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Highlights of CHC’s unforgettable centennial gala!

Thank you all for being part of Hear for the Future—the Center for Hearing and Communication’s highly anticipated, fundraising event celebrating 100 years of leadership and innovation in hearing health care. For those who were unable to make it to 583 PARK AVENUE for the event (and those who did but want to relive the magic), here are the many highlights of the gala. Enjoy!

Access the photo galleries by photographer Richard Koek and Guest of a Guest.

Incredible Support of Our Donors

The Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) raised over $1 million at the gala thanks to the generous support of approximately 400 donors. All proceeds will benefit children and adults with hearing loss. The gala’s success reaffirms CHC’s leadership role as we begin a second century of service. We express deep appreciation for the leadership and support of our Centennial Co-Chairs Ellen Berelson and Shelley Einhorn.

President’s Address

In his welcoming remarks, CHC Board President Jeffrey M. Cohen acknowledged the extraordinary work of CHC’s professional staff of 50 as well as the benefactors whose generosity makes CHC’s countless programs and services possible. His address began with a reference to the founding of our organization in 1910.

“100 years ago, a teacher named Edward Nitchie dedicated himself to helping deaf people. But what you need to know is that he was an innovator and a problem-solver. To Nitchie, not being able to hear music or the sounds of nature was deprivation. Not being able to understand spoken language was calamity…” 

Presentation by Kassie DePaiva

One Life to Live star (and CHC Board member) Kassie DePaiva spoke movingly about her experiences raising a child with severe hearing loss and the incredible support she and her family received at CHC. Her son, at ease at center stage, addressed the audience as well, and she concluded her presentation with an original song dedicated to him.

Evening’s Host

The charismatic and caring host for the evening was Bill Ritter ofChannel 7 Eyewitness News. Bill is a longstanding supporter of our organization, and he spoke to the crowd about some of the unique services we provide such as free hearing screenings and our Mobile Hearing Tesat Unit based in New York City.

Centennial Video

An 8 minute video called Hear for the Future introduced guests to some of our skilled clinicians whose experience and expertise are renowned in the hearing industry. The video also included CHC clients who shared their stories. Among them, NYU student Mariella who has received services here since she lost her hearing at the age of 7 due to meningitis.

Gala Honoree

CHC Board Vice President Steven Peikin presented Dr. Noel Cohen with the Centennial Award for his groundbreaking vision and clinical excellence in cochlear implant surgery. A CHC Board Member for 25 years, Dr. Noel L Cohen, M.D. is Professor of Otolaryngology at NYU School of Medicine and highly respected in the industry (as evidenced by the enthusiastic standing ovation).

Live Auction

Nicholas Dawes of Antiques Roadshow masterfully conducted a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and prizes that raised more than $150,000. Items on the auction block included a commemorative bronze sculpture, The Secret, donated by artist Tom Otterness. Best of all, guests supported the fund-a-cause portion of the auction to the tune of $40,000. That will fund hearing screenings via our Mobile Unit for up to 1,000 preschoolers in underserved neighborhoods throughout NYC.

Dear Friend,

At each place setting, guests found a note card with a handwritten message by a client expressing appreciation for the support received at CHC. Here is one of many heartfelt messages.

Dear Friend,

We owe it to CHC for what Paige has become. She was molded into a confident, respectful, enthusiastic, and optimistic child while facing everyday challenges of hearing and comprehension. A million thanks to everyone! Truly no words can express our gratitude for the unfailing hard work, genuine love and care to all the children as well as the families at CHC! Thank you.

– Paige’s family

Corporate Sponsors and Partners

The Gala is made possible, in part, by the support of our corporate sponsors, many of whom have been caring partners for a decade or longer. Thank you to Gold and Silver Level Corporate sponsors Bloomberg, Oticon, and Phonak as well as Wine Spectator and the beverage sponsors who make the evening sparkle. Heartfelt gratitude for the incredible restaurants who year after year rise to the occasion and work their culinary magic for our fall fundraising event.


A trio of red-hot performers put on great show! American Idol phenomenon Crystal Bowersox worked her magic with just a guitar and her incredible voice, leaving the audience cheering. Comedian Christian Finnegan added a welcome dose of levity to the evening while multi-platinum recording artist Joey McIntyre closed the show with style and a touch of Broadway. Thanks to all the performers for making this event so special.

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