The Bob Woodruff Foundation held its inaugural Generous Persson Award Ceremony, named in memory of philanthropist, Helen K. Persson, at the Helen Mills Theater, Sept. 17.
Honored were Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of iconic comedy club Caroline’s On Broadway, and Bob Jeffrey, non-executive chairman of world-renowned advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. They were chosen for their extraordinary commitment to our nation’s injured veterans and their families.
“We are so grateful to Caroline and Bob for all they have done for our nation’s impacted veterans through our foundation,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent and cofounder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “Neither asked for this honor and would probably say they don’t deserve this—however, I don’t think we’d be where we are without them.”
The award honors the legacy of Persson, who understood the wounds of war. A lieutenant commander in the Navy Nurse Corps during World War II, it was her initial gift of $1 million that helped the Bob Woodruff Foundation grow its mission from a small, family foundation to a nationally-recognized leader among veteran-focused organizations.
Hirsch and Jeffrey both serve on the board of directors of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and have drawn upon their talents to further its mission.
In 2007, Hirsch founded Stand Up for Heroes, a night of comedy and music featuring top entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Robin Williams, which has collectively raised $27 million to help our injured service members and their families.
Regarded an ambassador of advertising, Jeffrey has leveraged his vast experience and network to help develop the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s brand and identity as the national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring post-9/11 injured veterans and their families are thriving.
Through Jeffrey, the foundation has retained pro-bono, world-class marketing, consulting and design services—allowing the foundation to focus on programs supporting our nation’s heroes.
An intimate, invitation-only event, attendees at the awards included leaders in entertainment, business and philanthropy. Beyond recognizing the honorees, it was an opportunity to promote the work of the foundation.The event included a special video presentation that included remarks from the honorees’ family and friends, including comedian Jim Gaffigan.
Since its start in 2006, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $28 million to find, fund and shape programs that create long-lasting, positive outcomes for veterans and their families nationwide.