Bettina's Take: Henry Street Settlement 2011 Gala Dinner

Plaza hotel ballroom

Henry Street Settlement has been "opening doors for Lower East Side residents and other New Yorkers through social services, arts, and health-care services" since it was founded in 1893 by Lillian Wald.

On April 7, the Plaza's ballroom was filled with supporters of this incredible organization, who had come to honor three extraordinary champions of this wonderful cause: Richard Abrons, Ursula Burns, and Lauren Bush.

"Henry Street got me involved in life. I grew up across the street, and it changed everything for me," said Burns. Born and raised on 3rd St. and Avenue D, Burns is now the president and CEO of Xerox Corporation, and she credits Henry Street with helping her find her path to success.

"Today, there are 38 settlements in New York City, but none as worthy as Henry Street," Abrons added.

Burns then announced that the Xerox Foundation has given a $250,000 grant over two years to Henry Street's Expanded Horizons College Preparation Services.

The Plaza looked as beautiful as the people who filled it, including Marielle and Edmond Safra, co-chair Lesley Schulhof and her husband, David, Rachel Roy, Dori Cooperman (in Giorgio Armani), co-chair Veronica Bulgari and husband Stephan Haimo, and Zani Gugelmann. Long banquet tables were decorated in red and silver hues, with huge cherry blossom centerpieces, designed by Bardin Palomo.

"What really impresses me is the range of programs they offer," said Lauren Bush, looking stunning in Ralph Lauren (naturally). "It's one-stop shopping for families in need."

Bush, accompanied by her fiancé, David Lauren, and her mother, Sharon (gorgeous in Escada; the apple didn't fall far from the tree), announced that her FEED charity will be doing a special-edition bag to benefit Henry Street. What a brilliant idea.

Photo: The Plaza Hotel ballroom