Samaritan Daytop Foundation Honors Three at First Virtual Gala

 Nonprofit Celebrates 60th Anniversary; Event Hosted by Errol Louis, NY1 News Political Anchor


 Main screen cropped for web


(October 15, 2020 – QUEENS, NY) – Samaritan Daytop Foundation hosted its first Virtual Gala on October 14, 2020 to support Samaritan Daytop Village. The event – which celebrated 60 years of Samaritan Daytop Village - raised critically needed funds to deliver enhanced services, innovative programs, facility improvements, and more.

The benefit honored actress Phylicia Rashad, Host and Weatherman of NBC’s Today Al Roker and President and CEO of SterlingRisk David Sterling for their extraordinary commitment to supporting New York’s most vulnerable residents. The night was hosted by NY1 News Political Anchor Errol Louis.

This year’s gala raised a record breaking $544,000 that will go towards the important work of Samaritan Daytop Village as it combats the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic, the homelessness crisis, and racial injustice that continue to impact the most vulnerable New Yorkers. We also thank SterlingRisk for not only being our corporate honoree, but for donating $100,000 to help us at this critical time.

Honoree Al Roker’s commitment to Samaritan Daytop Village is a family affair. He and his brother, and both of his parents, have supported the organization for years.

“Improvement begins with us and there is no better example of giving back to the community than by looking to Samaritan Daytop’s work”, said honoree Al Roker. “For those who are less fortunate, Samaritan Daytop Village provides a safe haven to receive the assistance they aren’t able to get on their own. Their commitment to empowering New Yorkers creates a ripple effect that goes far beyond the people they serve. When you assist one person and get them back on the road to a better life, their actions, even years later, can continue that chain of generosity. Samaritan goes beyond that with compassion that enables to assist thousands of people each year, families, veterans, seniors, those working toward recovery. Samaritan has worked tirelessly over these last few months, over these last few years, to make sure that people have resources they need during turbulent times. Especially, the ones we are going through right now!”

Honoree Phylicia Rashad shared, “Samaritan’s legacy goes back some sixty years and begins with one local community’s decision to empower its struggling youth. And it has grown into this expansive, compassionate mission that we see today."

David Sterling and SterlingRisk have a long history of supporting health-related education and causes. SterlingRisk is the 60th Anniversary Sponsor and has been a major sponsor of the Samaritan Daytop Foundation Gala since 2018.

“I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of SterlingRisk and thank the wonderful team at Samaritan Daytop Village for their continued efforts,” said honoree David Sterling. “At SterlingRisk, we are passionate about protecting people and recognize organizations that are dedicated to health and wellness, social concerns, and support for underserved families and individuals. All of this is reflected in Samaritan and is one of the reasons the organization is so close to our hearts. Like Samaritan, SterlingRisk celebrates respect and diversity, especially now in our current climate. The fact that Samaritan has continued to stay open and stay true to its mission for 60 years is a testament to their steadfast commitment even in the face of adversity. On behalf of everyone at SterlingRisk, it’s an honor to support such a worthy organization.”

“It is heartwarming to know that, after 60 years, Samaritan Daytop Village still has the rock-solid support of New Yorkers from all walks of life,” said Mitchell Netburn, President & CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village. “Our mission has evolved and grown to meet the changing needs of New Yorkers. This year’s honorees - Phylicia Rashad, Al Roker and David Sterling - have clearly been touched by our mission, and we are extremely grateful they have so strongly supported and championed our work.”

The Virtual Gala Committee included Co-Chairs Jamie Covello, Sher Sparano and Board Chair Colleen Taylor, President and CEO Mitchell Netburn, Bernie Kaplan, Richard Haray, Damyn Kelly, Harriet Norris, Roger Oliver, Steve Rockman, and SterlingRisk’s Brad Dubler. The Honorary Committee included Judy Collins, Hon. David N. Dinkins, Michael Feinstein and Alexander Smalls.

Contributing to the success of the Gala are the following sponsors:

To view the Honorees' speeches, click the links below:

Watch the Virtual Gala broadcast

See the Proclamations and Citations


About Samaritan Daytop Village

For 60 years, Samaritan Daytop Village has been improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. We are nationally recognized for our treatment of substance use disorder as well as for the veteran-specific approach we pioneered. Our continuum of services also includes health and mental health care, transitional and supportive housing, educational and vocational assistance, peer-assisted recovery, and specialized programs for adolescents, families and seniors. Annually, Samaritan Daytop Village serves over 33,000 people at more than 50 facilities throughout New York City, Long Island and upstate New York.

About Samaritan Daytop Foundation

Samaritan Daytop Foundation champions the work of Samaritan Daytop Village, raising funds through financial and in-kind donations from individual, business and community supporters.