One of the only things better than a gorgeous, boozy rooftop brunch with your friends is when you can do it all for charity. This past Saturday, I joined a group of my closest pals for the third annual Olevolos Project brunch hosted by actor and philanthropist Bryan Greenberg.
After Bryan took a trip to Tanzania in 2010, he wanted to find a way to help so teamed up with his cousin Dory Gannes, the founder of The Olevolos Project, to fundraise for this important cause. The Olevolos Project annual brunch was born. Amazingly, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly towards the Olevolos Project’s Scholarship Program, which provides educational opportunities to disadvantaged young people in the Olevolos village of Tanzania.
One of my besties Andrea was the all-star event planner for the brunch so I knew every last detail would be perfect. The sold-out brunch was hosted at Gallow Green, the spectacular rooftop of Sleep No More’s McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea and we were blessed with one of the first 70 degree sunny afternoons in NYC. The trendy venue was filled to the brim with celebrities and models such as Bryan’s fiancé Jamie Chung and James Lafferty, fans, and friends who came out to support the cause.
Gallow Green (full review to come!) is a lush, floral rooftop setting that overlooks the city. Guests were treated to live music and custom cocktails from sponsors Tito’s Vodka and Don Julio upon entering the brunch. Gallow Green offered their full array of brunch fare; standouts included fried chicken with black pepper honey, fresh smoked salmon, fluffy Southern biscuits, and a fresh kale Caesar salad.
After a few hours of libations, DJ Jus Ske, Bryan’s friend who recently returned from DJing Jay-Z’s Magna Carta tour, donated his time to the cause and spun tracks for the remainder of the afternoon. Our entire group got competitive at the silent auction, which included more than 50 hot-ticket items with donations from FlyWheel, Henri Bendel, Rent the Runway, The Date Dish, and more! I ended up with a gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff tote and wear it with pride knowing that my money went to such a great cause.
The best parties have photo booths so the entire brunch crowd flocked to Microsoft’s huge photo booth in the corner of Gallow Green.
The Olevolos Project flew in Oliver, a local woman from Tanzania, who beautifully spoke on behalf of the kids that our brunch would directly benefit. It was the most touching part of the event and there were few dry eyes in the venue.
In the end, we found out that this was the Olevolos Project’s most successful brunch yet, raising enough money to school 22 students for an entire year, including all school fees, school supplies, medical expenses, and various activities including a summer camp. We had a blast and can’t wait for next year’s brunch!
More information: http://theolevolosproject.org/