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Dan Brestle issued a challenge to the beauty industry at the DreamBall Tuesday night: to triple the size of the evening’s proceeds by 2011 in an attempt to serve more than 150,000 cancer survivors in the Look Good…Feel Better program.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We represent some of the most successful and creative companies in the world — I challenge all of us to raise the bar,” said Brestle, who is vice chairman and president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., North America. He was honored with Stephanie George, executive vice president of Time Inc., at the event, which packed the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan with about 700 cosmetics industry executives.
“The American Cancer Society estimates that 690,000 women will be diagnosed with new cancers this coming year — 690,000 women who need and deserve a program like Look Good…Feel Better. Let’s look to triple the size. We should set a goal to reach 150,000 women by 2011.”
The 19-year-old program, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council and the National Cosmetology Association, is supported in large part by the DreamBall and cosmetics company donations, and currently serves more than 50,000 women in more than 8,700 workshops throughout the country.
Even in tough economic times, the industry’s regard for both Brestle and George was evident in the $2.4 million generated in ticket sales for this year’s event. Among the industry heavyweights in the crowd was a much-talked-about newcomer, Fabrizio Freda, who joined Estée Lauder in March as chief operating officer.
“Faced with the worst economic conditions in 10 years, it would have been easy and understandable for all of your companies to rationalize why they wouldn’t support this year’s event,” said Brestle. “But as Stephanie and I so very much appreciate, you again stepped up to provide the necessary funding to improve the quality of life for so many cancer patients.”
“Pitching a no-hitter against cancer would be a dream come true for me,” said George, who lost her mother to cancer 12 years ago. “My dream is to stop cancer at the plate. Thanks to the huge team effort by everyone in this room tonight, we are on our way to doing that. If we dream big and work hard together, we can do it, and with this crowd…we’re going to look good while we’re at it!”
Dream Girl Geralyn Lucas, author of “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy,” injected a lighthearted note to the proceedings when she told the group of waking up in the recovery room after surgery and having a nurse exclaim, “Girl, what kind of lipstick are you wearing? That lasted all those hours? What? Did you use lip liner/foundation?”
“I can’t say the brand in this room — it would be too political,” she laughed.
Australian singer Delta Goodrem, herself a cancer survivor, provided the evening’s entertainment.
“I thank you for your tremendous support,” Pam Bailey, president of PCPC, said. “Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue an unparalleled program that supports women, men and teens during a trying, uncertain and frightening time in their lives. Look Good…Feel Better represents the giving spirit of this industry,” she said, adding that the program will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.