Saks hosts Nov. 29 Save the Children gala

Next Thursday, Nov. 29, Save the Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council will be throwing their annual fashion benefit, ‘A Festive Evening on the Avenue’ at Saks.

This will mark the event’s fourth anniversary, and true to form, it promises to be an entertaining night complete with fashion show, makeovers, and holiday shopping. All proceeds for the event will be going to Save the Children, to further their mission of education and relief for children worldwide. The event will be held at Saks’ 205 Greenwich Avenue location at 6:30 and the registration deadline for it is Nov. 25.

Save the Children is a prominent independent organization dedicating to helping children in need. Based in Westport, it was founded in 1932. It has programs in 120 countries, across six continents and aids over 64 million children and countless others, including caregivers, community members, and government agencies. Through improving the health, education and economic opportunities of children, they hope to raise the bar for quality of life.

“We work with a team of dedicated people who care deeply about making a better future for our kids, and their kids, and getting amazing results. It is a lot of work, bust the need of the day, you know a child somewhere is a little healthier, a little safer, and has a better shot at a happy life,” said Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children.

The Greenwich chapter of the organization, the Leadership Council (GLC) was born in 2006, led by founding members, Sue Mirza and Tasneem Ghogawala. Ms. Mirza and Ms. Ghogawala hoped to help raise awareness and funds for Save the Children and rallied all of their friends and acquaintances, to do their part.

“I first joined the GLC because of Tasmeem, who is both a friend and a force of nature. She saw the need that Save the Children was addressing, and really just made the GLC happen by sheer force of will. I couldn’t help getting caught up in her enthusiasm, and really got a sense for the incredible work that the organization does, both statewide and across the world,” Angelique Bell, GLC President told the Post this week.

Today, six years later, the Greenwich Leadership Council has about 40 active members, who were all instrumental in planning this year’s event. Also heavily involved in the event is the Teen Council, the group’s youth division. The teen council recruits its members from all schools throughout town, including both public and private schools.

Members of both councils not only played an indispensable part in organizing the event, but will also serve as opening act, as models in the fashion show.

The show, featuring models of all ages, and both Save the Children enthusiasts and volunteers, will be showcasing women’s clothing from Saks Fifth Avenue. As an added bonus for holiday shoppers, 10 percent of store sales from the evening will be donated to Save the Children.

The GLC sees themselves as incredibly fortunate to have this partnership with Saks. Employees of the store approached Liz O’Brien, co-chair of the event, about getting involved with the organization four years ago, and it’s now firmly cemented as a yearly tradition.

“It’s always fun to see the event come together, but in all honesty, Saks does all of the hard parts! They have been great to work with on the events, and have made it very easy for us,” said Ms. O’Brien.

In years past, the fashion benefit has raised between $5,000 and $10,000, with all proceeds going to a Save the Children program carefully chosen each year. In light of Hurricane Sandy, all funds raised this year will go towards disaster relief for individuals and areas impacted by the hurricane and the organization is setting up safe play areas in shelters in areas of New York and New Jersey severely affected by the storm.

“We choose a different program to focus on that we think needs attention. Earlier this year, we had chosen a program for the event, but once Hurricane Sandy hit, we knew we wanted to make it a priority. This is a change we made on the fly that we were really happy to be able to do,” said Ms. Bell.

Aside from the fashion benefit, the GLC has a rather full schedule on their plate. In addition to year round awareness and fundraising efforts, they also throw an annual mini marathon at Tod’s point, and a major gala every other year. Past galas have welcomed celebrity guests including actor Matt Damon, and Kathy Lee Gifford, a Greenwich resident, and Hoda Kotb of the Today Show.

There is also an annual meeting open to volunteers and the public, which takes an in-depth look at one of the many programs Save the Children offers. Guest speakers and Save the Children employees who work in the field, are on hand to share their experiences and knowledge. It’s an opportunity for people to learn more about the organization, from all different perspectives.

“We welcome involvement from anyone who cares about the world’s children. In addition to giving donations to our work, I urge people to get educated. Learn about issues that affect poor kids who live in your community or around the world, and become a voice for them,” said Ms. Miles.

Tickets for next Thursday’s event are available online for $20 and those unable to attend the event can still donate online through the Save the Children website.

Individuals can get more information about volunteering by attending any of Save the Children’s events, or by visiting the website at To purchase tickets to the benefit at Saks, visit

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