing up the take for GOAL’s work with what it describes as the world’s “poorest of the poor.”
“The support shown for GOAL on the night was phenomenal, especially given the financial turmoil that’s been so prevalent in recent times.
“It’s humbling to see that love for the poorest of the poor is still as strong as ever,” said GOAL founder and ceo John O’Shea, who flew in from the Ireland for the event.
Dinner chair Leslie Buckley of Digicel, who also flew in from Ireland for the ball described the event as “an absolutely fantastic success, a great evening with enormous energy in the room, and in the current economic climate an overwhelming result.”
GOAL aids those affected by natural and man made disasters in 11 countries in the developing world. Each year the New York ball ( GOAL also holds a similar event in Boston) focuses on a “special” project to be helped by money raised at the ball in auctions, both silent and open.
This year’s project is aimed at providing water and sanitation for schools in Calcutta.
In less than five minutes, the auction style round of bidding at the ball had raised $205,000 – enough money to provide a drinking water supply, bathroom and sanitation facilities in 30 schools for 12,000 children and their communities.
This is part of a larger GOAL effort to provide water and sanitation facilities for 700 schools and approximately 280,000 children.
Said GOAL USA in a statement: The most striking part of the evening for GOAL organizers was the overwhelming vote of support from GOAL followers in the U.S. Many of these work in finance, or in real estate, two of the industries that have been savaged by the financial crisis.
“It seems then, that individuals and companies really do care deeply about those who are suffering most in our world. While losing jobs and bonuses is hitting people hard in New York, it seems that many perhaps still recognize that they are lucky to have those basic needs and rights of life, food, water, health, education and shelter, that are all too often denied those in the developing world.”
The statement expressed thanks on behalf of the organization to Leslie Buckley and also dinner co-Chairs Ned Cloonan of AIG, Paul Galligan of ICAP, Ian Hyland of Business and Finance Magazine, Heather James of Federal Street Partners LLC. And Tom Bryant of Digicel.
“Our generous sponsors include Heather James, Facey Commodity, Commonwealth Associates Merchant Bank, DHL, RMK Worldwide, Sbarro, Setanta Sports, Stone St Tavern, Cummins Power Generation, Douglas Kotch, Terry Michael, B&N Industries, TalkPool, Motorola, True Solar Autonomy, Microsoft, ZTE Corporation, Better Energy Systems, Atlantic Hoisting,” the statement concluded.