Pencils of Promise Annual Gala

Pencils of Promise Gala 2017:   A Portrait of a Dream

On December 7th, 600 guests gathered in Central Park to celebrate global education non-profit Pencils of Promise as they honored some of their most remarkable supporters, raised funds for their work in developing nations and highlight the amazing impact they have created. Guests arrived and mingled over passed appetizers and cocktails furnished by Chivas Regal.

PoP founder Adam Braun welcomed everyone and updated the crowd on the tremendous impact PoP has created. AEG Presents received the first honor of the night –  The Visionary Award. Lanoy Keosuvan then introduced this year’s Philanthropist Award Winner, Lewis Howes, whose work with PoP has impacted 35,000+ students. After guests enjoyed dinner, CNN Anchor Zain Asher presented her brother, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, with The Activist Award.

Next the evening went on to a lively auction, which included prizes like a chance to paint pottery with Gigi Hadid and the opportunity to be Chiwetel Ejiofor’s guest at The Lion King premiere. After the auction, Stuart Weitzman CMO Susan Duffy presented The Vanguard Award to supermodel Gigi Hadid who, through her partnership with Stuart Weitzman, has helped build six PoP Schools. Yolanda Hadid was on hand to accept the award on her daughter’s behalf. The evening ended with a lively performance by breakthrough artist Vic Mensa who is currently on tour with Jay-Z.

In all, the gala raised over $2,000,000 to fuel PoP’s mission of increasing access to quality education in developing communities. See below for photo highlights from the event!

Vic Mensa performs at the Pencils of Promise Annual Gala 2017

Rapper Vic Mensa and a crew of dancers performed onstage at this year’s PoP Gala (Photos by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Yolanda Hadid attends the Pencils of Promise Annual Gala 2017

Lewis Howes and Yolanda Hadid attend the PoP Gala 2017.

Chiwetel Ejiofor attends the Pencils of Promise Annual Gala 2017

Guests bid on auction items (left) and actor and Activist Award Honoree Chiwetel Ejiofor accepts award onstage during the Pencils of Promise Gala 2017.

Model Jourdana Phillips attends the Pencils of Promise Annual Gala 2017

Model Jourdana Phillips attends this year’s annual PoP Gala.

Pencils of Promise Annual Gala 2017

Dancers performde onstage (right) while DJ Justin Blau spun music at the PoP Gala 2017.