The big donor at the God’s Love We Deliver annual Golden Heart Awards gala didn’t walk away from the live auction with tickets to “Springsteen on Broadway,” a trip to Amangiri in Utah, or a meal cooked by Martha Stewart and Michael Kors in the designer’s apartment. In fact, Calvin Klein was out of town and wasn’t able to make it out to Spring Studios on Monday night, where it was revealed that Klein was donating $1 million to the organization, as well as all profits from his book being released later this month; one quarter of that million is donated in honor of his friends Nan Bush and Bruce Weber.
Still, the room was buzzing — Kors knows how to wrangle a crowd, including his many industry friends and charitable partner Kate Hudson. In addition to being an event chair for the New York-based GLWD, Hudson and Kors team on Watch Hunger Stop, a global initiative. What makes the pair such a great philanthropic team?
“We can talk a lot. We laugh a lot. We like to get things done,” said Hudson, sporting a red gown by the designer and a buzz-cut hairdo.
“Honestly, I think we’re both realistic optimists,” Kors added. “We like to look at the glass as half full, not half empty. And when we see that there’s something empty we like to get the job done, and try to right it. And we have a good time while we’re doing it.”
In addition to raising money for the healthful meal delivery organization, the evening honored Jordan Roth with a lifetime achievement award, Jon Gilman for outstanding volunteerism, and Gwyneth Paltrow for outstanding community service.
“It’s very moving,” Roth said of his award. “I think the work that God’s Love does really changes the world, one person at a time. It is the act of generosity of self, and the fact that we’re here celebrating that, and celebrating what we can do when we take care of each other, is an extraordinary thing.” The Broadway producer has a particularly busy season ahead, including the just-opened “Springsteen on Broadway,” which Roth described as “epic, epic, epic, epic.”
“I think Bruce is really convening us as a community to share something very meaningful, very deep, very honest about who we are,” he added.
Paltrow closed out the evening, which is known for keeping to a tight schedule; the crowd was streaming out by 10 p.m.
“There are very few people in the world who put their money where their mouth is,” said Paltrow, first directing her comments to Kors. “A lot of people could be as rich as you are and not give anything to their communities the way that you do.
“You know, I sat down to write something, and everything I wrote felt sort of trite and pat,” Paltrow continued, turning toward the crowded dinner room. “Between all the natural disasters and the political climate, it sometimes feels like we’re living in extremely uncertain times, and I know a lot of us feel scared about the future that we’re creating for our children and what will happen next. Every day is just a barrage of incredible uncertainty.
“When I was thinking about us all being here tonight and I was thinking about…the line of energy that God’s Love created, I feel that it’s so important that we all tune into that line of energy, now more than other. Everything is in community. Us binding together, us understanding that we are one, is what will lift us up,” she added. “It’s what will make us strong, it’s what will make us persevere and prevail.”
Not inclusive of Klein’s donation, the evening raised $2.3 million.