Last Thursday, DKMS hosted their annual gala in a virtual format in an effort to continue to touch the hearts of many.
In his opening remarks, DKMS founder Peter Harf recalled that “when we had to cancel our physical galas in New York and London, many people thought that we should take a break, but we cannot, because blood cancer doesn’t take a break…DKMS was born in adversity, and we know how to deal with adversity. We grow when the crisis gets deeper.” Although this year’s gala looked a little different than its traditional event in New York, the city still celebrated DKMS’s incredible work by lighting the Empire State Building red. The incredible work and passion of DKMS was unmistakably alive in NYC.
DKMS is a world leader in the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders. This year, they raised over $3.5 million to help grant more blood cancer patient a second chance at life. The evening honored Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, and his wife, Aditi Chaudhary. The pair shared the incredible story of their daughter Aisha Chaudhary, who passed away in 2015. A clip of Aisha’s motivational speech played, “Happiness is a choice one makes, it’s simply an attitude. Despite all of this, I am still smiling because I refuse to let this illness get the better of me— I just wont let it.”
Guests were then treated to a musical performance by multiplatinum singer-songwriter LP, who was introduced by actress Jaime King. “I’m very thrilled to be here for a cause that is very close to my heart,” said LP. “There are ten million DKMS registered donors worldwide, and we’d love to help them get to ten million more.” In the most emotional moment of the night, 9-year-old Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) survivor Grady Smith met his stem cell donor, Jessica Carroll, for the very first time. Jessica donated to Grady in 2018, and the two have been hoping to meet ever since.
Also last week, on September 15, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation gave donors the chance to relive the Studio 54 days at a Virtual Disco Party!!
Guests raised over $1 million to fund critical cancer research as host DJ Cassidy kept them dancing all night.
Hosted by songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter, the celebration honored the memory of Gabrielle Rich Aouad and benefited Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, which funds the best and brightest early-career scientists whose research focuses on finding less toxic treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other related blood cancers. Marc J. Leder served as an honorary chair for the evening.
In keeping with the theme of the evening, guests were treated to performances by an incredible lineup of disco-legends. Gloria Gaynor had viewers at home singing along to “I Will Survive;” Chaka Khan belted her iconic hits “Ain’t Nobody” and “I Feel For You;” Patti LaBelle had everyone on their feet for her performance of “Lady Marmalade;” Marti Gould Cummings performed “Bad Girl,” and Nile Rodgers and Kathy Sledge had everyone on their feet at the end of the night with “We Are Family.”
The evening also featured special appearances by Olivia Newton-John, Clive Davis, Pat Cleveland, Star Jones, Ethan Zohn and SiriusXM “Studio 54” hosts Marc Benecke and Myra Scheer, among others. Guests also enjoyed a virtual trip down memory lane, as they viewed images by famed Studio 54 photographer Dustin Pittman, throughout the evening.
Guests received a VIP party box curated by celebrity chef Mary Giuliani, with incredible luxury items from Michael Todd Beauty, Peter Thomas Roth Labs, Grande Cosmetics, Kocostar USA, HASK Beauty, Le Metier De Beaute, Laura Geller Beauty, LOVE masks from @maskersoftheuniverse, designed by Daniella Rich Kilstock and her daughters Kayla and Talia Kilstock, and MAC Cosmetics – plus a martini kit and Disco Truffles from Mary herself!
“I am so excited that we were able to create this fun evening during the pandemic,” expressed Rich. “The need for cancer research is still so vital and I am proud of what we were able to do during this time.”
For more information about Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, please visit gabriellesangels.org.
Additional news and sightings:
- Panera is offering Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese in cafés nationwide. It’s a mashup of two beloved menu items, Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Mac & Cheese, so fans get the best of both worlds in one bowl! To debut the blockbuster, Panera enlisted Grammy winning, music icon Michael Bolton, to make the union official between these two most beloved café bestsellers by creating a digital short titled, “When Some Mac Loves Broccoli Cheddar.”
- Candace Cameron Bure kicked off the ‘Shipt Shuffle Challenge’ on Instagram Reels in partnership with Shipt. The dance challenge gives people a reason to celebrate the start of the school season no matter what that looks like this year – whether returning to the classroom, continuing e-learning or a little bit of both. Shipt also makes it easy to get everything you need all school season long through a community of trusted and personal shoppers who deliver straight to your door from go-to stores like Office Depot and Target. For more details and to learn how to participate in the ‘Shipt Shuffle Challenge,’ visit follow @shipt on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
- The California Milk Processor Board (creators of the iconic got milk? brand) created a video series titled “Glass Half Full News,” dedicated to looking at the world through the amazing eyes and lens of kids to brighten people’s lives while spreading social positivity! This initiative turns kids’ daily activities into newsworthy stories via weekly news show episodes on www.ghfnews.com – with contagious positivity, a spark of imagination and (of course) a glass of milk to fuel the way.
- Matt Bomer and Jaime Camil partnered with the California Milk Processor Board, the entity behind the iconic got milk? campaign and California Milk Advisory Board, representing California dairy farm families, to join volunteers at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Monday, August 24, 2020, and to announce a partnership with Feeding America® to help provide 1 million meals and 1 million servings of milk to feeding programs throughout California…Each #FoodForThought mission of kindness shared and engaged with on Instagram that mentions @gotmilk through the end of September generates a $1 Feeding America donation from the @gotmilk to help contribute meals towards the 1 million meals goal. You can find out more about the social good campaign by visiting www.gotmilk.com and following @gotmilk on Instagram.
- Los Angeles, Katherine Schwarzenegger hosted ‘Prep School’ – a virtual “few ingredients, many dishes” cooking class in partnership with Rubbermaid and their line of Brilliance storage containers. Full cooking demo and recipe can be found on https://www.instagram.com/
rubbermaid/?hl=en IGTV. (photo courtesy: Rubbermaid)
- Olivia Culpo kicks-off the launch of NEW Crest Whitening Emulsions, a first-ever leave-on teeth whitening treatment. To celebrate the product’s launch into the beauty world, Crest partnered with Olivia Culpo and Patrick Starrr to create a YouTube video – with Olivia giving Patrick a tutorial on how to create her signature bronzed, dewy look, starting with a bright white smile.
Crest Whitening Emulsions is now available in two varieties – with Built-In Applicator and with Wand Applicator – at CrestWhiteSmile.com and Walgreens today, rolling out to additional retailers this fall with full national availability in February.