Edeyo | Help Them: Haiti Education Initiative

Celebrities come out in NYC to support Haiti



Unik Ernest, Bridget Kelly, Stephen Baldwin
Photo Credit: Andrew Fitzsimons

Last week, Edeyo Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization based in New York City, dedicated to improving the future for children in Haiti through education, hosted their 6th annual Edeyo Gives Hope Ball. The ball, presented by Nike and Avi Oster, took place at Highline Ballroom and was hosted by Stephen Baldwin. Co-foundersUnik Ernest and Michael Pradieu, welcomed over 300 guests to the event, sponsored by HBO and Maserati of Long Island. The event raised a whopping $200,000 during the course of the evening towards improving the future of children in Haiti.

“This charity means a lot to me because I’m from Haiti,” says co-founder Unik Ernest. “I had the chance to leave Haiti to come to America and have a better life, education, and the opportunity to see what life has to offer. People in Haiti are still living on under $1 a day. People keep saying that it’s getting better, but honestly, I don’t see it getting any better.”

Mr. Baldwin presented the night’s honorees Sharon Bush, Dr. Jane Aronson, and Cindy Stagoff with the Edeyo Hope, Humanitarian and Empowerment awards, respectively. Chair member Nigel Barkerhonored Nancy Myers-Alverez with the Edeyo Ambassador awards.

“Unfortunately, a majority of people don’t help others. America’s a great nation and does a lot around the world for other countries. I’m here to do a very small part, host the event. This organization has affected over 250 children, which is a lot. Even helping one child makes a difference. The organization continues to grow and Haiti needs help, so we are here to inspire people to make a difference,” said Stephen Baldwin.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the awards ceremony and seated dinner, featuring authentic Haitian cuisine and an exciting live auction. Closing the event for the night was a performance by Grammy Award winning singer Bridget Kelly, and set by DJ Cassidy. Notable attendees included Geoffrey Bradfield, Kamela Forbes, Marc Leder, Susan Gossage, Stewart Rahr, Crissy Barker, and Lady Liliana Cavendish.

“Haiti has a special place in my heart. My manager is from Haiti and the main producer that worked with me on my album is from Haiti, so we’ve had a lot of involvement with Haiti since everything happened. I just feel like it’s one of those issues that America has kind of forgotten about. During all of the turmoil, everyone paid attention to it, and now all of a sudden we’ve lost the momentum we had. I’m also a big advocate for taking care of kids — children are the biggest driving force of the world. Why would we not feed them and educate them? I just felt like this was the perfect opportunity to come out and raise awareness,” said performer Bridget Kelly.

More media coverage of the event: