First ADL dinner in four years sets fund-raising record

NEW YORK — This year’s ADL Home Furnishings Industry Dinner was full of new(s).

After a nearly four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the annual industry event was held in a new venue at New York’s legendary Ziegfeld Ballroom. The event was led by the Home Furnishings Chapter’s new leadership: Neil Goldberg from Raymour & Flanigan, Larry Klaben from Morris Furniture and Ellen Gefen of Gefen Marketing.

The trio also assembled a new advisory board prior to the event that is being tasked with helping grow the event and help spread ADL’s message of opposing hate in all its forms.

Also, the dinner set a new fundraising record raising nearly $1.8 million in support of ADL and its mission.

And, there were new additions in the form of post dinner activities with a day-after Retail Crawl followed by a Friday evening cocktail event to help create more reasons for those in the industry to attend.

The Retail Crawl, hosted by Bedgear, kicked off New York’s high-end Hudson Yards shopping mall. Attendees were given the opportunity to see some of the mall’s more unique shopping and merchandising options including a pop-up from Japanese lifestyle brand Muji and a unique dog accessories showroom that demonstrated that even the most simple and mundane products can be presented in unique, fresh ways.

From there attendees walked New York’s Highline, a verdant stretch of converted subway tracks wandering through the west side down to the Chelsea Market and Meat Packing districts. Highlights here included stops at Starbucks Reserve Roastery, one of only six in the world; a stop at Gucci’s unique vintage showroom targeting young shoppers; and a tour of Samsung’s flagship store.

The latter featured displays that allowed shoppers to build a custom phone; explore their ideal kitchen, outdoor, workout or living room space; and to see how the company’s appliances and electronics can be integrated with myriad software and other products to create a smarter and more functional living space.

The theme for the tour centered on unique experiences, and nowhere was this more apparent than at high-end jeweler Bulgari, where attendees were treated to a unique immersive experience that surrounded them on all sides in an undulating light show of opulent jewel tones.

The tour concluded at luxury e-car specialist Lucid, where attendees not only got to see unique merchandising displays, but also were treated to a test drive. Afterward guests were able to relax, unwind and share their experiences at a cocktail event hosted by City Furniture.

Honorees at this year’s event were designer and HGTV star Michel Smith Boyd, who received the Torch of Liberty Award; Rachel Stewart, president of Gardner-White, who received the American Heritage Award; and Irwin Novack, CEO of Kane’s Furniture, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

See also: Annual ADL Home Furnishings Industry Dinner sets a new pace

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