What does veteran M&A lawyer Stephen Dannhauser have in common with Tom Brokaw and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter?
What does veteran M&A lawyer Stephen Dannhauser have in common with Tom Brokaw and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter? All three were honored last month for their philanthropic contributions by Citizens For NYC, a 30-year-old charity that promotes civic and neighborhood improvements in New York City.
The group’s annual awards dinner drew more than 600 people from the city’s political, business and cultural elite to the Waldorf-Astoria and raised a record $1.4 million for the charity. Dannhauser, chairman of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, was recognized for his work as president of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, which has raised some $112 million for the families of uniformed officers who perished in the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
“I’m proud to call New York City my home and doubly proud to receive this honor from you tonight,” said Dannhauser, 55, during an emotional speech in which he invoked the sacrifices of 9/11 rescuers. “As horrible as that day was, the true character of our city was revealed in the selfless acts of heroism we witnessed.”
Plenty of Dannhauser’s Wall Street buddies pitched in to support him. The evening’s co-chairs included star M&A banker Joe Perella; J.P. Morgan Chase vice chairman Jimmy Lee; Barry Friedberg, head of asset management firm FriedbergMilstein; Lawrence Schloss, CEO of buyout firm Diamond Castle; and Deutsche Asset Management chief Kevin Parker.
An additional big draw for the evening: a silent auction with a grand prize of two tickets, donated by Carter, to Vanity Fair’s 2007 post-Oscar party. They were snapped up for $25,000.