Turnaround for Children might not ring a bell with charity circuit regulars, but the organization, which gives aid to underfunded public schools, is looking to change that with a splashy gala tonight (FOLO 4/13)at the Plaza Hotel. The evening’s host committee boasts a string of stars such as Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Mary-Louise Parker, Julianna Margulies, Brooke Shields and Emily Mortimer, and the live auction features coveted loot like tickets to the upcoming Chanel couture show.

So who’s behind all the glitz and glamour? A well-connected board, according to Dr. Pamela Cantor, who founded Turnaround for Children nine years ago. Cantor says chairman Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber (wife of hedge funder David Gerstenhaber) attracted a board of influential friends, including Cristina Greeven Cuomo, who’s responsible for rallying A-listers like Thurman. What’s more, several of the event’s dinner chairs — which include fashion folk such as Tory Burch, Alison Brod and Chanel senior vice president of public relations Rebekah McCabe — were able to pull strings for the live auction lots (the aforementioned Chanel couture tickets came courtesy of McCabe).

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It looks like it pays to have friends in high places: Cantor’s fund-raising goal for the evening is $1 million.

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