October 4, 2023, 6-10pm

Marina Del Rey – 1 Marina Dr. Bronx, NY 10465

Please join us on October 4 for our Annual Gala. Our theme, Changing Lives, One at a Time, speaks to the impact we make on individuals of all ages and whose needs may be simple (a vaccine or routine check-up) or complex (housing, behavioral health services, or support with a chronic illness). Our approach is person-centered, and our goal is to help individuals lead their best lives.

Our event is an opportunity for you to network, to support VIP’s services, and to enjoy a great evening. This year we have the privilege of honoring Ponce Bank and Sher Sparano, Senior Vice President at OneGroup Risk Management and Insurance, for their ongoing service to the community as well as awarding the VIP Community Builder Award to Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Health Plan, and the Political Impact Award to Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda. We are also excited that actor V.P. Walling will be our Master of Ceremonies.

We have an exciting evening planned and I sincerely hope to see you there. Please know that your support helps to ensure VIP’s continued ability to offer desperately needed services to under-resourced communities in the Bronx and across NYC, regardless of people’s ability to pay. Please consider serving as a sponsor, purchasing an ad, buying tickets, or making a financial contribution in support of the people we serve.


Debbian Fletcher-Blake
President and CEO



  • Ponce Bank
    Ponce Bank
    Represented by Carlos P. Naudon, President and CEO


  • Sher Sparano
    Sher Sparano
    Senior Vice President, OneGroup

Political Impact Award

  • NYS Senator Luis Sepúlveda
    NYS Senator Luis Sepúlveda
    32nd District

Community Builder Award

  • Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez
    Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez
    President & CEO, Urban Health Plan

2023 EMCEE

  • V.P. Walling
    V.P. Walling


Our 2023 Gala will feature artwork available for purchase. One hundred percent of proceeds will go toward supporting VIP Community Services’ mission and community efforts.

Paintings have been created by and donated to VIP by Inez Sieben, a Pelham-based visual artist and VIP’s Chief Strategy Officer.

One piece that will be auctioned off at VIP’s gala, “Emerging,” is a 16″ x 40″ mixed media painting (featured on the right). As described by Inez, “The piece is representative of this year’s theme “changing lives, one at a time.” It represents persons who seek services at VIP because they need help to address the chaos in their lives (whether it’s lack of stable housing, addiction, mental illness, or untreated chronic medical issues) and through VIP’s services and support, the person “emerges” into their more positive, less chaotic, lighter selves.”

Other works by Ms. Sieben can be viewed on her website.

MUSICAL GUEST: Highbridge Voices

We are so excited to welcome Highbridge Voices, an after-school music and academic program, as the musical guest at this year’s gala! Highbridge Voices teaches students to perform and connect to music across a wide breadth of genres and time periods through a curriculum aligned with the National Standards for Music Education. Learn more about Highbridge Voices here.

Highbridge Voices is sponsored by Fordham in Community.

We’re grateful for the support of our event committee and board members!
Thank you for making this celebration possible.

Thank You to Our Event Sponsors:*

Community Leadership Sponsor

Sunny Builders NY

Circle of Hope Sponsors

Good Eats

Circle of Love Sponsor

Circle of Peace Sponsors

Circle of Care Sponsors

*This list has been updated as of October 2nd and is subject to change