4th Annual Benefit Concert | Featuring Gavin DeGraw

The atmosphere was electric and there was a pronounced buzz as 500 people swarmed to the 4th annual Matt’s Promise Benefit Concert on Thursday, May 14 at Cipriani Wall Street. The triumphant Greek revival architecture, as well as the grand and luxurious venue created a backdrop for an outstanding and successful evening that featured Gavin DeGraw who, in just a few short years, has become one of today’s premier singer-songwriters. On the merits of his creative abilities, perseverance and a healthy, homegrown perspective, DeGraw has established himself as a magnetic voice in popular music.

There are no words to properly express our gratitude for the overwhelming generosity of the attendees who joined us for this year’s event. In such a difficult economic climate, it was extraordinary!

Every day we take new steps toward advancing our mission and achieving our core project goals. Please make sure that you mark your calendar for the 5th Annual Matt’s Promise Benefit Concert, Thursday, May 13, 2010.

Event Photographs

We had an outpouring of support, most notably from our sponsors:


  • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Chetrit
  • Matthew & Mary Jeanne Miller – National Land Tenure Company LLC
  • RP Realty Partners
  • Keith D. Stoltz Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Tabak



Last year, we created the Matthew Wiederkehr Leadership Award to acknowledge and celebrate individuals who demonstrate unparalleled initiative and leadership in helping us pursue our mission. We were proud and thrilled to recognize Amy Esralew this year for her expertise, talent and energy that she has given so freely to Matt’s Promise.

Several dynamic live auction items helped Matt’s Promise raise an astonishing $57,250! Sebastian Clarke, a featured appraiser on PBS Network’s production of Antiques Road Show, helped to whip up a frenzy for packages that included an HBO party for the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, tickets to Billy Jean King’s luxury suite at the 2009 US Open, an honorary Ball-Kid for a NJ Nets basketball game, a tropical get-away at Puerto Rico’s hot-spot La Concha, dinner at the highly-famed RAOs, and a trip to Vegas for an HBO heavyweight fight. All winners were thrilled with their prizes but equally happy to support our cause.

Around the room, we also had the Matt’s Promise auction bowl where guests could choose a ticket that corresponded to a prize that ranged in value from $75 to $1,000! There were a lot of surprises and amazing items that included “behind the scenes” at Broadway’s Wicked, viewing passes at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Channel sunglasses, and private shopping at Theory and J. Crew, to name a few.

The silent auction featured a birthday party at Dylan’s Candy Bar, a Michael Kors Signature bag, tickets to a Jimmy Fallon Taping and a Zamboni ride, and sixteen other items.

Other treats included a Carlos Falchi handbag bar, a sports memorabilia bar and a Judith Ripka Jewelry station.

The Matt’s Promise Benefit Concert is held to fulfill the commitment of the foundation’s founder, Matthew Wiederkehr who, on his deathbed, “promised” to help other young people suffering from devastating diseases. The cornerstone project for Matt’s Promise is the funding of cutting-edge research that will help identify the causes, treatments and one day, a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a horrific disease that affects 20,000 boys in the United States each year. To date, we have awarded $1.5 million for this cause.


The event included many dedicated and hard-working volunteers. The committee included:

• Babs Reiff • Sheryle Katz • Craig Sedmak • Lauren Ostrin • Tom Shea • Lenni Sue Perry • Rob Lawrence • Aimee Promisel • Jodi Bloom • David Rothberg • Lori Cohn • Howard Simon • Shari Dinowitz • Karen Stoopack • Amy & Jason Esralew • Lynn & Stuart Weisenfeld • Gabrielle Goodman • Mandi Wiederkehr • Roger & Nancy Gross • Ilisa Zollenberg

On behalf of the Advisory Board and Officers of Matt’s Promise, thank you for your overwhelming support and helping us hold the torch that was lit by Matthew Wiederkehr five years ago.