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Robin Williams. Photo by: Steve Mack


Robin Williams. Photo by: Steve Mack


Stand Up for Heroes The Bob Woodruff Family Fund Benefit


New York City. It was both a heartfelt and star-studded
celebrity filled evening at The New York Comedy Festival
(NYCF) partnered with The Bob Woodruff Family Fund
(BWFF). The true stars of the evening were our nation’s
service men and women returning from the conflicts in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Hundreds of service members attended
Stand Up for Heroes, first ever benefit that took place at New
York’s Historic Town Hall.
On this momentous occasion civilians from all walks of society,
media, entertainment, sports, fashion, finance, philanthropy,
and health care industries joined forces with our nation’s
heroes from the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and
Coast Guard, to pay tribute, and to support and raise awareness
for our nation’s injured service members. The message
was loud and clear, “We are here to Support the Heroes who
have supported our nation. We Salute You!” While greeting
the audience, Bob Woodruff joined by his wife Lee said, “This
is not a political cause. Left, right, and center, no matter how
you feel about this war, this is all about how we treat the
wounded right here whenthey return.”
NBC’s Conan O’Brien hosted the evening’s festivities. Others
contributing the ‘healing power of humor’ were Lewis Black,
Brian Regan and Academy award winning actor and comedian
Robin Williams. The ‘Boss’, Bruce Springsteen added the
‘healing power of music’ by performing some songs, with harmonica
and guitar, one of which was Thunder Road. Bruce
added the real rumble of thunder to the evening when he
briefly started (against the Sotheby’s auctioneer’s plea) his
chrome and white 1991 Harley Davidson Fat Boy that he
donated for the live auction, proving to the audience that it
was indeed Born to Run. Imagine the thunderous applause
from the crowd when the motorcycle fetched $85,000 for the
BWFF! Another thrill came when an announcement was
made that Helen K. Persson of Palm Beach, an 89 year old
former Navy Nurse from WWII who took care of the wounded
in the South Pacific, donated $1,000,000. Mrs. Persson and
her late husband, Mr. A. Theodore Persson share Bob and
Lee Woodruff’s alma mater, Colgate University. Rene
Bardorf, said, “As the Executive Director of the BWFF and
the wife of an active duty Marine, I am enormously grateful
for Mrs. Persson’s support of our wounded and their families”.
Adding, “Mrs. Persson wishes to treat all service members
and their families as if they are her own family”. The
fundraising part of the evening was a great success and it is
just the beginning, the first step on the road to recovery.

ABC co-anchor of World News Tonight, Bob Woodruff and
camera man Doug Vogt were nearly killed in 2006 when an
improvised explosive device (IED) exploded. Bob was the
first American news anchor to be wounded in a war zone.
Both men suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) the signature
injury of the Iraq war.

Bob and Doug are lucky to be alive.
Bob and Lee published a book called, In an Instant: A
Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. I believe the power
and presence of love and healing were felt by everyone in
attendance. The New York Comedy Festival is sponsored by Caroline’s on Broadway,
The Bob Woodruff Family Fund works with private industry
and government to develop public awareness and excellence
in research, education, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support
and resources for the injured and their families as they
reintegrate to duty or civilian life. Proceeds from the evening
and on line auction go to the BWFF. For more information
please visit: or contact Sara Herbert-Galloway:


To list an upcoming event please contact


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