Three big numbers framed the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) 25th Anniversary Gala celebration in New York City Wednesday night: 1 million dollars raised for National Forests; 50 million trees that the NFF announced it will plant in the next seven years; and 1 billion liters of water the Coca-Cola Company has restored on National Forests across the country.
Actress and NFF board member Andie MacDowell hosted and emceed the night for a capacity crowd of 410 people, including business leaders, conservationists, senior leadership from the U.S. Forest Service, NFF’s national board of directors, and other supporters.
“It was an important night for our National Forests,” said Mary Mitsos, NFF President and CEO. “We celebrated our 25th Anniversary, honored Coca-Cola’s tremendous conservation commitment, set a fundraising record for the NFF, and we announced an exciting and ambitious reforestation campaign to plant 50 million trees on our National Forests. Doing all of that with a packed house at the historic Pierre Hotel made for a great night. I’m grateful to all who joined us and helped make this night such a success.”
J. Alexander Douglas, Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company and President of Coca-Cola North America and Beatriz Perez, Coca-Cola Company’s Chief Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Officer were recipients of the evening’s awards, which were presented by Ms. MacDowell.
“I want to congratulate everyone who works for and with the National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service on what you’ve created together. There is no greater work than bringing awareness, passion and action to the issues that will impact each and every one of us, our children, our grandchildren, and countless generations to come.”
In addition to recognizing Coca-Cola’s watershed restoration investments, the event raised $1 million to support restoration, community engagement and volunteerism on America’s 193 million acres of National Forest and Grasslands. Beyond Coca-Cola, major support came from Dinner Chairs, including: Sirius Fund, The Craig and Barbara Barret Foundation, David Bell, The Carlson Family Foundation and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Crown Holdings, Harris Diamond and McCann Worldgroup, Joan and Robert Feitler, NASCAR, Daryl Lee and Universal McCann, Coley Burke and Waterfront New York, and Steve Vorhees and WestRock.