Performances by Debbie Harry, David Bryan, and IMPACT Repertory Theater Choir

Presenters Included Michael Strahan, Anna Quindlen

Gov. Cuomo Delivers Remarks                  

HELP USA Chairman Maria Cuomo Cole, honoree Peter Hochfeld, managing member, Brahman Management LLC; Mrs. Matilda Cuomo, widow of the late New York State Governor Mario Cuomo and founder of Mentoring USA; honoree Ellen Levine, editorial director of Hearst Magazines; and honoree Gerald Hassell, chairman and CEO of BNY Mellon.

HELP USA Chairman Maria Cuomo Cole, honoree Peter Hochfeld, managing member, Brahman Management LLC; Mrs. Matilda Cuomo, widow of the late New York State Governor Mario Cuomo and founder of Mentoring USA; honoree Ellen Levine, editorial director of Hearst Magazines; and honoree Gerald Hassell, chairman and CEO of BNY Mellon. (AP Photo)

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NEW YORK, NY (May 19, 2015) – More than 500 captains of business and industry, civic leaders, New York notables, and A-list talent gathered last night at Cipriani 42nd St. in Manhattan to celebrate the remarkable achievements of HELP USA, which over the past three decades has become the national leader and paradigm for how to prevent and solve homelessness and related problems.

What everyone in the magnificent room heard – and what all those who presented and who were honored – had two common themes. The first is that what makes HELP USA so successful in its efforts is that it is committed to giving a hand up, rather than a hand-out, to those mired in poverty, those who are victims of domestic violence, those military veterans who have never fully reintegrated back into society, and those children who just need a break to break a vicious cycle of despair. It does so through an innovative, holistic approach of services and programs, from transitional and permanent housing and rental assistance to counseling, job training, educational mentoring, and health and wellness initiatives.

The second theme that permeated the remarks of all those at the podium was that HELP USA’s essential mission was inspired by the words, passion, and standards set by the late New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, who died earlier this year, and his widow, Matilda Cuomo. Indeed, the evening proved to be an inspiring and heartwarming tribute to this family whose entire life is dedicated to doing well and, more importantly, to doing good.

Presenters including NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo (who founded HELP USA 29 years ago); Hall of Fame football player and TV personality Michael Strahan; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Anna Quindlen; CNN anchor Chris Cuomo; Oscar-winning musician Che “Rhymefest” Smith, who co-wrote “Glory,” the theme song of the movie “Selma”; and Maria Cuomo Cole, HELP USA’s chairman.

BNY Mellon, represented by Chairman and CEO Gerald L. Hassell; Peter A. Hochfelder, Managing Member of Brahman Management LLC; and Ellen Levine, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines, were honored for their tireless efforts to improve the social and economic conditions of their communities, and their shared commitment to HELP USA’s vision of ending homelessness,

The event also featured special performances by The Iconic Debbie Harry (“Blondie”), keyboardist David Bryan of “Bon Jovi,” and the choir of IMPACT Repertory Theater, an organization which works to transform the lives of troubled youth through art and social consciousness.

Notable guests also included Noah Galloway, the disabled Iraq war veteran and “Dancing with the Stars” finalist, and his fiancé Jamie Boyd; designer Kenneth Cole; CBS anchor Gayle King; award-winning actress Parker Posey; journalist Cristina Greeven Cuomo; CNN personality Michaela Pereira; Miss NY US Nicole Kulovany and Miss New York Jillian Tapper; designer Todd Thomas; supermodel Valentina Zelyaeva; and Fox TV personality Tom Murro.

“The recipients of our HELP Heroes Award embody a relentless commitment and dedication to the underserved in our nation,” said Maria Cuomo Cole, Chairman of the Board for HELP USA. “We are proud to honor them for this commitment.”

They joined a distinguished group of civic and community leaders who have been recognized at the HELP USA Hero dinners.  Past honorees include President Bill Clinton; President Barack Obama; Governor Mario Cuomo; Colonel Jack Jacobs; Katie Couric; Al Gore; Larry King; Sir Elton John; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Meredith Vieira; Joe Torre; Michael Strahan; Al Roker; Lauran and Justin Tuck of the New York Giants; Christine Quinn; Sen. Charles Schumer; Randall L Stephenson; and The Home Depot Foundation, among many others.

“It is a great honor for BNY Mellon to be recognized by HELP USA, an organization that is leading the charge in solving one of the greatest socio-economic issues our country faces today,” said Mr. Hassell. “HELP USA’s holistic approach not only provides housing to the homeless but offers a clear path to self-sufficiency, giving them back their pride and dignity. BNY Mellon is proud to support this innovative mission.”

Mr. Hochfelder and Ms. Levine echoed these sentiments. “I am proud to be a board member and supporter of HELP USA,” said Mr. Hochfelder. “It is a true privilege to have the opportunity to serve an organization which does such profound work. Its efforts to positively impact the homeless population in the US are imperative to our country’s ideal – a place for everyone in the American dream.”

Added Ms. Levine: “People all around us are experiencing hardships and terrible struggles. I actually tear up when I think of the remarkable work that HELP USA does, offering women and men guidance and support to become the people they are meant to be. I am honored to be recognized by an organization with so much heart.”

About HELP USA

HELP USA has developed $180 million of permanent and supportive housing, providing close to 6,000 units of permanent and transitional housing and invests over $8 million in veteran services across the nation.  Every day, HELP USA serves 7,000 people, including 1,800 young people through after school youth programs, day care, mentoring and sports programs.  The organization offers in excess of 2,800 transitional and permanent housing units located in New York City, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, Buffalo, Newark, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas. Additional supportive services offered by HELP USA include: employment training; veterans services; medical services; HIV/AIDS services; early childhood education; mental health services, and domestic violence counseling.

For more information, please visit www.helpusa.org.