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IAEC-NY Holds 24th Annual EESF Fundraiser

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Spirits were high, the weather perfect for a gathering focused on “keeping kids safe.”

photos by Melissa Aponte and Angela C. Baldwin

The International Association of Elevator Consultants New York Region (IAEC-NY) celebrated its 24th annual fundraiser to benefit the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) on August 24 at the Dream Downtown’s PHD Rooftop Lounge in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Nearly 250 guests were on hand, including IAEC Executive Director Sheila Swett, as the IAEC-NY chapter presented a US$15,000 check to EESF, bringing the chapter’s total contribution to the Foundation over the years to approximately US$320,000.

According to Melissa Aponte, IAEC NY Fundraising Committee coordinator:

“All in all, it was a great night. Planning this event each year takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Knowing that we are a part of keeping kids safe while riding escalators and elevators makes it worth it. Their education and knowledge is everything. The EESF has an amazing education program that they share with many schools around the U.S., and we are pleased to be a part of that effort.”

Celebrating along with Aponte were Joseph Caracappa, IAEC-NY chairman; Bill Mogg, chairman, Fundraising Committee; and IAEC volunteer Stephanie Huppert, who, according to Aponte, provided instrumental help and “really made the event happen this year, as she does every year.”

Held at the Dream Downtown for the second consecutive year, this iteration drew praise from both attendees and the planning committee. The weather proved perfect, cool and clear, affording wonderful views of Chelsea, Lower Manhattan and beyond, including the multitude of buildings under construction as part of the Hudson Yards development. The expanded menu went over well, too, according to Aponte. It featured a variety of hors d’oeuvres, including yellowfin tuna tartare, mini lobster rolls, fried truffle macaroni and cheese, spicy buffalo chicken skewers and cheeseburger sliders. A Mediterranean station featured hummus, grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella, while a fresh market station offered lime-dusted salmon with mango pico de gallo and chile chicken with avocado tomatillo and sides of mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. “People really ate this year, which was good,” said Aponte, who explained that the increased ticket price of this year’s event was, in part, to provide more food for guests often coming to the event directly from work and ready for a meal.

As guests mingled over good food and drinks from the open bar, and enjoyed the view from the balcony and music from the DJ, many also took time to peruse the many auction items on hand. Provided by Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia, Inc. of New York, items for both the evening’s silent and live auctions were strategically placed around the room so guests could get a good look at everything from autographed New York Giants memorabilia and an evening with Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, to Marc Jacobs handbags and Italian vacations, to name just a few. Later in the evening, Howard Schwartz from Grandstand led a live auction, which brought guests inside and engaged them in a good-natured bidding war over such favorites as a trip to Costa Rica. The auction grossed US$3,700 for the event. 

Aponte called this year’s crowd “a great, lively group full of new faces, along with those we see faithfully every year. And, we raised as much money for EESF this year as we did last year, so we’re calling the event a big success.” Aponte acknowledged the support of IAEC’s Daniel and Sheila Swett, IAEC-NY committee members, and the employees of her company, Lift Tech Ltd., “all of whom dedicate time and effort into making a great IAEC event every year, and none more than Stephanie Huppert, who focuses on the details, down to the logo napkins passed with the drinks.”

Plans are already in the works for next year’s event, and there are rumblings of a venue change, so stay tuned. For more upcoming details on the 25th Annual IAEC-NY Fundraiser, check out www.iaec.org.  

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