Blue Ridge Labs Joins Robin Hood

For over 25 years, the Robin Hood Foundation has sought ways to alleviate poverty in New York City to great effect. They’ve raised nearly $2 billion dollars since 1988, and, with a board of directors that personally funds the entire organization, 100% of donations go straight to the programs that feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and provide educational and occupational opportunities for upward economic mobility.

An exciting piece of news from the Robin Hood Foundation this month is the incorporation of Blue Ridge Labs, a group within the Blue Ridge Foundation that supports tech-based programs whose purpose is to use technology to serve underprivileged communities. In addition to funding these programs, the Blue Ridge Foundation has also provided workspace and mentorship to entrepreneurs and start-ups. Along with the Robin Hood Foundation, they hope to use technology to help New Yorkers break from a repressive cycle of poverty and gain access to opportunity in new ways.

Blue Ridge Labs Robin Hood Foundation Eric GersterBy joining forces, Blue Ridge Labs will have the ability to interface with the very populations they are hoping to assist through Robin Hood. According to Hannah Calhoon, director of Blue Ridge Labs and former member of the Boston Consulting Group’s Development team, “We believe that this user-centric approach leads not only to products that are more likely to be adopted by their target audience, but also more likely to be effective in addressing the challenges these communities face.”

Blue Ridge Foundation Eric Gerster

If last year’s fellowship program was any indicator, their continued partnership should experience continued success. Over 350 applicants who had previously worked at some of the most notable companies in the tech world like LinkedIn and Adobe applied for 18 positions. The products that were developed served a wide range of those in need, from the elderly to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. As it currently stands, one team is in the process of acquiring seed funding and another has already been acquired.

The Robin Hood Foundation has been working to break the cycle of poverty for millions of New Yorkers for over twenty-five years. With this new partnership of Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood, they are utilizing the tools of the digital age to continue fighting poverty into the future.

Greenwich Hospital Great Chefs Fundraiser – March 6th

Eric-Gerster-Greenwich-Hospital-Logo Since 1903, Greenwich Hospital has offered both meticulous care to its patients and comprehensive education to medical students. Serving lower Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Westchester County (NY), its expertise covers all medical specialties and offers a wide range of medical, surgical, diagnostic and wellness programs. It is a member of the Yale New Haven Health System and is one of the Yale School of Medicine’s major academic affiliates. In just under a month, Greenwich Hospital will be conducting its 30th annual Great Chefs fundraiser. The fundraiser will bring in over fifty chefs and beverage suppliers, including celebrity chef honorees Aarón Sánchez and Debra Ponzek. The event will feature culinary creations from dozens of chefs, which will be complemented by cocktails and wine supplied by local distributors. For those looking for some added excitement, there will also be live and silent auctions and a band.

Aaron Sanchez

Aarón Sánchez

This fundraiser is conducted to support Community Health at Greenwich Hospital and its many outreach services and programs that set it aside from other hospitals. These include health education programs, free health clinics, and chronic illness support groups, programs that demonstrate the hospital’s dedication to wholesome, comprehensive care.

Debra Ponzek

Debra Ponzek

Both of the Great Chefs honorees for this year have enjoyed great success. Chef Aarón Sánchez grew up as the son of Zarela Martinez, a famous Mexican chef, and has since designed his own line of cooking implements, written his own cookbook and visited the White House as a guest chef. He now co-owns two Johnny Sanchez restaurants, co-stars on Chopped, and is considered one of Mexico’s top Latin chefs. Chef Debra Ponzek, on the other hand, found success in the 1980s while at the upscale French restaurant, Montrachet, to the tune of consecutive three-star ratings. She has written several of her own cookbooks and has dozens of TV appearances. She now co-owns three Aux Délices stores in various Connecticut locations, functioning as a cafe, bakery and gourmet prepared foods provider. The benefit is scheduled to be held on Friday, March 6th at the Westchester Country Club from 7pm until 11:30pm. For more information, please visit