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High-profile speakers command hefty donations at New Albany fundraiser

Posted by Kitty McConnell on August 20, 2013

The Wexner family will host former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for a keynote address at the 11th New Albany Community Foundation Remarkable Evening benefit, to be held on November 21. 

The New Albany Company along with Abigail and Les Wexner underwrite the annual benefit, which funds the New Albany Foundation’s annual grant program and community initiatives.  Presenting sponsors include Columbus-based Abercrombie & Fitch, American Electric Power, Huntington Bank, Justice & Brothers, the New Albany Company and the Ohio State University.

Blair joins a long line of luminaries to have delivered the Remarkable Evening keynote, including Condoleezza Rice and Doris Kearns Goodwin. The British press has called Tony Blair the highest paid public speaker in the world; in 2009, the The Times estimated Blair’s private speaking fee earnings had reached £15 million ($23.5 million) during his first two years out of office.

Former President Bill Clinton addressed a sold out crowd of 500 at the 2012 fundraiser. Last year, CNN reported that since leaving office Clinton has commanded an average of $189,000 per speaking engagement for a total $89 million in earnings over 11 years.

Clinton’s 2012 Remarkable Evening speech generated over $2 million for the foundation.

In 2013, the Foundation awarded $1.2 million to organizations including New Albany Schools, a STEM and Nature facility and the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

Before Mr. Blair's speech the Foundation will announce the 2013 recipient of the Jeanne and John G. McCoy Community Service Award. Last year’s recipient was Bobby Schottenstein, president and CEO of M/I Homes.

Event packages are available at two levels: $5,000 Pillars of the Community contributor packages include two tickets to the event and reception, program/website recognition and a copy of the speaker’s book. Premier Patrons will receive table reservations for 10, four reception tickets, two books, McCoy award sponsorship, a half-page program ad and program/website recognition. 

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