Posts Tagged ‘Charity



It’s considered to be one of the  premiere and most celebrated  interior design events in NYC (it sold out again this year folks!) featuring many of the elite designers from around the country.  Housing Works, the NY based  organization that raises money to help  individuals living with HIV who are homeless or are in need of support,  recently produced a celebrity driven event called  “Design On A Dime”- a  collaboration with award-winning interior designers from around the country  who  come together and exhibit their impressive talents  in  interior design mixing color trends and luxurious accessories with  their trademark talent. All  in the name of raising money for people living with HIV. Great karma folks!

Award-winning interior designers pose for The Ravi Report

The pricey (tickets started from $150  upwards) three day charitable design event included silent auction and items sale. The event was opened to the public.

Ravi Yande with event co-chairman Nate Berkus

Since 2005, Design on a Dime has raised more than $2 million in support of Housing Works and the giving continues folks.

This year’s gala showcased the largest-ever array of designers and well-known celebrities who created 56 stunning room vignettes with new and donated items which then sold for 50 to 70% off at the end of the event. Trust me, there was almost nothing left to display!

All  five of 2011  co-chairs which included  the beautiful and AGELESS supermodel Iman, national design expert  Nate Berkus, James Huniford, Charlotte Moss and the ever so  pretty Lara Spencer were in attendance and mingled with guests and the press discussing their ideas and creative look.  The business savvy and well liked BRAVO TV Executive VP of Programming, Andy Cohen was gracious enough to lend his talent in a captivating display he had designed.

Stunning Iman with co-designer Robert Verdi smile for The Ravi Report

The event not only brings awareness to those living with HIV but also shows how supportive the design and entertainment  industries  are in raising money for a great cause.

 The Ravi Report was invited this year to the opening night cocktail party which was attended by some of the most beautiful people and talented designers in the world.

Oprah’s friend and home design global expert Nate Berkus is someone who really and truly cares about people.  Plain and simple. The well liked television host first stepped into the Oprah world  in 2002 and since as become one of the most  sought after designers who  has helped countless people beautify their home with his gifted talent for design and interior layout.

Nate Berkus expresses his gratitude to guests

In a field of editors, beautiful people, sexy models (yes, that WAS Petra Nemkova walking around with her credit card) and high society folks covered with enough diamonds to feed a country, stood a very unassuming, intelligent and personable man who is ruling the air waves with his popular show “ The Nate Berkus Show” while creating goodness along the way.

The crowd outside the sold out event at the Metropolitan Pavilion formed a line down the block. “I think Nate’s way of decorating is ideal,” said one gorgeous tall blond wearing a long back sexy dress. “I’m  waiting in line for about 25 minutes but it’s well worth it to see the designers and Nate,” said one stunning brunette with almond shaped brown eyes whose pulsation seem to have accelerated with the mention of the designer’s name.

Nate Berkus addressing the crowd eager to shop!

The humble and unassuming Berkus was  co-chairman of this year’s event.   The talk show host, author and entrepreneur is concerned deeply about raising money for people living with HIV and wants to do something about it.   Hand picked by Oprah, Berkus’s own national talk show  shows the world how to design on whatever budget you maybe working with. He spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his work, his passion and his dedication to helping others.

RR:  Good to see you again Nate. I know you have been actively involved in Design on a Dime and the organization Housing Works is very dear to your heart.  What role does the design community play in such an imperative fundraiser?

NB: It’s an opportunity for the design community to show the side that not a lot of people have a chance to see- an enormous, giving and non-judgmental group of very talented people.

RR: What is so unparalleled about this event?

BRAVO TV star Andy Cohen shows off style & class!

NB: Rooms are designed in a way that everyone has access to and is affordable for anyone that wants beautiful pieces of furniture or accessories.

RR: You have helped countless people all over America by way of home design while becoming somewhat of an icon in the design community with others following trends you have set. What inspires Nate Berkus to do all this?

