We’re very excited to announce that thanks to more than 550 guests and supporters, we raised more than $1.7 million for our free cancer support program at our 20th Anniversary Benefit Gala at the Pierre Hotel on November 12, 2015. We were glad to welcome back WABC TV news anchor and ABC News 20/20 correspondent, Bill Ritter as host for the 4th consecutive year and auctioneer C. Hugh Hildesley of Sotheby’s, once again entertained the guests with his lively auction rapport. Special guests included Gilda’s Club founder, Joanna Bull, Miss USA, Olivia Jordan, and young opera singer, Sara Stevens who regaled guests with her rendition of Ebben. Honorary Co-Chairs included: Joanna Bull, Caroline C. Hirsch, Mandy Patinkin, Emma Stone, Gene Wilder, and Alan and Robin Zweibel. Gala Co-Chairs were Robert J. Easton and Mark J. Alles and Ann Russo served as Dinner Chair.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Bizzari, Executive Vice-President, Clinical Research-Oncology of Celgene Corporation was honored with the Corporate Vision Award and Dr. Steve Harr, CFO & Head of Corporate Development was honored with the Advances in Cancer Research Award. The honorees and their companies are chosen for their significant contributions to improving the quality of life of people touched by cancer. The Red Door Award for Outstanding Service & Dedication was given to Ann and Francis Russo for their commitment, spanning more than 20 years, to Gilda’s Club.
Adriane Scott-Norman, a proud member of the NYPD, was scheduled to be the member speaker at the Gala, but due to side effects from her stem cell transplant, she had to be hospitalized but that did not stop her from delivering her moving speech from her hospital room [listen to her speech here]. Ms. Scott- Norman, a stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patient, came to Gilda’s Club seeking support for herself and her children.
Corporate guests and sponsors in attendance included Diamond Benefactor, Celgene; Platinum Benefactors: Joan & Bob Easton and the Goddard Family Foundation; Silver Benefactors: Juno and the Slattery Family Foundation; and Red Door Patrons: Accenture, Eiasi, Rob Faulkner, Johnson & Johnson, and Ann & Francis Russo.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this evening so special and to everyone who has made the past 20 years possible. View the full photo album from the event on our Facebook page!