Powerful women who care converged in New York City on May 3 to make a difference! Animal Fair’s own Wendy Diamond attended the United Cerebral Palsy of New York (UCP of NYC)’s Women Who Care luncheon. The annual event supports UCP of NYC, an organization founded by Loreen Arbus, daughter of ABC founder Leonard H. Goldenson, in honor of her older sister, who suffered from Cerebral Palsy.
The Women Who Care luncheon honors female role models who are extraordinarily accomplished and passionately devoted to giving back to their communities. This year’s event honored Evanescene’s Amy Lee, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, and CEOs Patricia Duff (The Common Good), Barbara Annis (Barbara Annis Associates), and Margaret Puddington (founder of Coalition of Families for Direct Support Staff). The luncheon was held at Cipriani on 42nd Street, and featured celebrity presenters including soap opera actress Susan Lucci, ABC news anchor Paula Zahn, and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Ellen Levine, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines, served as honorary chair of the event. Other Notables included Paola Garzoni, Fox 5’s Mike Woods, Tamsen Fadal, Ted Turner, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, PR Guru James Grant and Court TV’s Catherine Crier.
While there was a wide variety of powerful women at the event, all of whom are dedicated philanthropists, we couldn’t help but notice how many of them were also pet parents! Amy Lee is mom to a cat named Zero, and Wendy caught up with Susan Lucci and Diane Von Furstenberg during the luncheon to talk about the charities and animals closest to their hearts.
Susan Lucci is heavily involved with the Mother’s March of Dimes, for which she has served as National Spokesperson, in addition to participating in this year’s walk with her daughter, Liza. Lucci said, “It’s the children’s charities without question that touch me the most I feel that those little ones are so vulnerable and they don’t deserve to have any impediments to a wonderful life we need to be their advocates whatever we can do to help.” And though she is currently mourning the loss of her fifteen year-old “puppy” Oscar, we have a feeling she’ll be pet-parenting again soon!
World famous fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg is mom to five dogs, including Patagonia, Shannon, and Chile, and mentioned her dedication to Fragile Voices, a charity devoted to empowering women and encouraging them to get involved with government. “Fragile Voices reflects most what I believe in – the empowerment of women. Women can do all kinds of things, all over the world,” the designer said.
Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts shares Lucci’s commitment to charities that promote health. She’s an avid supporter of the American Cancer Society and other organizations that work towards cancer education, having fought and beat breast cancer herself. In addition to collaborating with established groups, Roberts loves working with grassroots movements. “I’m doing something with Chris Rocks’s wife, Malaak, who started an organization after a friend of hers 5 years ago was diagnosed with triple negative cancer and has since passed.” Robin looks to her mother for guidance – “As my mom says, we’ve all got a message, so why don’t we get out there and do something.”
Lucky loved attending the luncheon and finding inspiration in her fellow women! She’s dedicating the next year of her life to filming a documentary on animal cancer and educating the world, so she needs strong figures to look up to. Loreen Arbus, an avid philanthropist who now serves on the Board of Trustees for United Cerebral Palsy and was the first woman in the US to direct programming at a television network, is an amazing role model – and we think her puppy, Peckie, might have something to do with it! Animal Fair believes that behind every powerful woman is the perfect pet. We wish Loreen and Peckie the best, and know they will continue to inspire generations of women to adopt animals and break through barriers to form a world of Women Who Care!