By Allison Zisko
NEW YORK–Gift industry executives gathered here for a multipurpose soiree: to celebrate its 16th annual Gift for Life party to benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the kindness and generosity of three of its members: Paulette Cole, Will Little and Sheila Charton.
The trio joined a long list of dedicated gift executives who gather annually in conjunction with the New York International Gift Fair to support AIDS research. The event raised $225,000 through ticket sales, donations and a silent auction.
Cole, chief executive officer of ABC Carpet & Home, received the Outstanding Industry Achievement award. “Her remarkable eye for aesthetics is matched only by her compassion,” said Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of amfAR. Cole, who is well known for her socially conscious business practices, made a $32,000 donation to amfAR.
Little, of George Little Management, received the Chuck Yancy Lifetime Achievement award. Frost called Little “a giant in the industry and a titan in supporting amfAR.”
Charton, senior director of leasing at 7 W New York, was given the Bert Tonkin Gift of Giving award. Charton formerly worked for amfAR. “When you honor Sheila, you honor me,” Frost said. “We’re enormously proud of her.”
After listening to a musical performance by Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, who is currently appearing in “Young Frankenstein” on Broadway, attendees enjoyed dinner and dancing. Many snuck away for a few minutes to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl, which played on big-screen televisions on the upper level of the restaurant.