Home Nightlife Children’s Rights Benefit at the Plaza Hotel

Children’s Rights Benefit at the Plaza Hotel


Soon, the crowd was ushered up the wide staircase to the ballroom. The space was predictably opulent—dozens of round, candlelit tables set in a room bounded by glided arches and a high, meticulously renovated ceiling. This was the Plaza Ballroom as it had been in its heyday, and the setting had all the bearings of a royal event.

Amidst the clink of forks-on-china (the crowd no doubt enjoying their Filet and seemingly endless supply of wine), Corzine gave a sincere speech outlining the importance of fixing the child welfare systems in the nation. Those in attendance certainly knew there is a problem, but perhaps not the extent of it: there are nearly 500,000 abused or neglected children in foster care today. It was a hopeful address, yet it carried a stark message.

After Corzine introduced McDaniels as the recipient of the Children’s Rights Champion Award, the room experienced a significant uptick in oomph. McDaniels flourished on the stage, riffing without notes about his own experience of discovering, at age 35, that he had spent time in foster care and had been adopted.  Referring to himself with colorful appellations like “Microphone Master” and “the Devastating Mic-Controller”, McDaniels told the gathered crowd that finding this out had spawned an epiphany: he would dedicate himself to helping today’s foster children. “I am not better than them, I am not more talented than them,” he said. “I am them. And they are me.” The crowd fed off his energy—he was interrupted several times by ovations.