The Village is one of the most celebrated neighborhoods in the city, enjoying many distinctions not least of which include its nonconformist attitude to the grid street layout and its importance in the bohemian movement. It is also widely regarded as the city’s enduring center of liberalism – a notable merit considering the competition offered by the rest of this diverse metropolis. But last night, Village Care New York gathered its members and those of its affiliates to prove for the 11th year in a row, that the Greenwich Village community does not take the liberal culture for granted and that it understands its responsibility to give back to the people who helped shape the neighborhood to what it is today.
VCNY, a non-profit which serves the elderly, individuals living with HIV/AIDs and persons in need of rehabilitation and medical services, held its annual benefit, “Legends of the Village,” at Prince George Ballroom. The evening began with a cocktail hour in the industrial style foyer where guests mingled over hors d’oeuvres like mozzarella risotto balls and goat cheese stuffed in cherry tomato shells. Guests not only included members of VCNY and family members of the honorees, but also members of organizations that either work with or give to VCNY. This includes places like the Ryan Center, Village Care Nursing Home (soon to be Village Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center), NYU and the Bedford Center.
The night continued in the European style ballroom where VCNY’s president and CEO sang her praises in honor of two people who have seized the opportunity to help uplift their neighbors. The first award was presented to Henry Buhl, who founded the Association of Community Employment. The organization provides full time, community-based employment for the homeless and also helps them to find permanent residence. It gives them practical job training as well as emotional and financial support along their journey out of homelessness. This past year, the organization had boasted that 79% of their members were able to stay in their jobs for over 2 years. Personally, this award was extremely timely considering the recent scandal over the questionable operations and tax filings of the United Homeless Association.