Citymeals on Wheels Raises Over $1 Million at the 31st Annual Power Lunch for Women

“Good Day New York’s” Rosanna Scotto Hosted the Benefit to Provide Nearly 163,000 Meals for New York City’s Homebound Elderly

(Thursday, November 16, 2017 – New York, NY) – Earlier this afternoon, over 300 women – leaders in the fields of entertainment, business, technology, arts, media, and politics – gathered at New York City’s famed Rainbow Room to support Citymeals on Wheels at the non-profit’s 31st Annual Power Lunch for Women. The intimate luncheon was emceed by “Good Day New York” anchor Rosanna Scotto and raised over $1 million to provide nearly 136,000 nourishing meals to New York’s City’s homebound elderly. One hundred percent of the money raised from the event will go directly to the preparation and delivery of meals for the city’s frail aged in all five boroughs.

What began in 1986 as a take on the traditional men’s power breakfast has grown into a networking imperative for the city’s most influential women. This year’s luncheon honored longtime supporters Nick Valenti (Citymeals Board Member and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group), Patina Restaurant Group and Tren’ness Woods-Black (President & Chief Strategist, TWB & Sylvia’s Restaurant).

Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, said, “The homebound elderly we serve are the city’s most vulnerable population. They count on the vital lifeline of nutritious meals and warm companionship Citymeals provides. Thanks to the generosity of the women – and men – in this room, our frail aged neighbors can take comfort in knowing that Citymeals will always be there for them and that they will not be forgotten. Thank you to Nick, Patina Restaurant Group and Tren’ness, as well as all our guests and sponsors who are ensuring no homebound elderly New Yorker will ever go a day without a nourishing meal and a friendly smile.

A board member since 1991, Valenti has championed several Citymeals initiatives, including Citymeals Dineout and Chefs Deliver. He and Patina Restaurant Group also serve as hosts for the annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels, which celebrated its 32nd anniversary last June. “Serving on the board of Citymeals on Wheels for the last 26 years has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life,” explained Valenti.

Woods-Black, a longtime friend of Citymeals on Wheels, was also honored for her dedication to the city’s homebound elderly, spearheading the organization’s inclusion in the Harlem EatUp! festival. “Nourishing my frail aged neighbors is a privilege. As my grandmother Sylvia would often say: It is better to give than receive,” Tren’ness noted.

Dedicated Citymeals volunteer, Heava Lawrence-Challenger, was also honored with the City National Spirit Award for her enduring commitment to older New Yorkers in need. Every Saturday, she and her school-age daughter deliver meals to their homebound elderly neighbors before visiting with an 84-year-old meal recipient who lives alone and with whom they have developed a special bond.

Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals on Wheels has delivered 56 million meals throughout the five boroughs. Each year, the organization prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to more than 18,000 frail aged New Yorkers.

Citymeals on Wheels’ official airline is American Airlines and official water is FIJI Water. Event sponsors included Bloomingdale’s, Citarella, City National Bank, Cushman & Wakefield, Travelers, and Zabar’s.

Notable Attendees:

Sylvia Acevedo, Giulia Caltagirone Azmoudeh, Aliyyah Baylor, Alison Lohrfink Blood, Samantha Boardman, MD, Daniel Boulud, Katherine Gage Boulud, Christie Brinkley, Anne E. Cohen, Patti Cohen, Donna Corrado, Julie Hembrock Daum, Florence Fabricant, Ruth Finley, Jennifer Fisher, Randy Fishman, Kathie Lee Gifford, Judith Giuliani, Gael Greene, Jamee Gregory, Chloe Greisman, Robert S. Grimes, SunHee Grinnell, Yusi Gurrera, Jill Kaplan, Suri Kasirer, Harriette Rose Katz, Celerie Kemble, Rikki Klieman, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, Maria Loi, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Liam Neeson, Caryn Resnick, Dennis Riese, Janet K. Rodgers, Lisa Rosenblum, Daryl Roth, Peggy Siegal, Lenore Skenazy, Danielle Smith, Mimi So, Silda Wall Spitzer, Meryl Streep, Marcia Stein, Christina Steinbrenner, Roxann Taylor, Jonathan Tisch, Lizzie Tisch, Donald Tober, Kathleen Turner, Patricia Wexler, MD.


Citymeals on Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, over 21,000 individuals volunteered nearly 68,000 hours of their time.

Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals has relied on the generosity of its Board of Directors, the City of New York, sponsors and other designated gifts to cover administrative costs. This ensures that 100% of all public donations will be used entirely for the preparation and delivery of meals.