Joyful Heart Gala

Tuesday, 1 January 2008
New York, NY

Welcome to the first annual Joyful Heart Gala

The event was held at the IAC Building, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, and was the perfect backdrop to highlight Joyful Heart's pioneering programs.

Hosted by Joyful Heart Founder & President Mariska Hargitay and long time friend and Joyful Heart supporter Hilary Swank, the evening started with a cocktail party and red carpet arrivals including Chris Meloni, Stephanie March & Bobby Flay, Jill Hennessy, Mario Batali, Marcia Gay Harden, Joely Fisher and Kim Raver to name a few.

This event could not have happened without our amazing presenting sponsor, Capital One Bank. Capital One's commitment to organizations who work to raise awareness on sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse coupled with the vision to end the violence, sets an example for other companies, individuals and the community to stand up and take notice of these issues.

Joyful Heart Takes Center Stage

The evening's central moment was a moving video about Joyful Heart's evolution over the past five years. The video includes staggering statistics on sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, stories from participants of our retreat programs, along with amazing images by photographer and JHF staff member Lisa Denning. This video was a real labor of love. Produced and directed by one of JHF's talented board members, Andrea Buchanan, who worked with the JHF board, staff and generous editor/s and post productions houses all of which donated their time and talent. Please click here to watch the video.

First Annual Heart of Gold Award

After a wonderful meal (thanks to Taste Catering!), Mariska presented the first annual Heart of Gold Award to long time JHF sponsor and friend, Cristina Carlino. Cristina is the founder of philosophy, a lifestyle brand with a mission to inspire its customers to live in good health and great joy. philosophy believes that in the absence of health and wellness there can be no health and beauty.

The charitable division of philosophy inspires and encourages humankind to make a difference by supporting its cause-related products. philosophy partnered in 2006 with Joyful Heart to create a fabulous peony scented 3-in-1 shower gel that has sold over $100K to support Joyful Heart's programming. Building on the success of that product, Cristina worked with Mariska to create the Joyful Heart candle whose theme is gratitude for what you have - and intention around drawing to you what you want more in your life.

Visit the Heartshop to see the Joyful Heart Candle and Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath from philosophy. 100% of the proceeds of these products go directly to Joyful Heart.

Live Auction

After the award presentation, Lydia Fenet, auctioneer extraordinaire from Christie's, led a live auction including items from Sting, Sheryl Crow, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Mariska and the cast of SVU, gorgeous Karastan carpets, dinner and first edition books care of JHF's own best-selling crime novelist and board member Linda Fairstein and more. Due to Lydia's one of a kind personality (hilarious!), she was able to coax our wonderful attendee's out of $262,000. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed items and to those who so generously opened their hearts (and checkbooks!) to support our programs!

Musical Performances

With everyone riding high from the auction, the crowd was treated to two inspiring musical performances. Paula Fuga kicked off the entertainment. (

If you had to peg Paula into a certain musical genre, it would be almost impossible. But if you had to? Something like modern Hawaiian soul might suffice. Paula is fueled by the grit and glamour of love. She is as tortured by it as she is inspired. And this is why everyone can relate to her. She is complex, intelligent and real with the depth and passion to become an icon. In May, Paula released her self-produced, all original debut album, Lilikoi, a blend of tradition and evolution: soul and jazz-infused lyrics sprinkled with Hawaiian language, organic instruments like the nose flute and 'ukulele, and a voice filled with so much soul, you're guaranteed to become an instant fan. Paula flew in to support Joyful Heart and she played to a standing ovation of New Yorkers who could not get enough of her music! Paula is currently on tour with her good friend and fellow Hawaiian, Jack Johnson this fall.

For the evening's final performance, legendary Grammy award winner Shawn Colvin ( took the stage. Shawn's amazing career speaks for itself. Her voice mesmerized the crowd and the evening turned into the first ever Gala sing-along as Shawn's vocals and guitar led the room through one of her hit songs, Sony Came Home and then invited Paula Fuga back to do a finale duet of the great Bob Marley song Three Little Birds. Shawn took time out of her busy schedule to come to New York from her home in Austin to support Joyful Heart. We are so grateful to her for lending her voice to our first event. It would not have been the same without her.

After Party

As guests streamed out of the Gala, they were invited to an intimate dance party, spun by DJ David Chang, serving Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and sweets from Erica's Rugaleh.

Thank you, and good night!

On the way out, guests were given gift bags filled with treats from philosophy, me&ro and Erica's Rugaleh!

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