Robert M. Bender Jr. (from left), ceo of
American Red Cross in Greater New York;
Dina Merrill, and Terry Hodge Taylor.

The Shorter the Speeches
The Greater the Revenue


MERICAN RED CROSS in Greater New York enjoys an enviable reputation for having the briefest program and shortest speeches of any dinner in New York. At its 17th annual dinner dance at the Pierre Hotel, chairman Jonathan O’Herron held true to form.

The dinners, with their concise speeches, annually raise in excess of a half million dollars. O’Herron did not disappoint. He announced that the evening’s total of $625,000 “has blown away any record we had before.”

He offered a special salute to Bob Bender, who has served as ceo for 40 years. The noted New York Daily News artist Bill Gallo created a special drawing of Bender for the occasion.

O’Herron reported that the Red Cross in Greater New York responds to an average of eight disasters a day. Last year its programs and services touched more than 818,000 residents. Although disaster relief is its premier service, the Red Cross does much more. It is engaged in

  • Feeding, sheltering and clothing victims.

  • Relocating homeless families.

  • Providing care to the elderly.

  • Helping people learn emergency first aid and CPR.

  • Sam Butler, senior partner at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, served as dinner chairman. He has had a long history of helping others in the community.

    He recalled a time in 1944 when a terrible flood inundated his native Logansport, Indiana.

    Diandra de Morrell Douglas (from left),
    Terry Hodge Taylor, Dina Merrill,
    Christina Schwarzman.

    “My grandmother borrowed an amphibious vehicle, and I joined her, riding around town, giving out food and blankets, and rescuing some people.”

    Guest of honor was Stephen A. Schwarzman, co-founder of the Blackstone Group, a private investment bank. A devoted supporter of the Red Cross, he accepted this year’s Humanitarian Award.

    Schwarzman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of the New York City Ballet, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

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