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Black Tie International: Celebrity Philanthropy News-
Regis Philbin


Regis Philbin, Lois Pope,  Arthur Wilson

Regis Philbin, Lois Pope & Arthur Wilson. 
Photo by: Lucien Capehart Photography


Lady in Red Honors Disabled Veterans




Palm Beach, Fla (December 4, 2008) -- The beautiful Breakers Hotel was the scene of a splendid evening November 29, 2008, as LIFE - Leaders In Furthering Education hosted the 15th annual "Lady In Red" Gala. Lois Pope, Petra Levin and
Goldsmith were Chairwomen.   Mary Montgomery was Honorary Chairwoman while Katie Vecellio was philanthropy honoree and Palm Beach Chief of Police Michael Reiter was Community Service Honoree.  Regis Philbin served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. This much anticipated start of the
Palm Beach social season began at 6:30 pm with cocktails and a silent auction followed at 8:00 pm by dinner, dancing, music by Soul Survivor and a breathtaking live performance by Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review.  Simon Fireman graciously donated $100,000 to match each $6,000 table with an additional table so that more than 100 disabled veterans might attend
the gala.

In a characteristic demonstration of gratitude for the enormous sacrifices made by the three million living disabled American veterans, including the more than 53,000 who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, nationally prominent philanthropist Lois Pope presented a check for $5 million to help build the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.  To be constructed on a two-acre plot in Washington D.C., the Memorial will be the first – and only – permanent national tribute to the living disabled veterans, the countless thousands who have since died, and those who will come in the future.

“What a wonderful evening this was!” said Lois Pope, founder and president of LIFE.   “Not only because was I able to share the night with my many wonderful friends, but also because, thanks to Simon Fireman, I was able to celebrate reaching a momentous goal for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial with many of the disabled veterans we seek to honor.  We can never . . . never forget their sacrifice, their bravery and their loss - all in the name of freedom.” 

The check was formally presented at a private ceremony with dozens of disabled American veterans prior to the 15th Annual Lady in Red Gala, the check from Mrs. Pope is payment in full on a challenge grant she made in 2006 to the Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation, the organization she co-founded with Mr. Wilson to spearhead the fundraising to build the Memorial, which will be located across from the U.S. Botanic Garden and within full view of the U.S. Capitol building.  According to the requirements of the challenge grant, the Foundation had to raise from private philanthropic sources $5 million, which Mrs. Pope would match on a dollar-for-dollar basis.  This goal was achieved on Oct. 31. 

The  rosy robed attendees also enjoyed an amazing menu topped off by that southern culinary delight specially created by Breakers Executive Chef of Banquets Jeff Simms, the Lady in Red Velvet Cup Cake.  Ruby Grand Corporate Benefactor Tiffany & Co sent guests home with a beautiful table gift in that one of a kind blue box sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Citi Private Bank, Mark Freitas of Frank Crystal Company and Braman Motorcars served as Star Ruby Corporate Benefactors.

The evening was topped off with fabulous silent & live auctions.  A pink Vespa was up for bid in the silent auction.  The live auction included a walk-on role on the popular CBS show CSI: NY.  Actor Gary Sinise, who stars in the show, sent a special message for guests at The “Lady in Red” Gala. Sinise, whose performance as a disabled Vietnam veteran in "Forrest Gump" earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, has long been a spokesman for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.   Also up for bid in the live auction was an exquisite one-of-a-kind watch donated by Ruby Corporate Benefactor, Tiffany & Company. This Ladies 18kt yellow gold and diamond, Tiffany & Co. Tesoro watch boasts 4.50 carats of diamonds and is valued at $27,500.  Star Ruby Corporate Benefactor Braman Motorcars provided a 2009 bright red Mini Cooper Hardtop, also up for bid in the live auction.  For more information on the 2009 Mini Cooper please be sure to check out  The Mini-Cooper is valued at $20,950.

Proceeds raised from the 15th annual “Lady in red” Gala will directly benefit the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC. The Memorial will be built adjacent to the National Mall and within full view of the U.S Capitol Building.

“The Memorial is for all of our disabled veterans . . .  from every state . . .  every hometown.” said Lois Pope.  “They fought for us all and gave up more than we can possibly imagine.  It is time we recognized their sacrifice and I am so grateful to everyone who has helped to make the Memorial a reality.”

For the first time, America will honor some of our nation’s most courageous heroes – our disabled American veterans – the ranks of which today represent more than three million living men and woman and all those who have passed before them.   The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will transcend military conflicts, service branches and generations and will express America’s lasting gratitude to the men and women whose lives were forever changed in service to our country.  The Memorial will be dedicated
in 2010. 

More information about the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is available at 

For additional information about the 15th annual “Lady In Red” Gala please call (561) 865-0955 or visit


To list an upcoming event please contact


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