The Clinton Foundation

Photo by Peter Rosenstein
Bill and Hillary Clinton
Bill and Hillary Clinton

Bill Clinton (Photo by: Peter Rosenstein) Bill Clinton

Last Monday evening there was a grand event to raise funds for the Clinton Foundation at the Italian Embassy. The Foundation, which has been in existence since 2004 after Bill Clinton left the White House, has amassed an amazing record of achievement in ten short years.

The program kicked off with an introduction by Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, and close personal friend of the Clintons. He spoke about some of the accomplishments of the Foundation on whose board he served prior to becoming Governor. Then he introduced the two stars of the evening, Bill and Hillary Clinton. They received a huge welcome from the crowd which wasn’t surprising since so many of the people there have long histories with the Clintons going back to their days in Arkansas and even before. Many were member of the Clinton Administration and many are currently working for the government or hoping to be part of the Hillary Clinton Administration. There was an excitement in the crowd knowing that they were in the same room as Hillary who may well be our next President.

Bill spoke first and talked about the work of the Foundation and thanked the Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and his wife for their hospitality. He also made a special effort to thank Franco Nuschese of Café Milano who catered the event and in whose restaurant both Bill and Hillary have celebrated many birthdays and other family events. He has lost none of his charm or abilities since leaving the White House. He is a little older and a lot thinner but trying to keep up with his travels around the world would still tire men half his age.  He talked about how excited he has been this past year and a half since Hillary and Chelsea both joined the Foundation now called the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. He spoke of the wide range of initiatives they are working on at the foundation including; climate change, economic development, global health, health and wellness and women and girls. He explained they are working around the world from Arica, to Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in the United States.

Hillary Clinton (Photo by: Peter Rosenstein) Hillary Clinton

Bill then introduced the person who many saw as the star of the evening, Hillary. She spoke to issues close to her heart and those being two foundation initiatives; the No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project related to gaining full economic empowerment for women around the world; and a new initiative the foundation is calling Too Small to Fail. Having worked in education myself I understand the importance of this new initiative which aims to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Hillary said, “We are working to promote new research on the science of children’s brain development, early learning and early health, and we will help parents, businesses and communities identify specific actions, consistent with the new research, that they can take to improve the lives of young children.”

After again thanking everyone for being there both her and Bill walked off the stage into the crowd and mingled with old and new friends. It was a fun evening for a totally worthwhile cause with two of the most amazing people I have ever met.