Partiers donned their trendy best for SAKS BLAST 2013, benefiting the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Transition to Betterness (T2B) of Windsor, Ontario. More than 800 guests joined event chairs Stephanie and Barry Zekelman and honorary co-chairs Lil and Alex Erdeljan, for a fabulous evening of fashion that broke records, raising nearly $1.2 Million.
Funds will be used for clinic and infusion center improvements at Karmanos and the refurbishment of a wing at Windsor Regional Hospital, a project coordinated throughT2B.
Attendees enjoyed lively music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the event, while they enjoyed a fashion show by Paris couture house J. Mendel. Everyone was also encouraged to purchase a fashion star pin, proceeds of which benefitted the two organizations. More than $65,000 was raised through pin sales.
“It is wonderful to be able to unite the fashionable people of Michigan and Windsor for this premier fundraising event,” Zekelman said. “Barry and I are pleased once again to be involved in SAKS BLAST because we know first-hand that Karmanos has always provided the best and most innovative care for patients. We also highly value the services that Transition to Betterness provides to patients and their families.
“We’re proud to spread the word here in metro Detroit and to those living in Windsor/Essex County that such wonderful cancer care and support resources can be found in this region.”
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States and the only hospital in Michigan solely devoted to treating cancer. T2B is a Windsor/Essex County-based organization dedicated to providing cancer patients and their families with a comfortable and compassionate hospital setting.
Three lucky people won the evening’s raffle items, including one-of-a-kind drop earrings in sterling silver with black diamonds and “sleeping beauty” turquoise, provided by Jared Lehr; a $1,000 men’s wardrobe provided by the men’s collection at Saks Fifth Avenue; and a Saks Fifth Avenue fashion presentation for up to 15 people, followed by lunch at The Capital Grille, provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and The Capital Grille.
Gilles Mendel, chief designer and CEO of J. Mendel, was present for the fashion show. Models showed off selections from the fall collection.
Saks Fifth Avenue officials said they were thrilled to partner with Karmanos and T2B while kicking off their fall fashion season.
“Saks is dedicated to supporting the communities in which we do business,” said Ina Levinson, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy. “Supporting organizations like Karmanos Cancer Institute and Transition to Betterness is a privilege and a pleasure, because we know that the two organizations do all they can to improve the lives of those they serve. Plus, it’s fun to hold a glamorous fashion event to support two very worthy causes!”
Nick Karmanos, senior vice president of Institutional Relations at Karmanos, acknowledged the partnership between the sponsors, Saks Fifth Avenue and event attendees and the benefit that Karmanos patients will realize from SAKS BLAST.
“This event has quickly become one of the must-attend parties in metro Detroit,” he said. “We applaud Stephanie and Barry Zekelman, Lil and Alex Erdeljan, Saks Fifth Avenue, our sponsors and everyone who has shown their dedication to the Karmanos cause. We are incredibly appreciative to everyone for their support of the Institute. The funds received will allow us to continue to provide compassionate cancer care, comfort and peace of mind as patients and their families focus on healing and recovery.”