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6_Karen King, Bernadette Milito, Francesca Braschi, Emilie Puzio, Mary Ann Mastroianni_Credit Annie Watt

On April 4th, A Chance In life, formerly known as the Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy, hosted their Annual New York Gala at The Pierre where they raised over $1,000,000 to help refugee, migrant, and at-risk youth from all over the world.

A Chance In Life’s President and Executive Director Mr. Gabriele Delmonaco joined Gala Chair Countess Francesca Braschi, and Gala Dinner Committee members Karen King, Bernadette Milito, and John Salvato in welcoming guests including the organization’s Chairman Dr. Mauro Romita, and special supporters Tony Danza, Jan Chipman, and Charles S. Gucciardo, and Herb Cohen.


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The nights Honorary Committee consisted of The Honorable Charles E. Schumer – U.S. Senator of the State of New York, His Excellency Armando Varricchio – Ambassador of Italy to the United State of America, Francesco Genuardi – Italian Consul General of NY, and Maurizio Forte – Italian Trade Commission.

Following the cocktail hour, 250 guests including the remaining Committee members, Paula Cangialosi, Mary Ann Mastroianni, and Emilie Puzio joined Ms. King in singing the National Anthem before Father Teshome Fikre performed the invocation.

Mr. Delmonaco gave the introduction to A Chance in Life video that demonstrated the organizations work in the past 12-months before Board Member, Robert Iommazzo talked about the “Michelangelo D’oro Award“. He expressed that the award is organization highest honor and is presented only to people who have contributed in an outstanding fashion to the welfare of children. He then called the Mr. Genuardi, to the stage who introduced the recipient of the award, Frank Bisignano, CEO of First Data Corporation. Mr. Bisignanio then said; “thank you for your time, as your time is the greatest resource.”


Following the ceremony, guests donated to A Chance In Life with the evening’s highest bid coming from Frank Bisignano with a $150,000 donation.

Guests then took to the dance floor to the sounds of The New York Star Orchestra before Countess Braschi gave closing remarks by thanking the Gala’s Committee and the Board of Directors, and ending with Monsignor’s motto “Every time you wipe away a tear from the eye of a child you light a star in the sky”. All attendees then departed with gift bags containing Rosenblum Cellars wine and Colavita Olive Oil.

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A Chance in Life, founded in 1945 by Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing to provide in his words, “a chance in life” to vulnerable and orphaned children in post-World War II Italy. Seven decades later, BGTI’s unique approach of self-government has given a chance in life to more than 32,000 young people. In 2016, the organization was renamed to its current moniker, Boys’ & Girls’ in India where they support over 900 children living in extremely remote and poor tribal areas of Kerala. Monsignor Carroll-Abbing always said, “Wherever there are children suffering, we should be there.”


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