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New & Noteworthy

Since 2002, The New Albany Community Foundation has presented renowned lecturers to the community and to area students. From Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and historians, to a former Secretary of State, a former Prime minister and two United States Presidents, the Foundation remains committed to supporting lifelong learning opportunities in New Albany for adults and students alike.

Tony Blair to Speak at Remarkable Evening 2013: Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Help New Albany Community Foundation

The New Albany Community Foundation announced today that Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Tony Blair, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker for the 11th Remarkable Evening, the Foundation’s annual benefit. Sponsorship and ticket information is at  

Presented by Abercrombie & Fitch, American Electric Power, Huntington Bank, Justice & Brothers, The New Albany Company and The Ohio State University, the evening will be hosted in New Albany by Abigail and Leslie Wexner on Thursday, November 21, 2013.  The benefit will include a donor reception and dinner, the presentation of the Jeanne and John G. McCoy Community Service Award and remarks from the former Prime Minister.  This is the 11th year that the Wexners have hosted the event.  The Wexner family also serves as the speaker sponsor.

“Through the generosity of our sponsors and the Wexner family, The Foundation has been fortunate over the years to host an impressive group of speakers who have had a global impact,” said the Chair of the New Albany Community Foundation Board of Trustees, Cindy Hilsheimer. “Last year’s event which featured President Bill Clinton set new marks for dollars raised and attendance.  We anticipate that Prime Minister Blair will generate the same excitement.”

Because Remarkable Evening is underwritten each year by The New Albany Company and the Wexner Family, 100% of the proceeds go to the foundation to support initiatives that enrich lives, especially in the areas of education, the arts, health and wellness and the environment.  

This year alone, the Foundation has awarded over $1.2 million in grants for community initiatives including:

- Cultural & Educational programming at The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.
- Enrichment opportunities, benchmarking, capital projects and professional development at New Albany Schools.
- A “STEM” & Nature Education Center that benefits students across Central Ohio.
- Student lectures, master classes & author residencies that also benefit students across Central Ohio.

“Through the generosity of many families and companies who support us each year, the Foundation has had positive, even transformational impact on the community,” said Foundation President, Craig Mohre.

Tony Blair served as the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 1997 to June 2007. He was also the leader of Britain’s Labor Party (1994 to 2007) and a member of parliament for Sedgefield, England (1983 to 2007). He is currently serving as the Middle East Quartet representative. The Quartet is made up of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. During his ten years as prime minister, Blair transformed Britain’s public services through a program of investment and reform in schools and hospitals, resulting in more children achieving better school results and more people receiving faster access to health care, with improved survival rates for cancer and coronary heart disease. In the U.S., Blair received widespread recognition for his support for America after the tragedy of 9/11. 

As a strong advocate of a values-based, activist and multilateralism foreign policy with action on issues like climate change, global poverty, Africa and the Middle East Peace Process, his efforts have culminated in the development of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. The Foundation is committed to promote respect and understanding of all major religions. Blair is widely credited for his contribution to the Northern Ireland Peace Process by helping to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement and deliver a power-sharing government. Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, made The New York Times best seller list within a week of its release.

Over the last ten years, Remarkable Evening has featured such notable speakers as President Clinton, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, the late Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, Irish Tenor & Champion Disabled Athlete Dr. Ronan Tynan, Academy Award-winning author John Irving, author and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Walter Isaacson, presidential historian and author Michael Beschloss, and New York Times best-selling author and historian James Bradley.

“Remarkable Evening is our primary fundraising event and how we support impactful community projects and organizations,” said NACF Board Chair, Cindy Hilsheimer.  “We believe that everyone who lives or works in the community should have access to enriching educational, cultural and health-related opportunities.”

In addition to the educational endowments and scholarships, the Foundation has supported many community projects including the New Albany Library, the McCoy Center, Healthy New Albany, New Albany’s Safety Town Program, restoration of the historic Ealy and Phelps Houses and Wexner Community Park.  

Prior to the presentation by Former Prime Minister Blair, the evening will feature the announcement of the Jeanne and John G. McCoy Community Service Award recipient.  In 2004, the New Albany Community Foundation established the Jeanne and John G. McCoy Award to recognize a person or persons who have made a significant, positive impact on the community through their contributions of time, talent and treasure in keeping with the mission of the Foundation.

Through their remarkable philanthropy in New Albany and Central Ohio which includes the Columbus Museum of Art, American Red Cross, The Columbus Foundation, and Columbus Children’s Hospital, Jeanne and John G. McCoy embodied the spirit of this award and were the first to be honored with the distinction. 

Other recipients include the late Tiney McComb, founder and chairman of Heartland Bank; Janet Atwater, founder of the New Albany Women’s Network; Dr. Ralph Johnson, past superintendent of New Albany Schools; Bill Resch, environmental teacher and advocate; the late Don Cameron, community leader and Plain Township Trustee; Dr. Phil Heit, founder of the New Albany Walking Club, Walking Classic and Healthy New Albany; The Ryan Family:  Ellen, David, Sarah and Mark, a multi-generation family of philanthropists and leaders and most recently Bobby Schottenstein, President and CEO of M/I Homes.

For sponsorship and ticket information, please refer to  Or contact Craig Mohre at (614) 939-8150.