In an evening that mixed entertainment with a message of hope, a fashion crowd of about 500 flocked to the Theory store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to support Phoenix House.

This story first appeared in the November 3, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This is a new kind of event for us,” said Amy Singer, senior vice president for program planning and development for Phoenix House, an alcohol and drug abuse treatment center. “We are really interested in introducing Phoenix House to a younger crowd of people in fashion and entertainment.”

The event also introduced a new book, “Words That Free Us: Voices of Recovery,” a compilation of poems and personal writings from recovered substance abusers who were clients of Phoenix House. Several hundred were sold.

Stefanny Velez, a young woman who went through the program in New York City, and Shaun Reed, who went through it on Long Island and now is on the staff, read passages from the book, as did Wyclef Jean, one of the evening’s hosts. In addition, jazz singer Niia performed three songs.

“There is hardly anyone who doesn’t know someone affected by substance abuse,” Singer said.

Strong support was evident with many of the co-chairs on hand, including: Bobbi Brown; David McTague, Karen Harvey, Frank Doroff, David Lipman, Eugenia Ulasewicz and Jaqui Lividini. The host committee included Adam Lippes, Anika and Ken Natori, Lazaro Hernandez, Jack McCollough Philip Crangi, Doo-Ri Chung, Lisa Mayock, Sophie Buhai, Phillip Lim, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville.

Theory chief executive officer Andrew Rosen, who sacrificed two days business at the store to make way for the event, and former Burberry ceo Rose Marie Bravo, were also hosts, along with Howard Meitiner, ceo of Phoenix House. “Andrew was amazing to give us the space, but I was teasing him,” Bravo said. “I told him if business gets bad, he could easily turn the store into a nightclub.”

Phoenix House, founded in 1967, is considered the largest nonprofit alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention facility in the U.S., treating more than 7,000 people daily in almost 100 residential and outpatient programs in nine states.

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