February 1, 2023 — Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ sole charitable organization, today announced that industry veteran, Su Hilty will be honored with its 2023 Bert Tonkin Gift of Giving Award on February 6, at 10am (ET), online via Zoom and in-person during NYNow at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The Gift of Giving Award, which is named for the late Bert Tonkin, industry benefactor and president of Western Exhibitors, recognizes philanthropic industry endeavors and sustained selfless efforts.
In connection with the presentation of the Award, Gift for Life also will host a fundraising campaign for AIDS Walk New York, an event which Su has supported for more than a decade as a both a participant and co-captain of the Gift for Life team. Currently, Su is battling PSP-Progressive Supra Nuclear palsy, a degenerative disease, and has moved into long-term assisted care in Sarasota, FL, to be near family members. Donations in Su’s honor will be accepted starting in early March.
“Su has been instrumental in growing both participation and fundraising for AIDS Walk New York,” said Cole Daugherty, Gift for Life chair. “We are delighted to recognize Su not only for her passionate contribution to AIDS Walk New York, but also for the significant impact she has made on our industry.”
Su’s other philanthropic industry endeavors include serving as a long-time member of the Gift for Life board – including one term as chair – participating actively in the NY Chapter of IFDA (International Furnishings & Design Association) and working with her University of Wisconsin Alumni Association. Despite her ‘retirement’ in 2011, she has been a constant and actively engaged member of our industry. Her professional experience includes long stints in Sales and Marketing at Bloomindales, Gucci America, Liz Claiborne, as well as 225 Fifth Avenue and 7W where she played an active role in the New York Market Coalition, promoting gift, tabletop and home textiles markets in New York City.
Su is stepping down as AIDS Walk NY co-captain and will serve as Captain Emeritus for the Gift For Life/NY NOW team. For the 2023 event, co-captain Caroline Kennedy will partner with industry veteran Kelly Bristol, to lead the team’s organization, inspiration and fundraising. Information and registration for AIDS Walk New York 2023 will be available in mid-to-late March.
Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben of Appleman Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. In 2021, with COVID-19 temporarily causing cancelation of in-person events at industry markets, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on COVID-related hunger relief. In 2023, the all-volunteer organization will continue to support programs that address hunger relief. More information is available at www.giftforlife.org.
AIDS Walk New York is the largest single-day AIDS fundraising event in the world. In its 30+ years, the event has inspired nearly 890,000 people to walk and millions more to donate, raising nearly $155 million to combat HIV and AIDS. The funds raised at the event benefit GMHC, a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported, and community-based organization which provides prevention and care services to individuals living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. GMHC advocates for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. For information, visit https://ny.aidswalk.net/ and www.gmhc.org.
Gift for Life, Cathy Steel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-340-9251