New York stars light up Covenant Gala saluting Vincent Gray

Photo by Natalia Janetti
Gala co-chair Linda Mercado Greene (left), Mayor Gray, and honorary co-chair Judith Terra
Gala co-chair Linda Mercado Greene (left), Mayor Gray, and honorary co-chair Judith Terra

A phalanx of Broadway stars lit up the sold-out fundraising gala for the Covenant House Washington Thursday night at THEARC’s acoustically perfect theater in Anacostia. 

Performing for Covenant House Washington. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Performing for Covenant House Washington.
The “A Night of Broadway Stars” event honored Mayor Vincent Gray, who was the first executive director of Covenant House Washington (for 10 years) before he became chair of the D.C. Council.  From there, of course, he went on to win the mayor’s race last year

Covenant House fan Neil Berg, creator and co-producer of “100 Years of Broadway,” which is now the #1 Broadway touring concert in the United States, played piano onstage and introduced one performer after another as they sang their hits from Wicked, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Funny Girl and other marvelous shows.  Performers included Carter Calvert, Capathia Jenkins, Rita Harvey, Natalie Toro, Robert Dusold, Craig Shulman, Ted Louis Levy, and Danny Zolli.

Photographer and artist Tony Powell gives a hello  kiss to art patron Kay Kendall (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Photographer and artist Tony Powell gives a hello kiss to art patron Kay Kendall
“Heroes are people who offer hope to those in need,” said Levy, who appeared in the movie “Bojangles” with Gregory Hines, as he described the supporters and workers at Covenant House.  He told the young people at Covenant House to “keep pushing forward.”

In his introduction, Berg called the performers “ambassadors” for the Covenant House as they offer to travel to help raise funds and the profile of Covenant House, which has 30 houses in 60 countries.  Covenant House is funded by 78 percent private philanthropy.

In his remarks to the 350 attendees, Mayor Gray said Covenant House “went from having a dream” to reality in the Nation’s Capital.  From the stage, Gray was described as a man who offered “unconditional love for young people” during his tenure at Covenant House.

Covenant House Washington protects hundreds of homeless, abused and trafficked youth each year. It has multiple locations throughout the District.

The event was organized by co-chairs Linda Mercado Greene, Judy Greenberg and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Miller.  Honorary co-chairs were civic activist Judith Terra, a former Georgetown resident, and Virginia E. Hayes Williams, herself a singer, who, in her career, sang in Hollywood films before moving to D.C.

By Natalia Jenetti

Honorary co-chair Virginia E. Hayes Williams and Brett O. Greene, DC consultant for  Walmart, one of the many gala sponsors (Photo by: Natalia Jenetti) Honorary co-chair Virginia E. Hayes Williams and Brett O. Greene, DC consultant for Walmart, one of the many gala sponsors
Craig Shulman, of Les Miserables fame, with Neil Berg in the background (Photo by: Natalia Jenetti) Craig Shulman, of Les Miserables fame, with Neil Berg in the background

Performer Danny Zolli with Neil Berg at the piano (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Performer Danny Zolli with Neil Berg at the piano

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Dave Roffman

We elected the right man for Mayor!