Thursday, May 23 -- The New England Regional Office of UNICEF USA once again hosted their annual UNICEF Gala Boston at The Castle. The event honored Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events with the Children’s Champion Award for his tireless work for UNICEF. Over the course of the evening, guests enjoyed powerful speeches made by UNICEF USA President & CEO Caryl M. Stern and Matthew Bane, Managing Director of the New England Regional Office for UNICEF USA.
UNICEF's Fifthteenth Annual UNICEF Gala Boston
Over 300 guests attended the gala, at which they raised nearly 1.3 million during the UNICEF auction. Attendees bid on everything from mosquito nets to protect against malaria; HIV/AIDS test kits to prevent the spread of the disease; and a field visit to a third world country to see UNICEF’s life-changing work first hand. The goal before the fundraiser was to reach $1.1 million which means that the attendees raised over $100,000 beyond the goal.
The night’s honoree, Bryan Rafanelli, took the stage to accept his award towards the end of the night. He thanked his family, friends, and his devoted partner, for their support throughout his career. It is fitting that Pride Month for Boston is right around the corner as we celebrate the huge successes of an openly gay man. Rafanelli remarked that his catalyst for starting his charity work began in the 80’s, during the AIDS crisis. Some of his first charity events were fundraisers for the AIDS crisis, and his work in curating mission-driven fundraisers didn’t stop there. He has since provided events for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Dana-Farber Cancer institute, the American Red Cross, Americares, UNICEF, to only name a few. It is hard to imagine a more deserving recipient of the Children’s Champion Award than Mr. Rafanelli.
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UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. Donate today: unicefusa.org