Love was in the air at the 33rd annual Dream Ball Wednesday evening.
Funnily enough, the love fest all started with a dream — or rather, a nightmare — had by honoree Parlux Ltd. president Don Loftus the evening before, where he forgot to thank his wife, Holly, of 41 years in his speech. To make up for his subconscious indiscretion, Loftus added several extra thank-yous for Holly during his speech.
After being introduced by Thia Breen, the now-retired group president for North America at The Estée Lauder Cos., Lotus said that in the dream, “I made some of you laugh, I made some of you cry, and I thought I was brilliant.” Then, he realized he forgot to thank Holly — “and I thought to myself, oh s–t.”
Loftus was one of the honorees at the gala, along with Bluemercury founders and husband-and-wife team, Marla and Barry Beck. The event, which raised more than $128,000 in its balloon auction and more than $1.2 million in total for the Look Good Feel Better foundation, drew a host of beauty industry executives from Estée Lauder, Revlon, Shiseido, Procter & Gamble and other companies.
Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder Cos., Inc., introduced the Becks, and recounted some of his own experience working in the beauty industry with his family. “When I finally made chief executive, my response was, ‘thank you, daddy,'” Lauder said. ” I love this business…we all do. We love our family, we love our friends, we love our wives, we love our husbands and we love the idea of supporting this great charity.”
You May Also Like
“Barry, where were you when I was trying to ask my wife Judy to marry me?” Lauder joked. “I needed all the help I could get…Judy said, ‘Well, I have to think about it.'” Then, she went to get a coffee and came back 20 minutes later and said yes. “When we kissed, she was wearing Youth Dew,” Lauder added.
Loftus and the Becks recounted their experiences with Look Good Feel Better.
“There were 10 women in all, they didn’t know me, I didn’t know them, they didn’t know each other,” Loftus said. “Watching the attendees’ reaction to the makeup…this was my first realization that I’d never understood the full impact of this program.”
“We’ve been inspired by their stories and their strength,” Marla Beck said of the graduates of the Look Good Feel Better program. In the early days of Bluemercury, Marla noticed one customer coming in and buying the same products frequently — so often, in fact, that there’s no way she would have been able to finish them before restocking. “She told me, ‘I recently survived cancer’…the products brightened even my most difficult days, they just made me feel better.'”
But the night wasn’t all love and flowers. There were a few thorns. While the Dreamball organization raised roughly $1.3 million for 2017, the chair, Danyelle Boilard-Paul, executive vice president and general manager of Clarins Groupe USA, had some words of warning.
“One thing that I learned, [while being chair in 2016 chair and 2017 chair], raising money is hard and might I even add that it became harder than ever. I have to say out of experience first hand how rapidly some companies and corporations have reduced their commitment to charity and philanthropy. It is important that we all maintain our giving and rethink decisions to reduce donations. We just cannot become an industry of takers. We were born from the idea of sharing, caring and educating. We are and should always be a compassionate and kind industry with a solid social conscience. So let’s make sure we remain who we truly are—givers.”