Susan G. Komen Gala Surpasses 2010 Fund-Raising Totals With Celebrity Help

By D. Channing Muller November 2, 2011, 10:38 AM EDT

Photo: Margot Schulman

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation hosted its second annual Honoring the Promise gala, which awards those who have worked to further breast cancer research and awareness, on Friday night at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. With NBC’s Today show co-host Hoda Kotb as M.C., the awards program surpassed its inaugural event’s fund-raising total of $1.9 million.

“Thanks to the surprise generous contribution of $100,000 by one of our guests who was moved by the program, we were able to raise $2 million,” said Julie Teer, vice president of development for the foundation.

Attended by nearly 1,100 people, the evening began with a pre-reception for 170 recognizing women in the media who’ve shared their personal battles with breast cancer publicly. The foundation honored Kotb, a breast cancer survivor, with the Rebecca Lipkin Award for Media Distinction.

For the main program, the lineup of presenters included actors like Donald Faison, Jennifer Beals, Kerry Washington, and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Mezzo soprano Denyce Graves and singer Natasha Bedingfield also performed. “The more people that we have, particularly celebrities, who have voices and can reach thousands of people with their message, the greater number we can reach with our education and awareness,” Teer said. “[When choosing presenters] we looked at who were the leading celebrities that were tied to breast cancer and who were already out there trying to raise awareness.”

After a finale of “Dancing in the Streets” from Howard University’s Afro Blue jazz ensemble, the party moved to the rooftop terrace for a buffet dinner and dancing. Campbell Peachey and Associates worked with DC Rental and Suzanne Codi Floral Design to decorate the space with pink, magenta, black, and silver linens and floral arrangements. Restaurant Associates set up buffet stations throughout the three rooms of the terrace level with salad, pasta dishes, salmon, charcuterie, and dessert bites of pink cupcakes, cheesecake pops, and macaroons. 

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