a co-ed, independent, inclusion school for grades k-12+

2024 IDEAL Gala

graphic with a picture of students in front of the school and Gala information in the body copy

Dear IDEAL Friends:
We hope you will join us for our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year! There's No Place Like Home: The 19th Annual IDEAL Gala returns to Pier Sixty on Tuesday, February 27, from 6-10 PM. 

Click here for tickets

This year marks the milestone 18th year for The IDEAL School of Manhattan, and we are celebrating our community as we join together, Grades K-12 and Next Steps in our new home on 5 Hanover Square. We recognize and honor the people who made the move to our new building possible, those who saw our school’s possibilities and worked to create an inclusive, beautiful, and inspiring new home for our students.  

Our 2023-24 Gala Honorees 

black and white photos of a white man and a Black man dressed well and wearing glasses

Alexander Gorlin and Quncie Williams from Alexander Gorlin Architects

black and white photos of a light-skinned woman and man man dressed well

Leslie Harwood and Brent Ozarowski from Newmark

photos of a white haired and a dark haired man with light skin

Bob Bennis and Rich Bennis from Robert Bennis Consulting

four light-skinned men wearing suits, two have beards

Gregg Weiner, Daniel Stanco, Thomas Wechsler, and Eddie Thiele from Ropes & Gray

Special Guests

medium skinned woman, short, curly hair, light skinned woman with long, blond hair, another with long, red hair

Our Entertainer

Gayle Turner has been performing professionally for decades. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she made her Broadway debut in The Wiz as the Dorothy understudy to Stephanie Mills. Most recently, she was in the New York Times Critic Pick production of Pray produced by Ars Nova and National Black Theatre. Other credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Langston in Harlem, Nunsense, Abyssinia, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Constant Star (Ida B. Wells), and Having Our Say (The Delany Sisters). Her TV credits include Law & Order: SVU and Season Two of And Just Like That with Nicole Ari Parker, directed by Cynthia Nixon. Ms. Turner is the winner of seven John Barrymore Awards and two Carbonell Awards. In June 2023, she performed with the honorary Tony awarded Broadway Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir on the White House Lawn in front of President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris, Audra McDonald, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Hudson and Ledisi. Her performance is dedicated to her adopted niece and Grade 11 IDEAL student, Lalla Gowon, and her beloved guardian (my dear friend and BIV Alumni member), Yolanda Wyns. Special Thanks to Head of School Janet Wolfe for the extraordinary tour of the new building that you now call … "HOME."

Our Host

Marisa Brahney is an Emmy award-winning television host, on-air lifestyle expert, and media coach who has spent nearly two decades on TV. From appearing as a regular lifestyle contributor on Inside Edition, PIX11, ABC, FOX, CBS, Cheddar, and more, to selling out her kitchen must-haves on QVC, Ms. Brahney is a millennial mom and gourmet girl-next-door who connects to her audiences in an authentic, dynamic way. As a former news anchor and born storyteller, Ms. Brahney spent much of her career at TV stations like NBC Philadelphia and News 12 New Jersey. As a lifestyle expert and brand spokesperson, she partners with some of the nation's biggest brands in the food and lifestyle space. Ms. Brahney uses her breadth of experience to teach others, developing strategies for her media coaching clients. Ms. Brahney’s heart and hands are full as a proud mom to two sons and a daughter. Having also lost her first daughter to birth complications in 2014, Ms. Brahney is a passionate advocate for pregnancy and infant loss awareness initiatives that support families who’ve lost babies.

Our Auctioneer

Nicole Sales Giles is Vice President and Director of Digital Art at Christie’s, and she’s been with the auction house since 2012. She provided her auctioneer services to us at our 2022 gala. Ms. Giles was recently featured in the Observer’s 2023 Business of Art Power List, naming her one of the most influential people in the art world today.

There are foru simple ways you can support the Gala:

We look forward to working with you to ensure another fun-filled celebration and successful evening!

2023-24 Gala Committee
Christine Mickletz, Event Chair
Rachel McQueen and Meredith Summerville, Raffle Committee
Brady and Sammi Clifford, and Rob McQueen, Sponsorships and Gifts
Lucy Guinness, Grace Kaynor, and Cate LaFarge Summers, Auction Committee
Larissa Regala, Matt Sloan, and Fernando Torres, Design Committee
Yolanda Wyns, Entertainment Chair
Tracy Nixon, Advancement Committee Chair
Janet Wolfe, Head of School
Margaret Conklin, Wilmaris De La Cruz, and Joseph Kemp, Administrative Liaisons