By  on January 10, 2012

“You always get back more than you give,” said retail veteran Abbey Doneger, who was inducted into the Accessories Council Hall of Fame at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York Monday night.

The Doneger Group president, who recently feted 65 years in business, spoke about the importance of philanthropy to his family’s business, as he thanked colleagues and family members.

As part of the tribute, Doneger asked the Council to donate $150,000 of the evening’s proceeds to the Henry Doneger Scholarship Fund and the Accessories Design Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

“You know they say that a leader is a dealer in hope. Well, Abbey is quite the leader,” said FIT president Joyce Brown, who noted that “countless” FIT students and industry hands have benefited from Doneger’s generosity.

The Hall of Fame tribute event, which began in 2007, awards a proven leader whose business activities significantly contribute to the $30 billion a year accessories market.

Previous recipients included Elaine Gold of Elaine Gold Enterprises, Mary Belle of Jones Apparel Group, Marge Axelrad of Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine, Dorothy Roberts of Echo Design Group and Ruth Finley of Fashion Calendar.

This year’s tribute marked one of the larger Hall of Fame inductions, according to Accessories Council president Karen Giberson.

“We chose the Morgan because it’s an elegant, lovely room big enough to hold all of Abbey’s friends,” she said.

The spacious, airy, glass-roofed courtyard played host to a crowd of roughly 500 of Doneger’s closest friends, who nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and sipped cocktails while violinist Sarah Charness performed, dazzling onlookers with her pink, electric violin.

“Abbey really embodies the spirit of a pioneer,” Giberson said. “It’s really a testament to the fact we have over 500 people here tonight and just how adored he is by our industry and others.”

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