Coty chief executive officer Camillo Pane was the honoree of the 12th annual DKMS Big Love Gala, held Wednesday at Cipriani Downtown. The event, whose proceeds go to eradicating blood cancers and other blood-related diseases, was founded by Dr. Peter Harf in 1991. Harf is a senior partner of JAB Holding, Coty’s majority owner, and is the former chairman of the cosmetics company. After losing his wife to leukemia 27 years ago, Harf created the organization to facilitate the donation of bone marrow and blood stem cells. At its inception, about 240,000 globally had registered as donors, Harf’s daughter Kahterina and cofounder of DKMS, told the evening’s 900 attendees. Today, that number is eight million. In all, the evening raised more than $4.75 million. CeeLo Green provided the evening’s entertainment, but the emotional high point came when a young woman met the 22-year-old-man whose life she saved by donating her bone marrow.
“It’s not enough to be a successful businessman. One has to do more with life,” said Harf as he presented Pane with the honor. “I strongly believe in business doing good — in he who cares wins.” Pane returned the compliment when it was his turn to speak, noting that he was accepting as a representative of the company and not as a personal award. “You have saved thousands of lives,” he said, directly addressing father and daughter. “You have an amazing passion and we at Coty share it.”