The International HUG Foundation

2013 Benefit Gala: An Evening of Hope, Celebration

On April 29, 2013, the i.HUG Foundation hosted its 6th Annual Benefit Gala at the National Arts Club in New York City. This year’s Gala raised nearly $25,000—bringing education, health, and hope to children in need in Uganda.


The Annual Benefit Gala has become i.HUG’s signature event, inspiring supporters to celebrate the change they are promoting in children’s lives on the ground in Africa. The funds raised at the 2013 Gala are critically needed and help support the basic needs of nearly 130 children and their families that the organization serves. 


“Children need more than just school fees to succeed,” said Mandy Hickling, i.HUG’s President, in her evening address. “They need food, medical care, and importantly, love and support from the people around them. This is how i.HUG makes a difference.”


Over the past 6 years, the funding raised by the Annual Benefit Gala has provided important support to the project, enabling the growth of i.HUG’s work in Uganda, and giving supporters an annual touchpoint to gather and connect to the change and progress on the ground.


A moving video, created by i.HUG Board Member and longtime Gala Chair Lynn Serra, illustrated the importance of i.HUG’s work and brought tears to the eyes of more than a few Gala attendees. Another new feature this year was an oversized puzzle, where supporters could purchase a piece, and in so doing, help the children in i.HUG’s program. A moving a cappella performance was performed by Will & Anthony Nunziata. []


Many thanks goes to Lynn Serra for her hard work and dedication, which has been instrumental to the event. Thanks also goes to the 2013 Gala Co-chairs Rebecca Shineman, Krista Mehlbach and Kelly Thomas as well as other volunteers, who gave their time and energy to see that the evening was enjoyed by all.


2013 Gala Committee: Kara Baranski, Rachel Berry, Katie Caporta, Aviva Grinnell, Lisa Haber, Hana Jung, Liz Liu, Kate Maloney, Danielle McGurran, Heather Mikesell, Christina Shkreli, Bryn Smith, Erica Tarnoff, Sarah Wharton, Maggie Wong, Mary Yam-Wong, Jasmine Yang and special thanks to Rebecca Greenfield for donating her time to photograph the event;

For photos of the event, please visit i.HUG on Facebook.