Jim Gold has been a busy guy on the charity circuit, attending over 730 fund-raisers since moving to New York from Dallas to become president and chief executive of Bergdorf Goodman.
He added another notch to his belt last week when he received the Gentlemen of Distinction Award at the annual Women of Distinction Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria, benefiting The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. It’s received the support of Bergdorf’s for 12 years in a row.
“This fund-raiser remains near and dear to my heart,” Gold said. “It’s undeniably the greatest assemblage of well-dressed women.”
For the 850 women attending (along with a few dozen men), Bergdorf’s staged one of it most ambitious fashion shows, featuring evening looks by CD Greene, Dior, Jason Wu, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta, Pamela Dennis, Valentino and Zac Posen, as well as jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz and evening bags by Judith Leiber. A silent auction was held, helping to raise $1.5 million in the afternoon. “In spite of the rough economy, you have stepped up to the plate,” Gold told the crowd.
The cause is also dear to Cynthia McFadden, co-anchor of ABC’s “Primetime” and “Nightline” shows, who hosted the luncheon. “I have a personal stake. I will come out and say it. I have Crohn’s Disease. Yes, diarrhea. I just don’t think there should be shame around this disease,” she said.
The Woman of Distinction in Healthcare Award went to Dr. Nora L. Zorich, vice president of corporate research and development and global pharmaceuticals at Procter & Gamble Co. The Rising Star Award went to Julia Heller, a five-year-old ulcerative colitis patient.
According to the foundation, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis impact over 1.4 million Americans, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Each year, more than 30,000 new cases are diagnosed. There are no known cures.