Gilda’s Club Ball Shows Off Benefits of Seeing Red
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Many people saw red on their balance sheets last week, but the color had only positive associations at the Gilda’s Club Worldwide Young Leadership Council Red Ball on Friday night.
The red theme — expressed in attire, cupcakes, and the event’s decorations — takes its inspiration from the bright red door that serves as the entrance to the 30 Gilda’s Club clubhouses in North America. (Nine more are in development.) The clubhouses offer warm environments for people living with cancer and their families.
“I love that it’s kind of quirky with the red door,” Will Leamon said during a brief break from dancing. “I’m involved because I like the compassion they show in treating people, whatever eventuality comes out of their cancer.”
Mr. Leamon also said he became a supporter of the club because of his admiration for the comedian and actress Gilda Radner, after whom the club is named, who died of cancer in 1989. “She was a class act,” Mr. Leamon said.
Wearing red Viva Glam lipstick by Mac, Shante Timberlake said she loved the silent auction items — including dinner with the chief executive of Edelman Public Relations, Richard Edelman, and other CEOs — as well as the new location of the event, a loft in the garment district. Over the past three years, the event took place at the DKNY store on Madison Avenue.
This year, the event drew 375 guests, and raised $90,000.
“Given how bad things are, it really speaks for the cause,” the chairman of the Gilda’s Club Worldwide Young Leadership Council, Brandon Miller, said.
The benefit committee had certainly done its work. “I brought 50 of my friends,” Anisha Malhotra said. Melissa Mariola said serving on the benefit committee this year enhanced her experience of the event. “To know all the work that goes into it has helped me understand what’s really been achieved,” Ms. Mariola said.
A member of the Young Leadership Council, Tameka Simmons-Mtima, an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, works for Gilda’s Club throughout the year: For four years she has done the club’s pro bono legal work.
“I do whatever they need,” Ms. Simmons-Mtima said. “My father’s a physician so I know what makes Gilda’s Club special: It treats the heart, because cancer does more than attack your body.”
The council’s chairman, Mr. Miller, said the event was a tribute to Radner’s legacy. “It’s such a buoyant evening. It’s really affirming that people are here to stand up against cancer.”