NB: Well, thank you so much. Honestly, I am most inspired by people. In the ten years of makeovers on TV, it’s never the furniture, the colors or the fabric I remember. It’s really the personal stories of the people’s lives that I was able to touch that really means the most to me.

RR: How can we sum up Nate Berkus in one sentence?

NB: hmmm…(pauses).. I have been very, very lucky and I am aware of that every single day.

The  dazzling  Iman, CEO of IMAN Home Fabrics along with TV personality and stylist Robert Verdi collaborated together and created a unique collection with traditional African motifs in black, orange and white. It was nearly impossible to get a peak at their work since crowds of fan and gorgeous supermodel Petra Nemkova were trying to see their work and speak to the talented Duo. Iman is a stunner- plain and simple folks and very sweet. No wonder why she is so well liked in the design community both in the US and internationally.

Next year folks get your tickets early and become part of the exciting world of design by helping others and beautifying your home sweet home along the way. For more information on the event and how you can contribute all year long, check out

The journey continues…and with style!



Freezing Night in NYC Brings Out Warm Hearts For Charity.

It had to be one of the coldest nights so far in NYC this Fall season.  I mean cold. Cold. Did I say that already? Sorry. Ok, enough of that. But it was cold.

It was blistering winds outside on the streets of Manhattan but warm and toasty inside the spacious Gotham Hall in Manhattan on Friday night, November 20th when the gorgeous supermodel and founder Helena Houdova along with superstar Russell Simmons came together for Houdova’s annual Sunflower Children Charity Celebrity Poker event.  The charity ( is a humanitarian based organization that aids disadvantaged children around the world in education, healthcare and the necessary requirements for daily healthy living. Helena is President and founder of the Sunflower Children Charity and she does an amazing job with her tireless efforts and passion for helping children.

Supermodel Helena Houdova, Founder & President Sunflower Children

Supermodel Helena Houdova, Founder & President Sunflower Children

The charity has grown immensly over the years thanks to the supermodel and her team of dedicated & caring people.  The organization has helped thousands of children through the generous donations of people who attend the galas/events that Helena does throughout the year. She has a very loyal following and it certainly showed at the event that was nearly sold out.  Co-host & long time supporter Russell Simmons, who is ever so generous with his time and money, graced the occasion with his tradmark sport cap and winning smile as guests entered the main area for the cocktail party where international male model Lane Carlson was interviewing stars and guests for TV. The long line of beauties waiting to speak to Lane was indeed confirmation that the model has many dedicated fans.
Co-hosts Russell Simmons & Helena share a joke.

Co-hosts Russell Simmons & Helena share a joke.

Despite her busy travel schedule, Helena still manages to find time to assist in arranging and overseeing events throughout the year for the foundation. When you speak to her in person, you can get a feel for her dedication and drive that she has to help people. I’ve met her many times over the years at events and she is gracious and very humble in nature and always stops to speak to reporters.

The red carpet arrivals were a bit tight this year in the sense that most of us reporters, photographers, foreign and US TV crews were all sharing one packed area. But still we all cooperated with one another as the celebrities & supermodels came through to stop and talk to reporters before they were whisked away into the main area of the Hall.

With intense wind chill factor going strong, the ladies did not skip out on wearing their best designer evening gowns complimented by the finest jewels and furs. It was indeed the place to be scene in NY that night!
The elegant Armani Models make a surprise visit!

The elegant Armani Models make a surprise visit!

Congrats to Helena and her hardworking and dedicated team of volunteers and support staff who worked so hard to make sure the event ran smoothly. People were excited to be part of something so special and from the looks of it,  it was indeed a successful event. Kudos to smart and organized Lisa Sorenson of LSPR who did a great job with the press and the red carpet. For more info do check out to see how you can join Helena and Lane in their crusade to help children around the world.

As I was leaving Gotham Hall,  I saw a very beautiful lady running in late from the cold wearing a sexy black evening gown and a sheer silk jacket barely covering her up.

“What a cold night” I commented.

“wild horses couldn’t keep me away tonight” smiled the beauty.

That statement itself speaks volumes of the generous human spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Flickr Photos