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Minyanville Festivus 2011: An Unforgettable Fire!


Giving back to the future leaders and dreamers.


"Inspiration, move me brightly. Light the song with sense and color, hold away despair."
--Grateful Dead

I've learned many things over the course my life; some were rewarding experiences and others were necessary lessons.

When I launched The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education, the premise was simple; I wanted to honor my grandfather and effect positive change for future generations.

Through the years, the mission has evolved; our philanthropic efforts have been an extension of a Minyanville community, which has grown in scope and size throughout the last decade.

We helped rebuild libraries on the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

We distributed musical instruments to inner-city children in an effort to channel their talents through a positive release.

There were after-school programs, welfare agencies, art programs, gene-therapy research efforts, memorial scholarships, tutorial programs and mentoring initiatives. While the vehicles varied, the theme was constant: to prepare the leaders, dreamers and visionaries of tomorrow.

Our first charity event was The Critter's Choice Awards in 2006, a stunning affair with a magical touch and one that brought a dream to life while establishing precedent for future efforts.

That energy dovetailed into Festivus in 2007, which has grown into our signature soiree every year since. Hill Country BBQ is the venue for a variety of reasons; the staff is phenomenal, the space perfect and the food absolutely delicious.

2011 has been a difficult stretch for most folks as a chasm of discord divided the political and social spheres. Business is tough, for those lucky enough to have a job, and giving back has taken a back seat to getting ahead.

Enter Festivus; an opportunity to take a step back and a stride forward. The following frames are a small sampling of the smiles that permeated our snazzy Friday night.

(All photos © Allan Tannenbaum)

Snaps to the supporting cast!

Allan Millstein and #9 Don McPherson

Television's Jeff Macke, Toddo, and President Fish

Yahoo Finance out in force!

Hostess with the mostess!

MV Stalwarts Fil Zucchi and Chris Dixon

Toddo and NYSE COO Larry Leibowitz

Scott Redler holds court!

Human capital Clay Walberg, Peter Atwater and Stephanie Pomboy

Silent auction for a great cause!

Hug a Sedacca!

Alperts and Sauts in style!

President Fish holds court

Minyans file in upstairs…

As more Minyans mingle downstairs

Cris and Lisa make it count!

The world's best Journey band, Voyage

Girls gone smile!

And they danced…

Dom Chu and the Bloomie Beauties

The Harrison Clan

Buy & Hedge authors Jay and Wayne

Unforgettable Fire rocks until the wee hours…

Giving Thanks

I'm often share that I'm blessed for the opportunity to do what I love with people I respect while serving the greater good. That's not a sound bite or marketing scheme; it's a mindful awareness that facilitates humility and appreciation.

Given the effort necessary to organize the event, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to those who tirelessly gave themselves to bring this vision to life.

Kelly Gibbons and Julia Fiore, for making an enormous task look unbelievably easy.

Minyanville President Kevin Wassong, the entire Minyanville team, our tremendous professors, our excellent partners and everyone who supports MV and the RP Foundation, for turning a dream into reality.

I must thank our generous sponsors: TD-Ameritrade, LOUIS XIII, Lightspeed, T3 Live, BTIG, Euro Pacific Capital, Nancy Sedacca, E*Trade, Buy & Hedge, HiTouch, NYSE, Pearson, Lincoln Land Services, Pension Partners, BBSP, All Star Security, OneSource, ABC Carpet and Home and NY Health & Racquet.

As we struggle to digest the world we live in and understand the implications for future generations, we must remember that society is simply a sum of its parts. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and you never know how far a positive pebble will ripple in the proverbial pond of life.

As we enter 2012, please make a conscious effort to be good to others and better to yourself. A wise man once said, "This too shall pass" and it most certainly will. The goal, at least from where I sit, is to make each day count and have few, if any, regrets.

From our family to yours, thank you all for all you do and warm wishes for a healthy and happy holiday stretch and a prosperous 2012.

May peace be with you.


Twitter: @todd_harrison

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