Governor Andrew Cuomo, shown about with Congressman Peter King,  was awarded for his leadership in enacting the NY SAFE Act.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, shown above with Congressman Peter King, was awarded for his leadership in enacting the NY SAFE Act.

The NYAGV Education Fund’s Annual Benefit & Silent Auction drew approximately 400 people to the Rosenthal Pavilion at the NYU Kimmel Center in New York City Monday night. The event was held to support youth and community education programs to reduce gun violence.

Honorees included:

  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, recipient of the Allard K. Lowenstein Award for Public Service for his leadership in passing the New York SAFE Act. Introduced at the event by Congressman Peter King–a Republican and sponsor of H.R. 1565, the House’s gun background check bill–Governor Cuomo spoke passionately about how gun laws like NY SAFE are just common sense, and that one’s right to have a gun does not override one’s right to be safe. While some have claimed that the NY SAFE Act was passed too soon– just a month after the Sandy Hook shootings–the Governor said it was in fact passed too late. How many lives would have been saved if such a strong gun safety law had been passed years before?
  • The Families of Sandy Hook Promise received the Detective Steven McDonald Law Enforcement Award for their efforts to educate the public about gun violence. Speaking for the families, Mark Barden–who lost his son, Daniel, in the massacre– vowed to continue their fight for federal gun safety laws to help prevent further mass shootings. Barden was introduced by Detective McDonald, who was shot and paralyzed in Central Park in 1986.
  • NYAGV founders Barbara Hohlt, Ellen Freudenheim and Katina Johnstone–honored for their 20 years of efforts to reduce gun violence in New York–each spoke about their unique experiences and involvement in the cause of gun violence prevention.

Attendees also had the chance to bid on over 60 silent auction items, and viewed a video presentation about the reACTION youth program–the NYAGV Education Fund after-school gun violence prevention program held in New York City public schools. Proceeds from the Benefit will go to the support, enrichment and expansion of the reACTION program and other youth and community programs to reduce gun violence.

Missed the Benefit? You can still support these programs with a tax deductible donation!