By  on November 19, 2009

In an evening filled with humor, emotion and generosity, a crowd of 750 converged on Cipriani Wall Street Nov. 10, raising nearly $1.2 million for the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

HMI provides a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth between the ages of 12 and 21. More than 1,200 individuals pass through the institute’s doors at 2 Astor Place every year, where they receive a wide range of services including job assistance, counseling, college guidance, HIV-prevention workshops and hot meals.

“The fashion community came together and pulled off a 20 percent increase in raising funds this year, and that is a true testament to the support of Hetrick-Martin’s mission,” said Rob Smith, Macy’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager of ready-to-wear, and co-chair of the institute.

The evening celebrated HMI’s 30th anniversary, and honored HMI co-founder Joyce Hunter for her commitment to the LGBTQY community, Mayor Bloomberg for his staunch support of LGBT rights and the late Harvey Milk through a stirring video montage and an award presented to his nephew, Stuart Milk.

“This is a momentous occasion as we recognize the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ youth-serving agency,” said HMI’s executive director, Thomas Krever. “Through the incredible vision of our founders, Hetrick and Martin, and the courage and conviction of the man that was, and the legacy that remains, Harvey Milk, the lives of youth around the world have been significantly improved and will be for generations to come.”

Other highlights of the evening: performances by Jennifer Holliday and HMI’s Youth Advisory Board, and an auction led by comedienne Judy Gold.

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