Carolyn Maloney’s 8 a.m. breakfast for Jean Shafiroff might have been a tad early for the ladies that lunch crowd, but Jean’s reach is large. She filled the Congresswoman’s townhouse for an invitation-only celebration of Shafiroff’s book, “Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give.”
Philanthropy has certainly given Shafiroff a life. With husband Marty at her side, the Shafiroff’s support a plethora of charities that help the underserved in New York, the Hamptons and increasingly, across the world.
“She is one of the foremost fundraisers for many causes including needy children, women’s issues, animals, the lighthouse, and hospitals,” Maloney told the room. “I got to know her when we were working for gun safety. We weren’t raising money; we were just raising awareness. You can help a charity, as you read in her book, in many ways.”
Championing charitable acts as well as fundraising, Shafiroff is putting a fresh face to philanthropy. “What else would I be doing?” Shafiroff mused. Philanthropy had always been a life’s passion, but after daughters Elizabeth and Jacqueline left the nest, it became Jean’s full-time life’s work.
And she wants to spread her message: Anyone can be a philanthropist. Time spent helping others, be it reading to the blind, visiting cancer wards or, yes, raising money, will make your own life more meaningful. “Many people have the resources, time and knowledge, but they don’t know how to get started,” said Jean. Her book tells how to look within yourself, find your cause(s) and contribute most effectively.
“It’s particularly important now,” said Maloney of Shafiroff’s book. “Because of the freeze in federal funding, the only way we can really augment and help the charities we believe in and cherish, is through private philanthropy. And she is an expert in this field.”
That doesn’t mean Maloney was ceding government support. Congress had just passed the bill she co-introduced to create a coin to raise money for breast cancer medical research, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act. After the breakfast, Maloney held a press conference to announce it.
Guests at the breakfast included Martin Shafiroff, Scott Elkins, Olivia Elkins, Victor de Souza, Montgomery Frazier, Mark D. Friedman, Paola Bacchini-Rosenshein, Erik Bottcher, Joseph Fichera, Jim Farah, J.D. Thompson, Cynthia Rothstein, Eileen Sorota, Christina Ramelli, Michael Travin, Robin Cofer, Steven Ludsin, Teri Koff, Gary Ross, Tony Bowles and Anka Palitz.