The final $32,000 raised during last week’s Dream Ball provided perhaps the most poignant moment in an evening full of emotion.
The event, held Sept. 27 at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan, raised more than $2.4 million to benefit the Look Good Feel Better program of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the American Cancer Society. That was the highest fund-raising total since the formerly flush days of 2006, when $2.5 million was raised.
The honorees were Carol Hamilton, president of the Luxe Division of L’Oréal USA, and Michael Clinton, president and marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, and both of them proved they are no slouches when it comes to making a dramatic gesture.
Clinton talked about how he learned to appreciate cosmetics and fragrance from the example of his beloved grandmother, who was “the family beauty queen” and, unfortunately, a breast cancer victim. He then described how struck he was by the heroism and pluck of the cancer patients he met while visiting a Look Good Feel Better workshop, so much so that he invited them to the dinner as his guests, and two of them came. Clinton began reminiscing about the legendary career of his late colleague, Cosmopolitan editor in chief Helen Gurley Brown, and then declared that he was donating $1,000 for each year of Brown’s tenure — $32,000 for 32 years.
Hamilton made her own statement: L’Oréal will expand the skin-care dimension of the LGFB workshops in 2013, not only by donating treatment products, but by providing the advice of experts like dermatologists. “We as an industry should celebrate tonight our combined efforts to blast cancer — as I call it ‘the Big C’ — out of this universe for once and for all.”
Later, during an auction in which the crowd pledged various amounts for different colored balloons, Hamilton first bought a $10,000 balloon, then asked the 10 cancer survivors in the audience from L’Oréal to stand up so she could purchase each of them a $1,000 balloon.