By  on October 26, 2012

It wasn’t your typical industry dinner, when Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer, recently hosted a formal event, simply to thank those who helped the store raise $1.6 million to fight breast cancer.

Gould rose to give a heartfelt toast, as about 40 guests sat around five tables at Le Cirque on Oct. 17. First he gave a salute to Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. and acting chairman of  the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, who couldn’t make it to the dinner because he was detained in Doha. Then Gould turned to the real guest of honor, who was also absent, the late Evelyn Lauder. “The memory of Evelyn shines brightly in this room, and shines brightly across the street,” he said, referring  to Lauder headquarters, where the founder and driving force of the BCRF and Breast Cancer Awareness program had worked with her husband Leonard. Her example signifies “a sense of  giving back to the community and a sense of who we are in life.”

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