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Celebrity Philanthropy News 2  3

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Black Tie International:
Gilda's Club NYC 2009 Gala

Celebrating Importance of Family at
 Gilda’s Club NYC 2009 Gala

Photos by:  Black Tie Magazine/GMK

Lily Safani, CEO of Gilda's Club NYC and Honoree, Richard T. Clark, Chairman, President & CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.

Lily Safani, CEO of Gilda's Club NYC and Honoree, Richard T. Clark, Chairman, President & CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.

Honoree , Dr. David A. Scheinberg, Chairman Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute

Honoree , Dr. David A. Scheinberg, Chairman Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute

Miss USA 2009, Kristen Dolton and Lily Safani

Miss USA 2009, Kristen Dolton and Lily Safani


New York, NY— New York City’s finest were dressed in their black tie best on Thursday, November 19, 2009 to attend Gilda’s Club New York City’s 15th Annual Benefit Gala.  This exciting affair was held at the renowned Pierre Hotel, just steps away from Central Park.  The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by a formal dinner reception, award ceremony and live auction.  Donations made will enable Gilda's Club to raise awareness and help fulfill its mission to provide social and emotional support for everyone living with cancer in New York City, including their families and friends – FREE of charge.

Gilda’s Club was proud to honor two visionaries at this year’s event, whose work has helped individuals diagnosed with cancer, Richard T. Clark, Chairman, President and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc., and Dr. David A. Scheinberg, Chairman Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute.  In addition, a special presentation of “The Bill Modell Heart of Gold Award” was made to the Concerned Women of the Grove for their outstanding volunteer efforts within their community.

The efforts of these individuals have helped shape the course of medicine for thousands of patients living with cancer and their families.

Mr. Clark heads Merck, a global healthcare leader.  Through its medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, Merck operates in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. In 2006, Merck introduced the world’s first vaccine against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer. And, through its recent merger with Schering-Plough, Merck is expanding its efforts to offer more medicines to help millions of people live their lives.

Dr. Scheinberg is a physician-scientist, specializing in the care of patients with leukemia.  His research centers around the discovery of, development of, and principles of use for novel, specific, immunotherapeutic agents for the treatment of leukemia and other cancers.  Eight different therapeutic agents developed in his laboratory have reached human clinical trials.

The remarkable contribution of these honorees has been made possible, most of all, by the constant investment in innovation by industry, government and advocates alike. This continued investment must be matched by an investment in the care giving that provides the support structure for these patients through organizations like Gilda’s Club and the Celebrating Our Family Benefit Gala. In the end, such support is changing the course of cancer and transforming many of these diseases to chronic, manageable conditions.

This year Gilda’s Club was proud to have ABC’s Diana Williams host the event for her fifth year in a row. “We are honored once again to have Diana as part of this important initiative, and to help us tell our story,” said Lily Safani, CEO of Gilda's Club NYC. Given the recent economic downturn, it is more important than ever to continue giving to organizations such as Gilda's Club.  As a non-profit, Gilda’s Club relies entirely on the generosity and support of their community and cannot accomplish the tasks that lay before them without your help.

A major part of the evening was devoted to exciting silent and live auction offerings, highlights included: dinner with Miss USA and Miss Universe, tickets to a Saturday Night Live dress rehearsal, a week in Paris for two, tickets to the Z100 Jingle Ball, and a two-night stay at L’Auberge Del Mar, CA

Background on Gilda’s Club:

Beloved comedian Gilda Radner rose to superstardom on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.  While living with cancer, she discovered that emotional and social support is an essential complement to medical treatment.  Radner’s dream of a place where people touched by cancer could come together and build a community of support became a reality in 1995 when Gilda's Club opened its signature red door.

Founded by Gene Wilder, Mandy Patinkin, Joel Siegel, Joanna Bull, and other friends of Gilda Radner, Gilda's Club NYC is a place where people touched by any type of cancer can come together to build emotional and social support.  GCNYC has since grown to a community of over 5,500 members.

Gilda's Club NYC Mission:

Gilda’s Club New York City creates welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends. Our innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, lectures and social activities, all free of charge. For more information, please visit us at



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