NEW YORK — L’Oréal Paris is gathering together members of the beauty, fashion and publishing industries at the Legends Gala to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, a not-for-profit organization devoted to stamping out the disease.
Joseph Campinell, president of L’Oréal USA Consumer Products division, and Carol Hamilton, L’Oréal Paris president and general manager, will cochair the black-tie fund-raising event, scheduled to take place here Nov. 4 at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building. The evening will honor Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines, and Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Federated Department Stores, with the OCRF Legends Award. Actress and activist Trudie Styler will be presented with the Liz Tilberis Humanitarian Award.
Hamilton noted that the draw of these two prominent industry leaders — Black and Lundgren — along with L’Oréal’s efforts, promise to transform the event into a fund-raising powerhouse for ovarian cancer research. Gala organizers expect the event to raise $3 million, double the amount generated at the same event in 2002.
Black noted that Hearst Magazines has a historical connection to OCRF, becoming involved through Liz Tilberis, the former publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, who served as president of the organization from 1997 until she lost her battle with the disease in 1999. “Liz really gave the organization a great push forward,” commented Black, adding that this year, Hearst will get another one of its magazine titles, Marie Claire, involved. Marie Claire will provide the evening’s silent auction with several specialized products, such as a PT Cruiser automobile in mauve, the gala’s color theme.
Like Black, Lundgren became involved through his friendship with Tilberis. “I try to get involved with organizations where I have a personal connection,” he explained, adding, “Liz and I were very good friends. So since this disease took her, it has been a cause that’s touched me.”
Lundgren added that the passion and commitment of the people that make up the OCRF — from the board members to the medical researchers — have impressed him. “You bet on people — at least I do,” said Lundgren, adding he was confident this organization would succeed in promoting early detection of ovarian cancer, and moving closer to finding a cure.
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In addition to a cocktail reception and dinner, L’Oréal and OCRF will host the silent auction, which has grown to include some 200 luxury packages, including the PT Cruiser, and a live auction, a new addition to the event this year.
The goal, said Hamilton, is to duplicate the success that the fight against breast cancer has had in raising awareness and promoting early detection.
Faith Kates Kogan, president of Next Model Management, who serves as president of OCRF, said that, due to lack of awareness, ovarian cancer is diagnosed late in 75 percent of all cases. “One of the biggest things we are trying to do is promote early detection, so we get to the point where we are with colon cancer. If it is detected early enough, there is a 90 percent survival rate,” said Kogan.
Funding has already allowed OCRF researchers to publish a list of common symptoms of the disease, said to be a breakthrough given that, previously, a lack of symptoms earned ovarian cancer the name, “silent killer.”
“Our mission is to not stop raising money until we find a cure,” said Hamilton, adding “the gala is just one in a series of events.”
L’Oréal joined forces with OCRF seven years ago through Tilberis. The beauty company has since hosted annual events to raise funds for research and, ultimately, a cure. To date, L’Oréal’s efforts have generated more than $4 million.
The company sponsored the 2002 Legends Gala, which raised $1.5 million. Last year, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the beauty brand’s slogan, “Because I’m Worth It,” L’Oréal hosted a photographic exhibition and silent auction at the Chelsea Art Museum, which raised $450,000. In a separate initiative, the beauty brand has created a holiday collection inspired by OCRF. L’Oréal will donate 10 percent of the purchase price of the stand-out product in the collection, Colour Riche Lipcolour in the shade of Color of Hope, to the organization.
However, the company, explained Hamilton, expects the reinstated Legends Gala to trump all L’Oréal’s previous efforts. “We at least want to double what we’ve already raised,” declared Hamilton.
More than 1,300 people are expected to attend the event, filling the venues to full capacity. Others are participating by sponsoring a page in the Legends journal, which is expect to double its page count this time around.
— Molly Prior