Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation celebrated its ongoing commitment to support mental health with a cocktail fundraiser hosted by Executive Chairman of Saks and President of the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation Richard Baker and Saks CEO Marc Metrick at L'Avenue at Saks in New York City. The event raised $1.8 million to help strengthen the Foundation's mission to make mental health a priority in every community by increasing awareness and education, improving access to care, and promoting the tools and skills that build positive mental health for those who need it most.
"There is no doubt that the last two and a half years have challenged people around the world in unforeseen ways," said Richard Baker, Executive Chairman of Saks and President of the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation. "The need for mental health support has never been more urgent, and we are grateful to our many partners who make our efforts possible through their generous donations. With this latest funding, we are able to continue supporting our nonprofit partners in delivering crucial mental health support to those in need."
Since the Foundation's founding in 2017, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation have donated more than $5.8 million for U.S. mental health initiatives and reached over 6.6 million individuals through programs that promote positive mental health, with a focus on allocating resources to underserved communities. This year, the Foundation launched a $250,000 fund that will support grassroots, community-based organizations whose local efforts are critical in offering support to the health and wellbeing of those they serve.
"Five years ago, the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation embarked on a journey to make an impact on mental health, and today, we feel just as passionate about supporting this increasingly important cause," noted Marc Metrick, CEO of Saks and Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation Board Member. "We are proud of the incredible work our nonprofit partners are doing to ensure that underserved communities and populations disproportionately affected by mental health issues receive critical access to care. We appreciate our many partners who make this work possible through their continued dedication to the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation's efforts."
Guests at the fundraiser enjoyed a special performance by six-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist and pop culture icon, Dionne Warwick, who sang three of her top hits including "What The World Needs Now Is Love," "That's What Friends Are For," and "If I Want To." Dionne joins an impressive roster of legendary artists who have performed at the Foundation's annual Fall Fundraiser, including Patti LaBelle, Cyndi Lauper and Rufus Wainwright.
"There's something that can be done about mental illness and it takes all of us to do that," noted Ms. Warwick. "All we have to do is care, truly care, and always try to make people smile. In the fight against mental illness, we need to be of service to our neighbors, our children, our friends and to our enemies too. Most importantly, just remember that we all can make a difference."
The Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation thanks and recognizes key partners for their significant contributions, including American Express, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Capital One, Kering, Simon Property Group and Wendy & Steven Langman.