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Reserve your LEAP Year Event Seats!

UPDATE: LEAP Year Event Ticket Sales have closed. Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your wonderful support of LEAP! Your sponsorship is what makes this event possible. We are so excited to see you at our 26th annual, first virtual LEAP Year Event on Thursday, February 25, 2021 (with additional conversations on Saturday, February 27). We will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST with a virtual reception followed by your choice of conversation with our Guests of Honor at 7:15 p.m.
Follow these steps to reserve your sponsor or host tickets today!

1. Browse the list of conversation options.
Click here or scroll down for the list of conversation options. You may also download the list of options by clicking on the invitation image to the right or below (for mobile).

2. View the list of restaurants.
Depending on your sponsorship level, you will reserve either Non-Dinner Tickets or Dinner-Included Tickets. Click here or scroll down to view the list of restaurants we are supporting for this event. We expect small dinners to fill quickly, and restaurant dinner availability is limited, so sign up early!
3. Make your selections and order your tickets on the reservation form.
Click here or go to the bottom of this page to register for LEAP Year Event and reserve your tickets to the conversation of your choice.

The final deadline to reserve tickets is Sunday, February 21.

Please note: Conversations 6 and 7 (Intimate Conversations) and 16 (Large Group Presentation) occur on Saturday, February 27 at 7:15 pm. The rest take place on Thursday, February 25 after the reception.
LYE Invitation Image
Sponsor Conversation Options

Option 1: Intimate Conversations

1. Bon Appétit!

A wonderful aroma will fill your kitchen when you join Home Cooking New York’s Jennifer Clair for this cooking class dinner party. Ms. Clair, who has been teaching in person and virtual cooking classes for two decades and has authored two cookbooks, will instruct a small group to create perfect wild mushroom risotto paired with a lemony arugula salad. All the ingredients you need will be delivered right to you.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Check out this video of Jennifer Clair teaching the hosts of ABC World News how to use a chef’s knife.

Hosted by Gisela & Richard Goldstein • Dinner ingredients will be delivered to guests.

2. Musical Interlude

Reconnect with our cherished community institution, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Alasdair Neale. Mr. Neale will walk us through his artistic leadership of the orchestra, including the various roles that make an orchestra work, the greater relationship between an orchestra and its community, and his vision for the future of the NHSO. The audience will be transported by musical excerpts performed by NHSO members.

Hosted by Julie Wilson & Tom Ruggieri • Dinner from Union League Café

3. Lessons from Plagues Past

Imagine finding yourself in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy during the spring of 2020, having just published your book Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present in October 2019. Spend an evening with Frank M. Snowden, world-renowned epidemiologist and Professor Emeritus of History & History of Medicine at Yale University, to hear about that experience as he discusses his book, which the World Economic Forum calls the “#1 book to read for context on the coronavirus outbreak.”

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Check out Mr. Snowden's Q&A with The New Yorker on his new book and the impact of the coronavirus on our society.

Hosted by Cynthia Farrar & Paul Kennedy • Dinner from Caffé Bravo

4. Handpicked Pairings

“Every cheese has a story,” and no one can tell them better than Jason Sobocinski, owner of Mystic Cheese and Black Hog Brewing. Join Mr. Sobocinski, who holds a Master’s in Gastronomy from Boston University, starred in the Cooking Channel’s The Big Cheese, and founded New Haven’s popular Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, as he leads participants through a carefully tailored menu of cheese and beer pairings.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor:  Find Mr. Sobocinski's tips and recipe for the best mac n' cheese here.

Hosted by Cynthia & Matt Haiken • This ticket includes a selection of cheeses, each with a paired beer, with additional food pairings from Anna’s Catering.  

5. Heritage for the Future

Travel with the adventures of Turquoise Mountain, an NGO founded in 2006 by HRH The Prince of Wales and Rory Stewart, and led by CEO Shoshana Clark Stewart. Currently senior fellows at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the Stewarts will share the challenge and joy of creating Turquoise Mountain amidst political turmoil in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East to drive economic development based on the arts—preserving the cultures and traditions of these lands, restoring over 150 historic buildings, training over 6,000 artisans, and building over 50 small businesses.

Hosted by Nancy & Rick Antle • Dinner from Caffé Bravo

6. In Sickness & In Health *Saturday 2/27 at 7:15 p.m.

COVID-19 and the presidential debates have highlighted the challenges, intricacies, and controversies surrounding America’s complex healthcare system. Join award-winning journalist, author of An American Sickness, and Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal for a discussion investigating our country’s healthcare failures, implications for the pandemic today, and what we can do to move forward.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Watch this video from the Aspen Institute to hear Elisabeth in conversation about her book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.

