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Please enjoy this recorded video of the Spirit of Helen Keller Virtual Gala, which streamed live on Tuesday May 4, 2021 for our generous family of supporters.

Inspired by Helen Keller’s remarkable legacy, this virtual experience is a wonderful example of the power of community to make a positive difference for those in need. We hope you will appreciate learning more about our efforts to protect families who are most vulnerable to blindness, malnutrition and disease — especially during the global coronavirus outbreak.

Evening Co-Hosts

Kathy Spahn

Kathy Spahn joined Helen Keller International as President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2005, after leadership tenures at Orbis International and God’s Love We Deliver. She serves on the Boards of Directors of the Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF), InterAction, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). She is a founding board member of the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies (ANSA) and also serves on the Leadership Council of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Compact2025 initiative and recently became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Carla Hall

Carla Hall is best known as a former co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series, “The Chew.” She currently appears on ABC’s “Strahan and Sara.” She won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars” and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others. 

Spirit of Helen Keller Humanitarian Award

Henry C. Barkhorn

Henry C. Barkhorn chaired Helen Keller Intl’s Board of Trustees for the past nine years and currently serves as Vice Chair. He has been Helen Keller Intl’s strong advocate, leader, and force for good. Henry has traveled to many parts of the world for Helen Keller to visit and support our programs helping millions of children and families to live healthier lives.

Henry joined the Helen Keller Intl Board of Trustees in 2007. He is retired following a career on Wall Street. An active volunteer, Henry has held a number of leadership positions at the Brick Presbyterian Church and is a former member of the Advisory Boards of Grosvenor Neighborhood House Y and WFUV – Public Radio from Fordham University. Henry is a proud alumnus of Princeton University, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Helen Keller Visionary Award

Neil Blumenthal

Neil Blumenthal

Neil Blumenthal is the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, the eyewear brand founded with a mission to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.

Prior to launching Warby Parker in 2010, Neil served as director of VisionSpring, a nonprofit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own businesses selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in developing countries.

Dave Gilboa

Dave Gilboa is the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker. Prior to launching Warby Parker in 2010, Dave was part of Allen & Company and Bain & Company. He has worked extensively with non-profit organizations and serves as a founding member of the Entrepreneur Board of Venture for America, an organization dedicated to mobilizing graduates as entrepreneurs in low-cost cities.

For a list of past award recipients, click here.


Helen Keller Intl gratefully acknowledges:

Our Champion Sponsors, as of May 4, 2021

Alston & Bird LLP
Anonymous (2)
Bank of America
Karin and Henry Barkhorn
D. Brooks Betts
Robert B. and Emilie W. Betts Foundation
Harry DeVerter / Tait | Weller
Anthony Dorment
Desmond G. FitzGerald
Flying Monkeys Media
Jim and Nydia Gaffey
Gannett Foundation
David M. Glassman
Jan and Steven Golann
Barbara and Henry Gooss
Gordon Gund
Carla Hall
Paul and Gigi Jorissen
Wendy D. Lee, CFA
John Linville, JD
Mark J. Menting
Peirce Moser and Mitch Eitel
Phyllis and Bradford Perkins
Kathy Spahn and Richard Sandhaus
Bruce E. Spivey, M.D., M.S., M.Ed.
James Tielsch, Ph.D.
Debra and William J. Toppeta
Trebek Family Foundation
Barbara W. Wall
Warby Parker

Our Gala Co-Chairs:

Karin Barkhorn
Mary Lindley Burton
Leo J. Corbett
Anthony Dorment
Desmond G. FitzGerald
Jim and Nydia Gaffey
Jane Gerhard
David M. Glassman
Jan and Steven Golann
Barbara and Henry Gooss
Carla Hall
Genevieve Jorissen
Jordan Kassalow
Matthew W. Mamak, Esq.
Philomena Orji
Helen Pennoyer
Chantal Piani
Tonya Suer
Elspeth Taylor
William Toppeta
Patricia Yao