The Robin Hood Foundation's spring fundraiser took place last night at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center and some 3,200 people turned up to munch on grilled shrimp and chicken Milanese, mingle with the likes of Oprah and Anne Hathaway, and open their wallets and give to the non-profit that funnels millions of dollars a year to worthy causes across the city. The mood was a bit subdued this year, which isn't surprising considering Robin Hood remains the charity of choice for a big bunch of Wall Street chiefs and hedge fund titans like Dan Och, Steve Cohen, and Paul Tudor Jones. To reflect the mood, the lavish auction items that were a staple in previous years weren't part of the program this time around. But emcee Jon Stewart managed to keep the crowd laughing with Bernie Madoff jokes, and George Soros gave the evening a big boost by making a $50 million pledge. (The organization collected a total of $72 million last night, up from $56 million last spring.) Coverage of the event can be found here, here, and here. For a slightly more informal take on the evening, a brief dispatch from the wife of a hedge fund manager is below.
No auction, no trips to the Bahamas, or lunches with Hollywood celebs this time around. The attendees were divided into 3 sections to raise money. Section 1 was led by Anne Hathaway and she was joined by Harvey Weinstein and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas (who also sang). Section 2 was led by Eli Manning and he had Oprah on his side. Paul Tudor Jones and his wife sat at the same table as Eli and his wife (who looks like a Barbie doll). Oprah sat at the same table as George Soros and Christiane Amanpour. Brian Williams and Robert Kennedy were part of Team 3. Jon Stewart was a riot as usual. He spent a lot of time poking fun at the hedge funders, who as he put it were using "100 dollar bills as coasters" last year.