A Commitment to WIN

In a ballroom festooned with silvery balloons floating above the dinner tables, Charla Lawhon seemed like she was aloft herself, dressed in a vibrant red Donna Karan gown...

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Kristin Chenoweth sang a rousing rendition of "Till There Was You" from "The Music Man." "It's my favorite musical," said the Tony award winner.

In addition, the Peter Jennings Prize for essay writing by children in WIN housing was awarded to Aneesa, who wrote on friendship. Iyana, a WIN client, gave her story of despair, hope and triumph. "Now, we're so happy. It's our own house. My daughter has her own space. We can go into our own refrigerator. My plan is to keep moving forward."

Ticket sales raised more than $1.4 million for WIN, which helps New York City homeless women and their families with housing, job training, domestic violence services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment and child care. Another $150,000 or so was raised on the spot, with a balloon designating each $100 donation. Liz Claiborne Inc. bought the most — 300 balloons in all. Karen Harvey, of Karen Harvey Consulting Group, committed to matching every dollar donated during the dinner up to $25,000. Also, in absentia, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed April 9 Women in Need day.
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