SOURCE: Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International

April 16, 2015 02:00 ET

2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala Celebrating Helen Keller International's Centennial Anniversary

Bill and Melinda Gates to Be Honored with Spirit of Helen Keller Award; Dr. David Nabarro to Receive Helen Keller Humanitarian Award

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - Helen Keller International, a leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting the causes and consequences of preventable blindness and malnutrition, celebrates its Centennial Anniversary with the 2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala on Monday, May 18, 2015.

Inspired by the spirit and determination of its namesake, The Spirit of Helen Keller Gala is a much anticipated annual celebration honoring those who have joined with Helen Keller International in the fight against preventable blindness and hunger. This special evening will shine a light on the progress made and the promise of existing opportunities to help more people in need build healthier, happier lives.

As part of the celebration, Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be honored with the 2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Award for their transformational leadership, efforts in reducing hunger, and focus on empowering women. Melinda Gates will be present to accept the award at the gala, which takes place at The New York Public Library, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City.

In addition, internationally renowned nutrition and health advocate Dr. David Nabarro will be honored with the 2015 Helen Keller Humanitarian Award in recognition of his tireless efforts to position malnutrition as a central issue within the development dialogue, and to ensure an effective response to the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa. Dr. Nabarro currently serves as United Nations Secretary General Special Envoy on Ebola and Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition.

"In marking this incredible milestone, Helen Keller International is pleased to recognize three incredible people who have led the way in global efforts, including our own, to provide opportunity, hope and healthier lives to people most in need," said President and CEO Kathy Spahn. "We salute Bill and Melinda Gates and David Nabarro as exceptional partners in keeping the global spotlight on the need to do more to ensure good nutrition and improve health for everyone, including the most vulnerable among us." 

"While we are strengthened by our successes, we are also aware of the challenges that lie ahead," Spahn notes. "As we stand at this 100-year milestone, we ask ourselves: 'When will we truly realize a world where no one suffers from avoidable blindness? When will no one suffer from poor nutrition? When will all people live life to their fullest potential?' As we continue to celebrate the legacy of our founder, we invite everyone to join us in building sustainable solutions that will lead us all to a stronger, healthier world. In the great words of Helen Keller, 'Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.'"

Helen Keller International was founded in November 1915 by a then 35 year old Helen Keller, already a renowned advocate for the disabled, and George Kessler, a wealthy New York City wine merchant who survived the sinking of the Lusitania, to help soldiers blinded during World War I. Today, nearly 300 million people benefit from Helen Keller International's 180 programs in 21 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States.

2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala

Monday, May 18, 2015

What2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala
 Celebrating Helen Keller International's Centennial Anniversary
 2015 Spirit of Helen Keller Award
 Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-Chairs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
 2015 Helen Keller Humanitarian Award
 Dr. David Nabarro, United Nations Secretary General Special Envoy on Ebola
 Centennial Chair
 Kate Ganz
 Gala Co-Chairs
 Karin & Henry Barkhorn, D. Brooks Betts and Desmond G. FitzGerald
 Gala Steering Committee
 Jennifer A. Buda, Mary Lindley Burton, Mary F. Crawford, Dana and Gregory Feller, Beverly Miller Orthwein, Cody Parker, Bradford Perkins, Bernirene Ramos and James H. Simmons III, Daniel and Carol Sisler, H. Mitchell Watson, Jr.
WhenMonday, May 18, 2015
 Arrivals and Cocktail Reception - 6:30 PM
 Dinner, Awards and Live Auction - 7:30 PM
WhereThe New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY
TICKETSIndividual tickets: $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000.
 Table Sponsorship: $15,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000.
 For more information, contact Aziza Moirabou at 646-472-0347

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International's mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. HKI combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health, and nutrition. Visit for more information.

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Contact Information

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    Heather Mangrum
    Director, Communications