By Sharon Mead

On November 7, 2015, prior to the Boutique Design New York show, a very special event occurred at the Vermillion on Lexington Avenue. Here, guests opened their hearts to Hollywood HEART at the sixteenth annual International Society of Hospitality Purchasers fundraising event. In fact, they opened their hearts many times over and donated $355,000, the most ever raised at this event.

Hollywood Heart Girl with Time Cue

Hollywood Heart participants on a movie set with the camera ready to roll.

“We work in a generous industry,” said David Shulman, Principal at Project Dynamics and International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP) co-founder. “Since our first event in the year 2000, ISHP has raised $3 million for Hollywood HEART.”

ISHP major sponsors of Hollywood Heart

It all started when Shulman and Neil Locke, Principal at Neil Locke & Associates and ISHP’s other co-founder, created the hospitality professionals group. They recognized that the organization should include a philanthropic element. “Giving back to the community and focusing on how we could serve the design world was part of our founding tenants,” said Shulman. But what charitable organization would best fit? The ISHP vision included a focus on children; serving those affected by AIDS/ HIV; and finding a growing not-for-profit that would offer the opportunity for ISHP members to be personally involved and make an impact.

Hollywood Heart Music at the camp

Hollywood Heart musicians and participants at an outdoor event.

While in New York City, after completing a Marathon, the answer came to Shulman when he saw a TV news magazine feature about Hollywood HEART. He called Locke right away. “We agreed that they fit everything we were looking for,” said Shulman.

Hollywood Heart 20th Anniversary Celebration logo

Hollywood Heart is celebrating 20 years of serving the community.

Hollywood HEART, founded in 1995, is a not-for-profit based on serving youth through hope, education, arts, recreation, and teamwork – the acronym HEART. Hollywood HEART youth are impacted by chronic issues including HIV/AIDS, homelessness, foster care, and the judicial system. The organization blends two complementary programs: the arts intensive Camp Hollywood HEART, and in school/after school Educational Arts Workshops with the mission to nurture resiliency, creativity, and community through collaborative arts programming.

“I believe that true success comes from helping others,” said Jim Mischel, CEO of Electric Mirror. “We fully embrace and support what Hollywood HEART is doing to help inspire youth who may otherwise be forgotten or lost. I’m so glad that we could attend this year’s event and commend David and Neil for their leadership, vision, and action.”

Experience the art, work, and lives of Hollywood HEART youth at: