March 2, 2023
Dear IDEAL Community:
Thank you for helping us to move our world and celebrate our 18th Annual Gala on Monday, February 27. The Gala brought together more than 325 community members and honored the work of five social justice advocates who have made a connection with our school and students and whose work, in different ways, mirrors IDEAL’s mission. Through our raffle, silent and live auctions, donations, and hand raise for social justice initiatives, we netted over $230,000 for our school.
We are grateful to the very special guests who helped to make the evening a success: Veteran journalist and IDEAL parent Genevieve Shaw-Brown, recording artist and disability rights activist Lachi, and auctioneer Betsy Alexandre. Thanks also to Upper School music teacher Will Simbol and his students for their powerful rendition of “Valerie.”
A high point of the night for me was when Lachi performed her song “Dis Education.” Lachi is also the founder and president of RAMPD, a global network of music creators and professionals with disabilities elevating culture and inclusion in the music industry. Between songs in her 15-minute set, Lachi advocated for society to embrace open and frank conversations about disability, along with other aspects of identity, and commended IDEAL for our inclusive mission, language, and emphasis on social justice.
Alexander Gorlin and Quincie Williams of Alexander Gorlin Architects came to the stage to share their vision for our new building at 5 Hanover Square. They provided our guests with a model of our space and a preview of three interior design renderings. We are looking forward to opening school in our new building in September 2023.
The Gala would never have been possible without the hard work and thoughtful planning of our tremendously talented Gala Committee led by co-chairs Rachel and Rob McQueen, along with Gala Committee members Grace Kaynor, Christine Mickletz, and Tracy Nixon.
I am also deeply grateful to IDEAL’s Board President Jay Eisenhofer and to our Advancement Committee Chair Tracy Nixon, who, along with all of the members of our Board of Trustees, contributed in countless ways to ensure the success of our event. Behind the scenes, IDEAL staff members Maggie Conklin, Wilmaris De La Cruz, Arelis Henriquez, and Joe Kemp provided support to the committee and took care of every last detail.
Most of all, we are grateful to you, our friends, for contributing to the success of IDEAL’s 18th Annual Gala. Your support for IDEAL helped us to move our world and will make a lasting impact on the lives of our students.
Head of School
The IDEAL School of Manhattan