Charity Campaign Founder Dies a Week Before Launch Event in New York

By Anna Sekula July 19, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Held at the Four Seasons Restaurant's Grill Room, the July 18 Pin Down Bladder Cancer launch drew around 300 guests, including Ivanka Trump, Fern Mallis, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The simple affair showcased the new video for the campaign and included a live performance by Diego Garcia.

Photo: Carly Otness/

Barely a week before the launch event for Pin Down Bladder Cancer, a campaign designed to raise awareness about disease, co-founder Marvin S. Traub died. The 87-year-old retail consultant and former chief executive of Bloomingdale's wasn't just one of the key figures behind the charity initiative, but also one of the hosts for the July 18 affair at the Four Seasons Restaurant. But rather than cancel or postpone the 300-person reception, the planning team opted to forge ahead.

“This event was always unique in that the primary goal was to raise awareness about a condition and a cause so close to our hearts. With Marvin's passing, it underscored the mission of Pin Down Bladder Cancer,” said Mortimer Singer, co-founder of the initiative and president at Traub's consulting firm, Marvin Traub Associates. Traub's death on July 11 was attributed to bladder cancer. “With some outside help from our hosts and an inside motivation to officially launch this campaign, slowly but surely we kept the planning process moving forward. Marvin would have also wanted us to stay the course.”

Since the majority of planning and production for the event was handled in-house at Marvin Traub Associates, it was relatively easy to make a quick decision. In fact, deferring the event wasn't really an option. “Pin Down Bladder Cancer was created to recognize and support Bladder Cancer Awareness month in July, and Marvin was determined to see it through. Postponing the event would have stunted the headway we have made so far in gearing up for July,” Singer added.

To recognize Traub at the event, the team incorporated tributes to the late executive, including a proclamation by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that July in New York is Pin Down Bladder Cancer month. Other elements included a showcase of the campaign's new videos, which are posted to YouTube, and a live performance by Diego Garcia and his six-part band.

“There is and will always be so much to celebrate about Marvin Traub, Singer said. ”We had always planned to acknowledge his impact across so many levels and especially in regards to the Pin Down Bladder Cancer campaign. Bladder cancer was a condition that affected Marvin for a number of years, and he wanted guests to understand his situation and the need for additional research. Our strategy was to adhere as close as we possibly could to the original program in the effort to continue the team's vision and honor his memory.”

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