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Black Tie International:
New York Cares 2014 Winter Benefit
Diana Tamashiro Folla.  Photo by:  Abasi Aniton
 Honoree, Diana Tamashiro Folla, this year’s “Young Leader Extraordinaire”
Photo by:  Abasi Aniton
New York Cares

2014 Winter Benefit

Raises Over $1.2 Million
Neil Jacob, Oxford Propertires, Michael Graham, OMERS, Gary Bagley, New York Cares, Rheal Ranger, Oxford Properties, David Finstad, OMERS.  Photo by:  Nelson Wong
Neil Jacob, Oxford Propertires, Michael Graham, OMERS, Gary Bagley, New York Cares, Rheal Ranger, Oxford Properties, David Finstad, OMERS.  Photo by:  Nelson Wong


(New York, NY, December 16, 2014) – New York Cares, the largest volunteer management organization in New York City, celebrated its 2014 Winter Benefit on Monday, December 15th at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan. The evening drew 550 guests and raised more than $1.2 million. Funds raised at the Winter Benefit support the thousands of programs New York Cares creates each year to respond to the needs of disadvantaged New Yorkers.  


This year, New York Cares honored OMERS for the significant fundraising and volunteer efforts of its New York office. With fewer than 40 employees, the OMERS New York office has raised more than $100,000 for New York Cares in the past three years. There has been 100% participation in fundraising and volunteer efforts, which include working with students in a low-income New York neighborhood, assisting revitalization efforts at Gantry Plaza State Park, and participating in the coat drive for people affected by Hurricane Sandy.


OMERS is one of Canada’s largest pension plans and makes investments on behalf of its members through operating investment entities Borealis Infrastructure, OMERS Capital Markets, OMERS Private Equity and Oxford Properties Group.


“OMERS is focused on providing sustainable pensions for workers in the province of Ontario, and we place a strong emphasis on giving back to the communities where we live and work. Our support for New York Cares is 100% employee-driven, with every member of our New York-based team participating in efforts including personal giving and volunteer initiatives. New York Cares is making a meaningful, positive impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at-risk, and we are proud to receive their recognition,” said Michael Graham, Executive Managing Director at OMERS Private Equity.


“New York Cares is delighted to recognize and honor the outstanding efforts of our corporate partner, OMERS.  Their generous participation in fundraising and commitment to volunteerism have played a critical role in helping New York Cares meet the pressing needs of over 400,000 at-risk New Yorkers this past year,” said Paul J. Taubman,  Board President, New York Cares.


New York Cares also honored Diana Tamashiro Folla as this year’s “Young Leader Extraordinaire.” Diana, 22, is a first-generation American born in New York, two years after her parents moved from Brazil. She was the beneficiary of free SAT preparation courses offered by New York Cares.


Diana comes from a hard-working family that highly values education.  As a high school student, Diana knew that to attend the college of her dreams, she would need SAT scores high enough to help her win much needed scholarship funds. With the tutoring assistance of a New York Cares volunteer, Diana’s SAT scores rose 400 points. This past spring she graduated from Cornell, her top choice school. She is currently based in Madrid, where she is teaching English before applying to graduate school.


“The fact that New York Cares makes a story like mine possible for more than 1,000 high school juniors every year is truly amazing. The free SAT preparation course is only one of the many ways that New York Cares is there for struggling New Yorkers when they need it most,” said Ms. Folla.


“Diana’s success is a shining example of how an individual’s hard work, paired with the dedicated volunteers in our SAT preparation program, can result in a degree from a prestigious college. We are thrilled to honor Diana, and we wish her continued success,” said Gary Bagley, Executive Director of New York Cares.


New York Cares was delighted to once again welcome Harold Ford, Jr., former Congressman from Tennessee, as the evening’s emcee, and NBA legend Bob Lanier as the always lively and talented auctioneer.  


About New York Cares

New York Cares is New York City’s largest volunteer management organization. New York Cares runs vital programs for 1,300 nonprofits, public schools, and city agencies to help people in need throughout the five boroughs, and does so at no cost to the recipient organizations. Since 1987, New York Cares has made it easy for all New Yorkers to work together to strengthen the city; last year, we provided critical services to more than 400,000 at-risk New Yorkers. For more information, visit



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