Hosted by Helen Kauder & Barry Nalebuff • Dinner from L’Orcio  

7. Innocent Until…? *Saturday 2/27 at 7:15 p.m.

Explore the systemic hurdles facing wrongfully convicted prisoners with Christina Swarns, Executive Director of the Innocence Project, and Miriam Gohara, Yale Clinical Associate Professor of Law. Learn how the Innocence Project exonerates the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system under the leadership of Ms. Swarns, a renowned civil rights and criminal justice attorney representing death row inmates and one of the few Black women to argue (and win) a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: To learn more, check out this introductory video of Ms. Swarns from the Innocence Project and read Ms. Gohara’s piece in The Conversation on the T.R.U.E. program in Connecticut prisons.

Hosted by Kica Matos & Henry Fernandez • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

8. Doing Well by Doing Good

Join a lively conversation with two trailblazing entrepreneurs as they delve into the explosive growth of purpose-driven businesses. Esi Eggleston Bracey, COO of Personal Care at Unilever overseeing a $5B portfolio including Dove and Suave, and Ziad Ahmed, Yale College ’21, founder and CEO of the Gen Z-focused JUV Consulting and nonprofit Redefy, will take you on an exploration of how young people of color are shifting industries and the impact on the strategies and fortunes of the global market.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: To learn more about their work, check out this feature on Mr. Ahmed in the Yale News and this interview with Ms. Bracey in Refinery 29.

Hosted by Shelley & Gordon Geballe • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

9. Say Anything?

Join New York Times journalist and Yale Law Fellow Emily Bazelon for a reflection on free speech in an era of disinformation and the aftermath of the 2020 election. Ms. Bazelon is a co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest and the author of the national best-seller, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.

Dinner made possible by our generous hosts • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

10. Pandemic Disruptions

Explore the relationship between the uprisings over police violence and racial inequity within the pandemic of 2020 with Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean. The author of Identity Politics in the United States, host of Connecticut Public Radio’s Disrupted, and Associate Professor of Political Science and Senior Director for Inclusive Excellence at Quinnipiac University, Dr. Brown-Dean can show us a path through these disruptions to a better and more inclusive community.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Watch this video from Quinnipiac University to hear Dr. Brown-Dean discuss identity politics with a group of students.

Hosted by Deborah & Gary Desir • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers .

11. Telling Untold Stories

Spend an evening with the first undocumented immigrant finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, author of The Undocumented Americans, Harvard graduate and Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Yale University. Kica Matos, VP of Initiatives at the Vera Institute of Justice and immigrant rights activist, will join Ms. Cornejo Villavicencio to discuss her genre-defying book, which has been widely praised for its sensitive reporting, personal narratives, and the unique lens through which it depicts the lives of America’s undocumented.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: To learn more about our guests, listen to Ms. Cornejo Villavicencio's guest appearance on NPR’s Code Switch and read Ms. Matos' reflections on John Lewis here.

Dinner made possible by our generous hosts • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

12. The Magic behind the Podcast

Hear how Jake Halpern and Jack Hitt turn a complicated tale into an audio delight as they discuss their new podcast, Deep Cover, and their celebrated episodes on This American Life. Mr. Halpern is a contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Times and winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his graphic narrative series "Welcome to the New World." Writer at large for the New York Times Magazine, Mr. Hitt has won Peabody Awards for his radio program, Uncivil, and Habeas Schmabeas, about Guantanamo Bay for This American Life.

Hosted by Anne Higonnet & John Geanakoplos • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

13. A Shot of Hope

The newly appointed co-chair of President Biden’s Coronavirus Task Force and founder of Yale School of Medicine’s Center for Equity and Innovation Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith will share a conversation with Dr. Gary Desir, Chair of Internal Medicine at Yale, about her plans to lead the fight against coronavirus and to ensure equity in the governmental response to the pandemic.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Want to learn a little bit more about their work? Check out this feature on Dr. Nunez-Smith in the New York Times and this article on Dr. Desir's work on faculty development and inclusiveness.

Hosted by Cynthia Mann, MD and Claudia Rankine & John Lucas • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

14. Preserving Democracy in the Age of Disinformation

Join Asha Rangappa, former FBI counterintelligence agent, CNN analyst, and Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, to learn how Russia adapted Cold War tactics for a digital age to exploit social media and target and manipulate the American public. Ms. Rangappa will highlight how the political fragmentation in America facilitates these efforts and the implications of this for the future of our democracy.  

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read an op-ed on CNN, authored by Ms. Rangappa, on the recent Capitol riots investigation.

Dinner made possible by our generous hosts • Choose from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

15. An Insider’s View

Enjoy an exclusive virtual tour of highlights from Yale University Art Gallery’s West Campus Wurtele Study Center with Art Gallery Director Stephanie Wiles and Wurtele Programs Manager Roksana Filipowska. Currently closed to visitors, the Wurtele Study Center is a state-of-the-art educational and research facility with over 42,000 of the collection’s objects on display. Together, you will explore the Center, as well as learn about its neighboring Hume Furniture Study and the conservation laboratory on Yale West Campus.

Dinner made possible by our generous hosts • Choose from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.

