It’s been over a decade — and $16.5 million — since Brooks Brothers threw its support behind St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
And Tuesday night, the retailer tuned its Madison Avenue flagship into holiday central for its annual fund-raising event for the facility.
Following on the heels of a similar party at its Rodeo Drive store earlier this month, the New York edition drew over 400 guests including Andrew Rannells, Cara Buono, Christopher Hanke, Erich Bergen, Holly Taylor, Jesse Palmer, Julee Cerda, Max von Essen, Michael Nathanson, Michael Zegen, Mike Doyle, Miriam Morales and Sean Avery.
In addition to shoppers and supporters, a number of former patients from St. Jude also attended and told their stories about how the hospital saved their lives after they were diagnosed with cancer — and at no cost to them or their families.
Marlo Thomas, national outreach director and daughter of founder Danny Thomas, said it costs $2.6 million a day to run St. Jude, so generous donations are needed to continue to fund the hospital’s efforts.
For 12 years, Brooks Brothers and its chief executive officer Claudio Del Vecchio have been among the hospital’s most visible supporters and the retailers has even pledged $20 million to build the Brooks Brothers Computational Center at St. Jude.
In addition to making ornaments, decorating holiday cookies and cozying up to Santa for photos, guests were treated to performances by Chilina Kennedy, star of the Broadway musical “Beautiful,” and the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem, led by Wynton Marsalis.
Brooks Brothers donated 10 percent of net sales during this event to St. Jude.