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A Renewal of Truman Capote’s classic Black & White Ball but with a Twist


When: Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Where: Waldorf Astoria Hotel – Starlight Roof 301 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022


Who: This project is spearheaded by John A. Catsimatidis, Maurice R. Greenberg, Yue-Sai Kan, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Host Committee Jean Shafiroff,  Jonathan and Somers Farkas, Leonard Judy Lauder, Margo & James L. Nederlander, Larry and Wendy Rockefeller, Richard Silverman, Hon. Peter Vallone, Elizabeth B. Wang


Special Guest: Aysa Johnson, Principal of the first official “New York City Friends of the Panda” School.



“The Pandas Are Coming to NYC”, is a registered non-profit dedicated to bringing two breed-able Giant Pandas to New York City. The organization is hosting its first ever Black & White Panda Ball (a nod to Truman Capote) in an effort to raise funds to build a freestanding Panda Pavilion and Habitat in Central Park. This project will be beneficial to NYC on both an economic and political level. Not only will this endeavor benefit Chinese-American relations; the Panda’s new permanent home will also be a popular tourist attraction, acting as an economic spark plug for the neighborhood that houses the Panda Pavilion.
This project is a longtime idea of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “The greatest city on earth deserves to be the home to iconic creatures like Giant Pandas; they are said to bring good luck and good cheer – both of which our City can use more of” she says. Always a forward thinking leader of New York City, the Congresswoman was ahead of her time when she fought for funds to complete the 2nd Avenue Subway in order to best serve her constituency. Now, due to an invaluable collaboration with international business, cultural and political leaders John A. Catsimatidis, Maurice R. Greenberg and Yue-Sai Kan, “Pandas Are Coming to NYC” aims to break ground on this undertaking with overwhelming support from the New York community including Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo.


Photos by Rose Billings



John Catsimatidis and Stephen Baldwin


Joe Piscopo


Ambassador Zhang Qiyue Consul General and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney


Melissa Kassis, Charlie Rangel, and Michael Travin.


First elected to Congress in 1992, Carolyn B. Maloney is recognized as a national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She is a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (where she serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Ranking House member of the Joint Economic Committee. In the House Democratic Caucus, she serves as a Regional Whip (she served as Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in the 112th Congress). Maloney has authored and passed more than 70 measures, either as stand-alone bills or as language incorporated into larger bills. Ten bills Maloney authored or co-authored were signed into law at formal Presidential Signing Ceremonies, either as a standalone bill or part of a larger bill.


Her career has been a series of firsts. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Councilmanic district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Only 18 women in history have chaired Congressional committees.


On the House Financial Services Committee, she has worked to modernize financial services laws and regulations, strengthen consumer protections, and institute more vigilant oversight of the safety and soundness of our nation’s banking industry. In the 114th Congress, she was selected by her Committee colleagues to be Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. She continues her membership on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit (which she chaired in the 109th and 110th Congresses, and where she served as Ranking Member in the 112th Congress), and joins the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

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Maloney served on the historic conference committee for the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, which also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (the Credit CARD Act) was signed into law by President Obama in Spring of 2009. As a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Maloney legislation has helped government work more efficiently and has saved hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.


As co-founder of the House 9/11 Commission Caucus, Maloney helped author and pass legislation which created the 9/11 Commission and, later, to implement all of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for improving intelligence gathering—described as the most influential intelligence bill in decades.  The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Care and Compensation Act, her bill to provide health care and compensation for 9/11 first responders, residents and workers near Ground Zero passed Congress in late 2010 was signed into law by President Obama January 2, 2011. The Zadroga Act’s World Trade Center Health Program was permanently extended, and an additional $4.6 billion was provided to fully fund the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 signed into law December 18, 2015.


A champion for domestic and international women’s issues, Maloney helped pass legislation that targets the ‘demand’ side of sex trafficking; provides annual mammograms for women on Medicare; the Debbie Smith Act which increases funding for law enforcement to process DNA rape kits, termed ‘the most important anti-rape legislation in history.’ Her legislation to create Women’s Health Offices in five Federal agencies was part of the landmark health care reform legislation signed by President Obama.


New York City has no stronger advocate in Congress than Maloney. She has delivered over $7 billion in federal aid to New York City just in the last ten years, including hundreds of millions of dollars each for two of the largest transit construction projects in the nation, the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access project, both of which run through her district, and have helped create thousands of  jobs in New York. Most recently, over $300 million in federal grants were directed to high speed rail improvement projects in the Sunnyside Rail Yards in Queens, which will help remove a bottleneck toward high speed rail in the Northeast Corridor.




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