A year ago at this time, we were putting the final touches on the inaugural Moynihan Fund Gala, hoping that if we transformed our staid annual dinner into a more posh affair and made it a night to remember, CPAs would not only come, CPA firms would also be willing to show their support for the future of the accounting profession in New York State.

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Those who were there know the inaugural Moynihan Fund Gala was a smashing success. Nearly 400 tuxedoed and begowned CPAs, their guests, and 20 corporate sponsors generously helped us raise more than $220,000 for our Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession and scholarship programs that night—programs that provide educational opportunities, financial aid and career guidance to the next generation of CPAs.

I invite you to join us in supporting the next generation of New York CPAs when the Moynihan Fund Gala returns to the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, May 17, from 5–9 p.m. I am excited to announce that this year’s gala will feature a silent auction where guests may bid on Hamilton tickets, including dinner for two at the Restaurant Row staple Becco; two luxury box seats to watch the New York Yankees slug it out with the Boston Red Sox, accompanied by a former Bronx Bomber; and a Las Vegas weekend for two to see Lady Gaga in concert, including two nights at the Bellagio and dinner at Prime Steakhouse. All proceeds will support the Moynihan Fund.

This year, we will honor the contributions of two Society past presidents who have made exceptional contributions to the profession and the next generation of CPAs. One could argue that our COAP program and Moynihan Fund would not exist without them. Past President David A. Lifson will receive the David J. Moynihan Award for his unwavering support of the Moynihan Fund since its inception in 2015, when he committed to a $10,000 matching contribution to the Moynihan Fund. For the past two years, David’s firm, Crowe Horwath, has generously supported the fund with $25,000 donations two years in a row. We will also honor Past President Bert N. Mitchell, founder of Mitchell Titus, the largest minority-owned firm in the United States, and founding president of the COAP program, with the NYSSCPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership in increasing racial diversity within the accounting profession. Since its founding in 1987, nearly 4,000 high school students of color in New York have graduated from the program; many of them give back to COAP to this day because of the impact it has had on their careers and their lives.

The gala will continue the tradition of annual dinners past, when we vote in our new slate of officers and board members, honor the presidential year of F. Michael Zovistoski, and celebrate incoming president Harold L. Deiters III—both premier sponsors of the Moynihan Fund themselves. This year’s live concert will feature Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot, celebrating the music of Billy Joel, a perfect fit for an incoming president who’s a lifelong Long Islander.

These men have been role models in leadership to not only the next generation of CPAs, but also all CPAs. This year’s David J. Moynihan Awardee said it best: “It is with great pleasure and a tremendous amount of pride in this profession, to recognize the generosity and commitment to the future shown by my fellow CPAs to the Foundation for Accounting Education’s Moynihan Fund. I never once questioned the ability of our profession to support the memory of such a good person and to support such a good cause. … I am thrilled to learn now that the profession not only met expectations, but we exceeded expectations.”

Help us exceed expectations this year. Become a sponsor of the Moynihan Fund Gala. Contact C.J. Orr at (212) 424-1920 or cjorr@nysscpa.org. Individual tickets are also available at http://www.nysscpa.org.

Joanne S. Barry, CAE. Publisher, The CPA Journal Executive Director & CEO, NYSSCPA.