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Inspired by Helen Keller’s remarkable example that people can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and do something extraordinary for others, this virtual experience will allow us all to get inspired and take action. 

You’ll meet extraordinary humans and perhaps be inspired to do something extraordinary yourself.  

This might be the best 40 minutes you spend all year! Join us!


Tuesday, May 4, 2021 


7:00 – 7:45 p.m. EDT 


Dress up or come comfy.


We will join together online from the safety and comfort of our own homes.


Attendance is free and open to all! Come one, come all. Bring your friends and family. 


Cathy Levy, Interim Director of Major Gifts, at 646-472-0337 or

We are excited to honor Henry C. Barkhorn and Warby Parker!

Join us in presenting the Helen Keller Humanitarian Award to Henry C. Barkhorn

A portrait of 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.

Join us in presenting the Helen Keller Visionary Award to Warby Parker

Warby Parker partners with Helen Keller Intl to provide prescription glasses to children, youth, and vulnerable seniors in New York City who would otherwise have gone without. Eyeglasses seem a simple intervention, but they have superpowers. Eyeglasses can transform a person’s life, restore self-esteem, make learning possible, and help people connect with one another. 

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 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.

Evening Presenters

Helen Keller Intl President and CEO Kathy Spahn and celebrity chef Carla Hall at the 2019 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala
(l to r) Helen Keller Intl President and CEO Kathy Spahn and celebrity chef Carla Hall at the 2019 Spirit of Helen Keller Gala

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 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. 

Become a Champion!

As a Champion, you too can make the extraordinary possible.

Premier Champion | $100,000

Presenting Champion | $75,000

Visionary | $50,000

Humanitarian | $25,000

Global Leader | $15,000–$5,000

To Champion the Virtual Gala, or for information, please contact

Cathy Levy, Interim Director of Major Gifts, at 646-472-0337 or  

Thanks to Gala Co-Chairs who are leading the way 

Karin Barkhorn 

Mary Burton 

Leo Corbett

Anthony Dorment 

Desmond G. FitzGerald 

Jim and Nydia Gaffey 

Jane Gerhard 

David M. Glassman 

Jan and Steven Golann 

Henry and Barbara Gooss 

Carla Hall 

Genevieve Jorissen 

Jordan Kassalow

Matthew W. Mamak, Esq.  

Philomena Orji 

Helen Pennoyer

Chantal Piani 

Tonya Suer 

Elspeth Taylor 

William J. Toppeta 

Patricia Yao