We were honored to once again welcome the stellar recipients of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor as Ellis Island played home to the 30 th anniversary grand celebration of this highly esteemed event in May. Otto Coca, Director of Media Communications for NECO – The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations says, “The Ellis Island Medals of Honor recognize American citizens, both naturalized and native-born, for their commitments to our country. We seek out those who embody the American Dream, while keeping close ties to their country of heritage. We named our Medal after Ellis Island as the Island is beloved and recognized throughout America and around the world as a symbol of hope, opportunity and the promise of freedom. There is no better place for our event than Ellis Island.”
We thank KJM Photography for these fantastic images from the event.
As our honored guests and their family members arrived by ferry at our Ellis Island event venue, they were greeted by dazzling entertainment…
…And welcomed by members of our United States military. 100+ Armed Forces participants represented all five branches of the military.
“The Great Hall was decked out in gold and rose tones, from lighting to table settings. It gave the evening a truly unique and elegant look for the event,” says Coca, who says that our own Patti Golden of Evelyn Hill, is “an important part of our event,” again working to coordinate the many facets of this charity gala at our NYC event venue.
“The Great Hall was decked out in gold and rose tones, from lighting to table settings. It gave the evening a truly unique and elegant look for the event,” says Coca.
“We had the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus from Fort Bragg, N.C. perform in our opening presentation,” and the Liberty Belles graced us with their dazzling, energetic performance.
Our 700 guests enjoyed a full service dinner, catered by Evelyn Hill Inc . and Great Performances “Serving a full dinner service to 700 guests on Ellis Island is daunting, but we are delighted in the service and attention the staffs of Evelyn Hill, Inc and Great Performances provided,” says Coca who named the cheesecake with blueberry compote and a soufflé-like ‘Chocolate Heaven’ as standout dessert dishes. “Several family groups took advantage of a photo room and step-n-repeat we set-up in one the museum exhibit rooms.”
Among the recipients of the 2016 Ellis Island Medals of Honor were former Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, Padma Lakshmi, Tony Orlando, WPIX News anchor, Tamsen Fadal, ABC weatherman, Bill Evans, the legendary NCAA head baseball coach Augie Garrido, Wendy’s Restaurants co-founder, I. Lorraine Thomas. 10-time Emmy Award winner from the WPIX-NY, Marvin Scott, returned as our Master of Ceremonies. See the complete list of 2016 Ellis Island Medals of Honor recipients here.
Coca mentions one of the notable award presentations: “We recognized Beriska von Mandl and her son, Anthony von Mandl as International Medalists. They are both Canadian citizens. Ms. v. Mandl immigrated through Ellis Island in 1933, escaping the war in Europe. This was the first time she returned to Ellis Island since then and she proudly turned 100 just days before our event.”
The 2016 Ellis Island Medals of Honor celebration was capped off by a spectacular fireworks show. “As we departed for Battery Park, our guests enjoyed a 10-minute fireworks spectacular designed and executed by the legendary Grucci family,” says Coca.
Coca notes the following vendors for their excellent work on this event: “Ronnie Davis of Ronnie Davis Productions , the special events division of NYC events company Great Performances . Robyn Henry of NYC event company Production Glue , who works closely with Ronnie, was our Event Management lead. William Haviland of Bestek has provided us with over a decade of service and support in lighting, sound, and stage design. Rocky Sconda of Main Attractions www.mainattractions.com, has done our tent design and set-up for years.
We applaud the good works of the 2016 Ellis Island Medals of Honor; their presence at our historic landmark venue showed the best of so many different fields, and the beauty of family as our recipients’ loved ones glowed with pride at each medal recipient’s big moment. We also thank the many admirable and esteemed NYC event professionals who worked tirelessly to make this event a truly unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience for all.
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