Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research commemorated a landmark achievement with its 25th Annual Angel Ball, successfully amassing over $2.8 million. This illustrious event was spearheaded by co-founders: songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters, Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter.
The glitzy evening, set against a backdrop of opulence and purpose, was hosted by the magnetic Tamron Hall, a two-time Emmy Award-winning TV Host. And while the stars shone brightly outside, inside they dazzled even more. The event celebrated not just the spirit of philanthropy but also the human connections and memories created in its fold.
Among the celebrated attendees, Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter, the foundation's co-founders, were visibly proud and overwhelmed. Their passion was evident as they mingled, laughed, and shared stories of the foundation's journey over the past two and a half decades.
The evening was not just about numbers or funds raised; it was about honoring those who, with their deeds, exemplified the foundation's mission. Richie Akiva, the hospitality tycoon; Monique Rodriguez, the visionary behind Mielle Organics; and philanthropic powerhouse Elizabeth Elting, all received honors. As Richie accepted his award from close friend Robin Thicke, there was a touching moment when Thicke reminisced, "Richie, I've had some of the best times of my life with you and through you, I found the love of my life, Ms. April Geary."
And what's a gala without a little (or a lot) of entertainment? The stellar lineup featured the queen of R&B, Mary J. Blige, who took guests on a nostalgic journey with hits like "Real Life" and "No Drama." Robin Thicke's rendition of "Blurred Lines" ensured there wasn't a single seated soul, while Miri Ben-Ari's hip-hop violin performance was, in one word, mesmerizing.
The dance floor resonated with energy, especially when Grammy-winner Jermaine Dupri took over the music. It was not just a dance; it was a celebration – of hope, life, and relentless pursuit.
The luminous guest list read like a who's who of the entertainment and social world. The likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Bobby Shmurda, Candace Bushnell (mentioned twice, because why not?), Clive Davis, Dennis Basso, Dylan Penn, Eric Bergen, G-Eazy, Emilia Fazzalari, Gretta Monahan, Julia Chatterley, Keni Silva, Lexi Wood, Luann de Lesseps, Michael Bolton & Heather Kerzner, Mayor Eric Adams, Monte Lippman, Nicole Miller, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Montego Glover, Myles Frost, Dee & Tommy Hilfiger, Tina Knowles, Tobey Maquire, Tyrod Taylor, and Ubah Hassan graced the event, adding to its allure.
Amid the glamour, the core purpose remained central. The live and silent auctions were not just about the luxurious stays or the Lorraine Schwartz jewelry; they were about the promises and hope they represented. And with online auctions still ongoing, the foundation continues its mission, unfazed and unyielding.
As the night wrapped up and guests departed, they carried with them memories, experiences, and perhaps, a renewed commitment to a cause that binds us all. For, in the end, the Angel Ball is not just an event; it's a movement, a legacy, and a beacon of hope.
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