Tuesday night, New Yorkers for Children signaled the change of seasons (and the start of the city's Fall party circuit) with its annual Fall Gala at Cipriani's 42nd Street, which benefits the organization's work for youth in foster care. Gala Co-Chair, Dayssi Olarte de Kanovas, stood out in gold Lanvin as she greeted friends, Selita Ebanks paused for pictures in her Oscar de la Renta gown and Hannah Bronfman navigated the crowd with pal, Theophilus London, whose interpretation of black tie included his signature baseball cap and crystallized men's slippers.

Come dinnertime, Estee Lauder's John Demsey took to the stage to accept the organization's inaugural Business Leadership Award. "This is actually one of the first social events I came to when I first came to New York [over 15 years ago]," said Demsey. "It's an honor to be considered a New Yorker having grown up in the Midwest myself." And Giants' defensive end, Justin Tuck, followed suit to receive the Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award in recognition of his Tuck R.U.S.H. for Literacy program, which he founded with his wife, Lauran, a New Yorkers for Children board member.

"I'm standing up here, but she should be the one giving this speech. This is a shameless plug, but, because I am a two-time Superbowl Champion..." said Tuck, igniting a round of applause from the crowd. "I'm up here instead of her. She really does all of the work." After a live auction led by Sotheby's Jamie Niven, singer Mark Cohn serenaded the crowd from the piano with his famous "Walking in Memphis." When guests were invited to migrate to the dance floor, few budged. "No one wants to be the first one to move!" observed one partygoer. Or perhaps it was the oversized slices of Cipriani's chocolate cake that momentarily kept them in their seats.

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Photos: Billy Farrell Agency

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