International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Perfect night at the Third Annual GenR Summer Party

Leigh Fleet is co-founder of Threads for Thought Sustainable Apparel and a member of GenR New York Steering Committee.  She shares her experience at the 2013 GenR Summer Party.

New York City’s heat wave broke just in time on Wednesday, July 24—one could not ask for a more beautiful summer night for the third annual GenR Summer Party. I and my fellow steering committee members welcomed more than 300 guests to the breathtakingly gorgeous Garden and Treehouse Bar at David Burke Kitchen in SoHo. 

Cool tunes spun as the crowd of young professionals sipped their cocktails. Guests looking for a nibble had plenty of options, with Chef Burke providing an array of outstanding dishes. My personal favorites included the spiced lobster skewers, duck dumplings and mac ’n’ cheese, and no way non-vegetarians could refuse the bacon strips!
Delicious bites!  
Photo: Mike DiVito
As we mingled, we were reminded why we had gathered for the evening. One group could be overheard discussing the Syrian crisis, another commenting on one of the IRC’s newest national programs, New Roots, and yet another applauding the work of the IRC in New York City, where more than 27,000 refugees have been resettled since 1975. 
The event featured a short talk by one such new arrival, Parbat Chapagai, who shared the story of his journey from harm to home. With the IRC’s assistance, Parbat and his family were able to come to New York from a refugee camp in Nepal, where they were living after they fled Bhutan. The accomplished college sophomore closed his remarks on a personal note, revealing that he oftens sits at night near a lamppost to remember that, at one point in his life, light from electricity was not guaranteed. 
Aisha Bain, an IRC women’s protection and empowerment advocacy officer, spoke about one of IRC’s programs that has always inspired me. Aisha shared stories from her recent work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She spoke of courageous Congolese women who, while living in great danger, manage to transform not only their own lives, but also those of their children, families and communities. 
I knew the evening was a success when friends learning about the IRC for the first time immediately wanted to know how to become a GenR member, get involved, and support the IRC. I am proud to be part of the GenR community, to be able to work with a stellar group of my peers and advocate for such a worthy organization. 
From left: Parbat Chapagai, Aisha Bain, David Burke, Alexander Sweet, Sarah Booth.  
Photo: Mike DiVito
As the night closed and guests finished their tasty treats (popsicles and cheesecake pops!), we walked away with IRC New Roots tote bags filled with swag.  Many thanks to all sponsors for making this fantastic night possible, and on behalf of the GenR community, many thanks to the IRC and all the lifesaving work that you do.
GenR (Generation Rescue) is a dynamic, diverse group of young professionals (under 45) who have joined forces to advance the humanitarian work of the International Rescue Committee.  Inspired, informed and influential, GenR Members focus their collective energy to engage their communities in support of the IRC through advocacy, education and a range of networking and fundraising activities. 

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