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NEW YORK — The UJA-Federation of New York’s Fashion Division honored MMG’s Allan Ellinger, Randa Accessories’ Mel Goldfeder and JJP Advisory’s John Pomerantz Tuesday night at its annual spring reception.
This story first appeared in the June 20, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
During their remarks, each executive emphasized their philanthropic efforts instead of their professional ones. Ellinger was celebrated for chairing Fashion Delivers in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which has since donated more than $175 million worth of products to those in need, including people trying to reenter the workforce. Ellinger said, “I believe each of us has a responsibility to leave our space and time better than we found it.”
A 200-plus crowd including Nick Graham, Gilbert Harrison, G-III Apparel Group’s Morris Goldfarb, Tharanco Lifestyles’ Michael Setola and Destination XL Group’s David Levin helped raise $425,000 at the event, held at the Waldorf-Astoria. Goldfeder told the crowd, “For me not to give back or pay back would be a crime. If it were not for the UJA-Federation, I would not be standing here. In fact, if it were not for the UJA-Federation, I wouldn’t be standing at all,” Goldfeder said. “In 1954, I contracted polio and was told I would never walk again.”
After being released from the hospital, he learned about the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, N.Y., and spent every afternoon there doing physical therapy. “As you can see, the doctor was wrong. If you think about it, if there was no UJA there would be no JCH because the UJA funded better than 50 percent of what was needed.”
In introducing Pomerantz, whom he has shared office space with for the past 10 years, Abbey Doneger said, “When it comes to giving, John says, ‘If it doesn’t hurt, if you don’t really feel it, then it’s not really charity.’”
Next year’s honorees will include Simon Property’s David Simon and lifetime achievement award winner Larry Leeds.
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