Reality stars, models, photographers, and PR geniuses oh my! That was the scene last night when New York’s thirty and thriving converged at the Fletcher Sinclair Mansion, on East 79th street for the 2013 Hope Gala to benefit Maya’s Hope.
TBB first became involved with the organization run by Maya Rowencak last November when our good friend Amy Laurent brought us to their last Hope Gala. Since then Maya and her volunteers have become very near and dear to us. Rowencak works tirelessly to aid orphans in the Ukraine, many who are disabled. She travels back and forth to hold these children and love them as if they were her own. It was the loss of her own mother that ignited in Rowencak the desire to make a difference in the lives of orphans. It is the love and appreciation that her beneficiaries give to her that keep that flame going.
The efforts of Maya’s Hope go beyond the love and care that Rowencak shows these children. Through their work the organization has raised funds that provide caregivers and vast physical therapies for these kids. Guests are moved to tears as a video shown proves the evidence of their work is undeniably amazing. Massage therapists soothe six year old Margarita who can barely move her own body. Though she spends most of her days confined to a crib, she smiles and coos as Maya pinches her cheeks. Every child in the presentation lights up when Maya is around. It’s not surprising that her contemporaries have the same reaction.
Co-chairman Todd Harris Wolf introduced Maya. He related the story of how he got involved when he saw a video of Maya playing catch with one of her children. “We all have so much,” he said to the crowd, ” and here was this boy who was so happy just to get a ball.”
Sponsored by an extensive and exclusive list of brands, the evening was, as Rowencak described on her Facebook, “magical.” Those who came out in support included Bravolebrities past and present; Sonja Morgan, Amy Laurent, Amanda Bertoncini,Chanel Omari,Robin Kassner and Liz Margulies; Mobwives’ Karen Gravano and Love Majewski; PR bigshots The Von Boozier Twins; Social Life Magazine Executive Director Matthew Berritt; Housewives hair stylist and king of clip in extensions Julius Michael, photographer Andrew Werner, and gender bending model Elliot Sailors. The guest of honor was 91 year old nun Sister Bernarda who has been an inspiration to Rowencak.
The attendees weren’t the only stars. The venue is the home to the Ukranian Institute of America, as well as the setting for the cult film Cruel Intentions. The Fletcher Sinclair was filmed as the residence of Sebastian and Kathryn.
The famous and infamous aside, the true superstars of the evening were the kids. We all gathered for them and Rowencak, along with Harris Wolf, and Chairman of the Board Michael Meltzer made it all happen. As one follower on Rowencak’s Facebook stated, “Those kids will have a good year because of you.” Maya Rowencak is an example that a woman inspired by the needs of others is an inspiration for us all.
To learn more about Maya’s Hope visit their website MayasHope.org .
All comments on this article qualify for our October Housewife Hot Item Giveaway! Details here!