16. Back to the Future *Saturday 2/27 at 7:15 p.m.

Fly into the future Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History on a family-friendly animated tour guided by Mark Simon of Centerbrook Architects. Mr. Simon will share the plans to transform the museum, currently closed for a $100 million renovation, into a hands-on interactive learning center. In this exclusive tour, get a sneak peak into the upcoming renovations, including the Peabody’s beloved dinosaur exhibit. Children can attend for free!

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: To see more of his work, you can check out these projects on the Centerbrook website.

Hosted by Sue McDonald & Corey Stone and D. Ellen Shuman & Douglas Rae • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants and caterers.


Option 2: Large Group Presentations

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Sponsor Restaurant List

UPDATE: LEAP Year Event Ticket Sales have closed. Thank you for your support!


LEAP Year Event Restaurants

LEAP is delighted to support local restaurants and caterers during the pandemic! Dinner-included Tickets (aside from Conversation #1, a virtual cooking class) include a three-course meal from one of the following eateries.


To view the full list of menu options, click here. You will be able to select your meal from a limited menu on the ticket reservation form below. Please plan to pick up your meal on the day of the event between 4-6 pm.

Anna's Catering
488 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

A boutique caterer that specializes in unique dishes using the seasons’ freshest ingredients.

Caffé Bravo
794 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

Established in 1994, Caffé Bravo offers quality Italian cuisine and other European specialties.

Camacho Garage
36 Fountain St, New Haven, CT 06515

Delicious contemporary Mexican street food including tacos, ceviche and cerveza!

14 Water St, Guilford, CT 06437

Specializing in Northern Italian cuisine and a fusion of Italian and Latin flavors.

Sandra's Next Generation
636 Congress Ave, New Haven, CT 06519

Chicken, pork, fish or vegetables infused with love and a blend of seasonings to create soul food.

September in Bangkok
754 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Named the best Thai food in New Haven.

Soul de Cuba
283 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

Homestyle Cuban cuisine and cocktails that promote and preserve Afro-Cuban culture.

Union League Café
1032 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

Named New Haven’s best French brasserie.

964 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

Specializing in locally grown and globally inspired sustainable food.

Sponsor Ticket Form

Reserve your LYE 2021 ticket here:

How many tickets does my sponsorship level include?

Hosts: 2 Dinner-Included Tickets
Friends: 4 Non-Dinner Tickets
Partners: 4 Dinner-Included Tickets
Athletes: 6 Dinner-Included Tickets
Educators: 8 Dinner-Included Tickets
Mentors: 10 Dinner-Included Tickets
Leaders: 12 Dinner-Included Tickets
Anniversary: 14 Dinner-Included Tickets

How to register (scroll down to find the form):​​

  1. Identify your type of ticket.
    1. Non-Dinner Ticket
    2. Dinner-Included Ticket
  2. Choose your desired conversation from the virtual conversation options:
    1. Intimate Conversations (Dinners 1-7)
      • These are limited to Dinner-Included Tickets. You can choose this option even if you don't plan to, or are not able to, pick up the dinner - just select this option on the registration form.
    2. Large Group Presentations (Dinners 8-16)
  3. Enter the number of guests you are registering for. 
    • You can reserve up to 6 tickets to the same conversation and restaurant with each registration form, but you can fill out the form as many times as you want, for as many conversations as you want.
    • For Dinner-Included Tickets, each pair of tickets bought together includes a complimentary bottle of wine, courtesy of The Wine Thief. 
  4. (For Dinner-Included Tickets) Follow the instructions to choose a meal for each guest from the fixed menu options. 
    • You can reserve up to 6 tickets to the same conversation and restaurant with each registration form. If you want to buy tickets to a different conversation and/or restaurant, please fill out the registration form again.
    • Restaurant ​and meal choices will vary depending on the conversation you select - see the last line of the list of conversations above to see which restaurant(s) are available for your conversation. 
  5. Continue to the next page to fill out each guest's name and contact information. You will also have the option to make a donation to LEAP. 
  6. Continue to the confirmation screen. Each guest will receive a confirmation emailThank you for your wonderful support - we can't wait to see you there! 
  • Reserving tickets for two or more different conversations? Want to order from two or more different restaurants? Fill out a new reservation form for each new conversation you purchase tickets to. *If you are reserving multiple tickets to the same conversation and restaurant, you will not need to do this - just fill out one form and select the quantity of tickets you need.
  • Virtual “seats” for Intimate Conversations will fill quickly, so we suggest you reserve your spots as soon as you can! Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and your placement will be confirmed immediately.

  • All conversations will start immediately after the virtual reception, so please join on time to get the full experience. Please keep in mind that the small conversations will be intimate and your absence will be felt, so please let us know as soon as possible if you can no longer attend.
If you need assistance purchasing tickets, please call us at 914-462-9116, and we can complete your reservation with you over the phone. General LEAP Year Event inquiries can be directed to
Important: If you begin filling out the form but change your mind about one of your choices, please click the "Clear and Restart" button at the bottom to fully clear the form. 
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