Bloomberg News

Colbert, Pepsi CEO, Pear Tree at 9/11 Memorial Benefit

September 05, 2012

9/11 Memorial Benefit Dinner

Stephen Colbert was master of ceremonies of the 9/11 Memorial Benefit Dinner. Photographer: Ronald L. Glassman/9/11 Memorial via Bloomberg

Last night at the 9/11 Memorial Benefit Dinner, Stephen Colbert told guests they’d be eating “sub-prime rib, a meal bundled from other dinners.”

The main course for almost 1,000 guests at Cipriani Wall Street turned out to be braised short ribs and a bundle of asparagus with leeks -- accompanied by the emcee’s convention humor.

Colbert gestured toward an empty chair to introduce his co- host, Clint Eastwood. He also teased guests eager to watch Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

“All of us here tonight share the same noble purpose of not watching the DNC,” Colbert declared.

Joe Daniels, president and chief executive officer of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Foundation Inc., had another purpose in mind: to mark almost one year since the opening of the memorial in Lower Manhattan. More than 4.5 million people have visited from 170 countries.

Its walls are engraved with the names of the almost 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and truck bombing of Feb. 26, 1993.

“I’m really proud of what the memorial has accomplished,” said Howard Lutnick, chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald LP. “It’s timeless, elegant and beautiful and touching to go there. When I ask people to go, I say, ‘Look for my brother.’” Gary Lutnick’s name is grouped with other Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died at the World Trade Center.

Paul Britton, CEO of Capstone Holdings Group LLC, has seen plans for the museum. “I’m impressed with the gravity of it,” Britton said. No date has been set for when the museum will open, said foundation spokesman Sarah Lippman.

Dimon Video

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US), appeared in a video for honoree E. John Rosenwald, a vice chairman emeritus at JPMorgan Chase. The head coach of the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin, and former President Bill Clinton turned up in the video for honoree Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels Inc. and co-owner of the Giants.

Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI:US) was recognized for funding the printing of the memorial guide and providing marketing and information- technology services.

Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc. (PEP:US), and her husband, Raj, were benefit sponsors. Christy Ferer, founder and chairman of Vidicom Inc., was dinner chairman.

Among the guests: Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL Inc. (AOL:US); Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase co-chief operating officer; Alan Patricof, of Greycroft Partners LLC; and Blair Effron, of Centerview Partners LLC.

Survivor Tree

Stephen Barton, who as an intern three years ago worked on the arrangement of names at the memorial, was presented with a sapling from its Callery pear Survivor Tree.

On July 20, the 2012 Syracuse University graduate was wounded by a gunman in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. He had stopped there on a cross-country cycling trip.

“It’s remarkable how arbitrary these events can be,” Barton said. “It’s one thing to understand it, and another to live through it.”

He’s deferred a Fulbright fellowship in Russia to work on gun control in the U.S.

The 9/11 foundation’s chairman is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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