News anchor Erika Tarantal and actor Ed Helms at the 22nd Gala Benefit and Auction in support of Project Renewal at the Bowery Hotel.

NEW YORK - Celebrating 45 years of providing health, homes and jobs for those in need, Project Renewal held their 22nd Gala Benefit and Auction on Thursday, June 7. The event raised $750,000 to help the organization continue its vital service to the community.

Reaching out to those who have lost hope on the streets of New York has been the special skill of those who staff this remarkable operation.  Providing health care for the uninsured, often on wheels in their CareVan and MedVan, Project Renewal, led by Mitchell Netburn and Mark Hurwitz, offer the homeless a fresh start.  Culinary training and jobs are created through Comfort Foods, where over 3,000 meals a day are prepared for not-for-profit clients.

The auction helped raise $750,000 to help Project Renewal continue their services to the community.

Ed Helms introduced the auction segment, in his best straight-faced comedic style. Erika Tarantal, the WNBC anchor, moved the program along with consummate professional skill, as she introduced the real star of the evening, Patrick Lee, who described his journey through the program and his deep gratitude for the way in which Project Renewal had literally turned his life around, making this auctioneer’s task considerably easier.  He has described the pure joy of waking up in his own home: “I wake up in the morning and I sit in my bed and say, “Wow, this is mine, this is life, this is wonderful…”

Erika Tarantal and Patrick Lee at the Project Renewal benefit.