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Children's Hour

At the Gala for New York's Favorite Youth-Focused Charity

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Mary J. Blige   
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New Yorkers for Children nabbed Anderson Cooper to host its tenth annual fall gala at Cipriani last night, but almost didn't: "An intern in my office wrote the message down as Children for New Yorkers, and described it as foster children raising money for members of New York society," the CNN anchor announced from the podium, getting off one of his better lines.

It is, of course, the other way around, and after Anderson had finished, the youthful beneficiaries dutifully took the stage. An artful seven-minute documentary by Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy further illuminated the charity's role. Unlike his other works, this one lacked a plot twist; honoree Mary J. Blige provided one, though. She used her speech to talk about her own foundation for women.

This gala is one of the most important on the charity calendar, and this year's edition raised over $1.5 million, but the evening had a slightly disjointed air. When Ne-Yo grabbed the mike for a two-song set, Tinsley Mortimer went hunting for glow sticks. Wait, aren't those meant for auction bidding? Well, credit a girl for trying to lighten up a party.

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