By  on December 15, 2008

Around 800 beauty industry executives gathered at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel Friday afternoon to honor the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for the company’s charitable efforts. In the process, more than $120,000 was raised.

The event, the Cosmetics Executive Women Foundation’s annual Beauty of Giving Luncheon, serves as the organization’s sole fund-raiser for its Cancer and Careers program, which provides support for working women with cancer.

“The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which was founded by Evelyn Lauder 16 years ago, has raised more than $225 million to date,” said Chrysallis’ Jill Scalamandre, chair of CEW’s board of governors. “The Lauder family’s remarkable dedication to philanthropy is shared by everyone who works at Estée Lauder, and we honor them for their steadfast support of Cancer and Careers.”

Thia Breen, president of Estée Lauder Worldwide, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “Giving and social responsibility are built into the Estée Lauder Cos.’ DNA,” she said, noting that, in addition to the BCRF, the MAC AIDS Fund has raised $128 million to date.

The total raised during the event included $73,000 garnered by a spirited live auction, during which an auctioneer urged attendees to think of bids as “competitive giving, not buying a vacation.” Nikos Mouyiaris, founder and president of Mana, and Leslie Blodgett, chief executive officer of Bare Escentuals, took that to heart, battling it out for a trip to Costa Rica. Mouyiaris prevailed in the end, with a bid of $22,500.

While she professed to be thrilled with the CEW honor, Evelyn Lauder was already looking to the future of her philanthropic efforts as she left the hotel. “BCRF is now working with the Avon Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support breast cancer research,” she said. “Together, we will avoid duplicating research efforts and ensure that we continue to make serious strides to find a cure.”

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