The first annual “Moonlight Gala” benefiting CARE – Children with Special Needs – took place at Casa Cipriani on Thursday, June 23rd in the Great Hall ballroom. The gala was hosted by notable real estate developer Michael Cayre, artist Roy Nachum and their new MegaMoon Museum along with hospitality great Richie Akiva, investor Patrick Finnegan and art dealer Helly Nahmad. The gala honored Ivan Soto-Wright of MoonPay and Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX. A headlining performance took place by Grammy-winning recording artist Miguel, with opening remarks by Mayor Eric Adams and CARE founder Meyer Safdieh with wife Victoria Safdieh. The program was MC’d by retail real estate mogul and respected philanthropist Harry Adjmi and took place at Casa Cipriani, who also played a huge part in hosting the gala.
The impressive 450-person gala, hosted by Cayre, Nachum and Akiva, raised over $7 Million dollars for CARE organization. Hospitality and nightlife entrepreneur Richie Akiva who chaired the evening also spoke on stage during the gala about his work with CARE and hosted the afterparty which followed in the concourse ballroom, featuring DJ sets by Juske and Rachel Winters. Other committee chair members included notable art dealer Helly Nahmad, investor Patrick Finnegan, celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz and Sophie Cohen.
Additional VIPS and talent in attendance included Paolo Zampolli, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gigi Hadid, Evan Mock, Moj Mahdara, Luma Grothe, Jacob Arabo, Patrick Carroll, Bo Dietl, Margo Urban, Eytan Rockaway, Ju Wong, Cami Tellez, Gabby Westbrook, Inga Rubenstein, Marta Pozzan, Nastya Swan, Sophie Sumner, Madi Webb, Natalia Bulycheva, Susanne Knipper, Julia Banas, Regitze Christensen, Mary Leest, Giuseppe Giofre, Enly Tammela and many more.
Event partners included FTX, Akiva’s new SOCIETE ultra-exclusive membership club, Vito Schnabel Gallery, Jacob & Co., Give Well, Moonpay, MegaMoon Museum and MegaMoon Crown Kids.
Due to the generosity of attendees, CARE is facilitating grants to over 18 diverse organizations including: Make-A-Wish, Columbia University Pediatrics, Child Mind Institute and Reach For The Stars Learning Center, among many others.
The evening’s live auction was led by Sotheby’s and featured incredible artwork including: original pieces from Vito Schnabel Gallery by Jordy Kerwick ($75k value) and Fransesco Clemente ($150k value), an Alec Monopoly “Godfather” painting ($120k value), an Enoc Perez “Untitled 2014” and Martin Mull “Black Moshanon 2000” courtesy of Tico Mugrabi (Valued at $66k), and two original Peter Tunney pieces, “It’s All Good” and “Show Me The Monet,” (Valued at $110k). The live auction featured high end watches such as an Astronomia Solar Planets Zodiac luxury watch by Jacob Arabo (Jacob & Co) valued at $350k, a Patek Philippe 6168G Blue Dial watch ($165k value) and both a Rolex GMT Master II 2022 ($25k value) and Rolex Cellini King Midas ($25k), all courtesy of Allan Mendlowitz. The auction also included one-of-a-kind experiences such as a private box suite for 18 to see Harry Styles at MSG courtesy of Al Palagonia ($50k value), a private jet + trip to Bacalar, Mexico for four nights with three luxury villas at Habitas ($125k value), a NYFW experience with supermodel Gigi Hadid including two runaway seats and a backstage meet and greet plus dressing for the show by her celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell, and a multi-day lavish staycation package for two nights in the Presidential Suite at Casa Cipriani inclusive of dinner for two and in-room massages for two in the $7k per night luxury suite ($25k value).
On the NFT front, MegaMoon Museum auctioned off an original Roy Nachum “Moon Ranger” oil painting, digital video and NFT combination package ($550k value), followed by a BAYC NFT Bored Ape courtesy of FTX, with a rarity score of over 340, which went for $460k.
MegaMoon Museum, the evening’s title sponsor, founded by Nachum and Cayre, is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of digital art and NFTs. The museum, located in New York City, will provide the largest immersive space for the creative community and will be the first institutional space to educate, exhibit and sell NFTs, located at the base of The World Trade Center directly across from Oculus, set to open in 2023, with architecture by Mercer Project.
The ”Moonlight Gala” evening kicked off with a beautiful cocktail reception on the North Loggia and Great Hall atrium, following the multi-course dinner at Casa Cipriani in the lavish ballroom highlighted by their signature branzino. Designed and produced by event planner Norma Cohen, the gala greeted guests by an entryway flooded with candles, blue metallic accents and violinists. The cocktail hour was set to a string quartet and a multi-piece band greeted guests as they entered the extravagant ballroom of blue aesthetic, reflective of the “Moonlight Gala” thematic.
Following dinner, a touching video presentation by CARE founders Meyer Safdieh with his wife Victoria Safdieh took place, followed by the Sotheby’s live auction, closing remarks by host Michael Cayre, and an incredible performance by Grammy-winning recording artist Miguel to finish out the evening’s programming, before transitioning into the afterparty space.
CARE’s Mission is to help parents of children with autism, seizures, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, development delay and undiagnosed disorders. Families turn to CARE as the multitude of challenges affect them and their family for the first step. They meet with each family and customize a plan, offering emotional and material support, holding their hand through their journey, offering grants to qualifying families. Some examples of support include school placement guidance, volunteers to the home, counseling referrals and support groups, assisting to coordinate state funding for the families with nursing, SSI, comhab and more, help secure eligibility for the government services and programs, etc.