Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s dad, looked around Joe’s Pub for a moment at the party to announce the foundation designed to help kids and honor the memory of his late daughter and said, “This is the worst reason to be here. We miss her, she’s here with us.”

Last night those sad, emotional words, that moved Winehouse to request a tissue to wipe a tear and sniffles, were lifted by his charm, exuberance for the foundation and willingness to share memories of his daughter in both good and bad times.

Silver-haired and dressed to the nines, Winehouse remembered when Amy was on an island holiday a couple of years ago and he got a call from her saying “Dad, I need you to bring me as much money as you can.” Winehouse says he gathered $15,000 and got on a plane figuring his daughter was in trouble. Instead, he learned, Amy needed the money not for herself, but a local who couldn’t afford medical attention and for horses.


Winehouse says “Amy hired a stable of horses, usually reserved for wealthy tourists, for the local kids to ride on the beach during her vacation, and she needed the cash to pay him.”

That same giving nature and love of kids is at the heart of her namesake foundation, that here in the US, will aim its funds at music education and music therapy. At this launch party, it was announced that the first organization to get assistance will be the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s after school music program who received a $10,000 grant. In addition the foundation will host the Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards and Gala on September 10, 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

So far in the UK more than a million pound have been raised in Winehouse’s name and additional monies will come from donation as well as through proceed from Mitch Winehouse’s just penned book “Amy, My Daughter” that gets released on June 26, 2012 by Harper Collins.

Winehouse, a sturdy jazz crooner with pipes that have a Sinatra-esque quality, has also pledged all of his box office receipts to the foundation. Those might be considerable since at this event he was terrific rendering the standard “In My Loneliness” and ballad “Close Your Eyes” with a five piece backing band.