Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez at Robin Hood Foundation’s Gala

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Sandwiched between the two musical acts was the comedian Dave Chappelle, who opened, deadpan, with: “It’s a pleasure to be here, at the Illuminati bake sale or whatever this thing is.” This “error” was followed by the admission of another, that he had made a mistake in November, when he said that people should give President Trump a chance during his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.”

Luminaries in attendance included Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Jeb Bush, Michael Douglas, Eli Manning, Willie Geist and Katie Couric. “I’m having a lot more wine than I did last year,” said Ms. Couric, who is on the Robin Hood board and is a veteran M.C. of the gala.

Ths year, Michael Strahan was at the controls.

Alex Rodriguez, a chairman of the benefit, attended with Jennifer Lopez. Boldface names from the business world included Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, and Kenneth Griffin, the founder of the hedge fund firm Citadel, who recently donated $15 million to Robin Hood for a challenge grant.

The deep pockets of the attendees were underscored by the very visible presence of the police in and around Javits Center, and the fund-raising totals: more than $54 million, with about $20 million in ticket sales (admission started at $3,000 a person; $30,000 for a table), and an additional $19 million pledged during the gala.

“This room is a reminder that we can actually do this, which is alleviate poverty,” said Wes Moore, the new chief executive of Robin Hood. “There are enough people who care, who are generous, who are doing the work.”

Christine C. Quinn, the former speaker of the New York City Council and the president of Win, a nonprofit group for women in need that receives funding from Robin Hood, provided an insider’s view of what is it like to have the support of New York’s wealthiest.

“All of us in the advocacy and nonprofit sector are so worried about what could happen with the cuts in the federal government,” Ms. Quinn said. Seeing the packed hall at the Javits Center, she continued, “really boosts all of us — it makes all of us know we’re not forgotten.”

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