You're Invited: Orphans International & Luce Foundation Gala

Stepping Up: How You Can Help Jim Luce Try to Heal the World

David Stone
Jim Luce at the Helm
Jim Luce at the Helm

"Seventeen years ago, shortly after the adoption of my son and with support of my child psychologist mother, we began Orphans International ( Ten years later, inspired by my college professor father, we began our foundation to support young global leadership (

"Next month, we are 'Stepping Up' and I invite you to join us Thursday, April 13 at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park, NYC."

That's Jim Luce's short version of how he started twin international organizations devoted to "connecting goodness" and shepherded each over the next seventeen years. But it fails, in its modesty, to tell the whole story. It leaves out the hard work, exposure to unimaginable suffering and the compassionate activism it inspires.

Most of all, it doesn't tell you that Luce made this work his life, hundreds of civilization's neediest his dependents.

Read: From Roosevelt Island, Jim Luce Touches the World

Lives turn on the unexpected act, the unplanned event that changes everything else, redirecting, shuffling values and awareness. For Roosevelt Island's Jim Luce, that happened in 1995 when, on impulse, he walked into an orphanage in Indonesia, the kind of human warehouse phased out decades before in America.

Inside, safe but living in intense poverty, he found a jewel. That jewel, in rags, became Mathew Luce and lit a fire in his adoptive dad's heart that led to Orphans International, a now worldwide chain of living centers that offer orphaned and abandoned children the kind of "full care" environments usually available in the embrace of healthy families.

Luce might have stopped there, proud enough to have created safe homes for countless of the world's neediest. But he didn't. The story of his enriching the world by inspiring new generations of leadership isn't told often enough, and it is certainly not known well enough here on Roosevelt Island, the community he calls home and base for both international foundations as well as a robust, online publishing platform, The Stewardship Report.

The Stewardship Report is modeled after The Huffington Post, where Luce also somehow finds time to contribute articles, but charged with "Connecting Goodness."

Today, Looking Forward 

"Eighteen years from now," Luce says in announcing Stepping Up, a gala event for both foundations, "I will retire and leave my work and vision in the hands of a world congress comprised of our young global leaders to steer us into the future."

In eighteen years, Luce will be 75 years young. It's hard to imagine that he'll ever really retire. Only time will tell if he can really kick back into dedicated inactivity, but if he says so...

Regarding Stepping Up, "We are launching our first Endowment Funds, unveiling our first Scholarship Funds, and recognizing Luce Leaders, Fellows, and Scholars."

"This year we unveil our Candlelight Awards to honor those who are pushing back darkness in an increasingly dark world," Luce says.

Past Awardees include H.S.H. Albert II of Monaco, H.E. Hon. Li Baodong (China), Meera Gandhi, H.E. Haya Rashed Al Khalifa (Bahrain), Kevin McGovern, Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Hon. Mitzi Perdue, and Peter Yarrow.

Philanthropist, humanitarian, and world leading advocate for mental health Khaliya, formerly Princess Khaliya Aga Khan will also receive the 2017 J. Luce Foundation Claire Boothe Luce International Service Award, at the gala.

Jim Luce brings the world closer to Roosevelt Island by embracing it. Now, he invites us to share in the celebration.

Here's How

Seats in advance are $153 with tables available for $1,350. We have only 160 reserved seats with ten reserved tables available on a first come-first basis served. Nine tables have already been sold…

Pay online or by check. Online, go to Checks payable to  "J. Luce Foundation" may be sent to our office at 540 Main Street #418, New York, N.Y. 10044.

We are looking forward to an inspirational reception and awards dinner and cannot wait to have you in attendance. Thanks to you, we are changing the world.

DETAILS: Our 17th Annual Leadership Reception & Dinner Gala will take place Thursday, April 13, 2017, 6-10 pm, at The National Arts Club located at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, N.Y. 10003. In observance of Passover, both matzo and matzo ball soup will be served.

P.S. – We have several young global leaders who really want to attend the gala but cannot afford to. Please consider a $153 contribution to allow one to join us! It could alter their life… 

Are you ready to help Jim Luce change the world, starting right here on Roosevelt Island?


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