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New Yorkers for Children

The esteemed organization celebrates 15 years of achievement at its annual fall gala

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Victor Cruz, Rachel Roy, Jemima Kirke and more stepped out Tuesday night for the New Yorkers for Children (NYFC) annual fall gala. Lead by NYC Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta since 1996, NYFC has helped children and teens in foster care “catch up to their peers” by offering college preparation classes, leadership development programs and a wide network of support.

“None of us in this room succeeded alone,” said honorary board member Michael J. Dowling, who received the evening’s top honor. “We have all been helped along the way. Each one of us have benefited by new experiences made available to us. It is so important that we always remember everybody has potential—irrespective of circumstance and irrespective of tribulations.”

As president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, it was Dowling’s sincere gesture to NYFC scholar and newly minted college graduate Crystal Cameron that captured the largest round of applause.

“You remember Crystal. She is now a nurse. She is now looking for work,” Dowling said. “Crystal, you have a job. We need wonderful nurses and you will make a terrific addition.”

Following the moving speeches made by students and board members alike, guests at the Chloe and David Yurman sponsored bash like Julie Henderson, Lindsay Ellingson and Selita Ebanks rose to their feet as R&B pop star Estelle closed out the night with a trio of classic songs, including one uplifting vocal performance of “Conqueror.”

“What New Yorkers for Children does for young people is amazing,” said Ebanks. “My greatest hope for children in foster care is to realize their current position does not have to define their future. They are not invisible. We see them and they will grow up to become super successful individuals.” As a young woman who grew up in foster care herself, the supermodel was just one of many who served as a beautiful example.

Click through the gallery of pictures from the gala.