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For only the second time in its 40-year history, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was the beneficiary of an international fund-raising gala. On July 23, The Night for the Children Gala, the "world's most glamorous gala," was held in the Principality of Monaco for the benefit of St. Jude.
Taking place at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club and hosted by La Maison de l'Amerique Latine de Monaco under the honorary presidency of H.S.H. Crown Prince Albert of Monaco, the event celebrated the country of Costa Rica and raised funds for the St. Jude International Outreach Program.
The gala began with a VIP cocktail party and segued into a live auction of art and jewelry that raised 58,000 euros (about $77,000). Welsh blues and rock singer Bonnie Tyler, known for the songs "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "I Need a Hero," provided entertainment for the evening. Among the dignitaries who attended were H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco; H.R.H. Princess Ghida and H.R.H. Prince Talal of Jordan; Leila Rodriguez Stahl de Pacheco, the first lady of Costa Rica; Michel Pastor, President of La Maison de L'Amerique Latine; and Maguy Maccario-Doyle, Consul General of Monaco in New York.
The gala celebration was the culmination of week-long events that included an art show on July 21 featuring works by Salvador Dali that was attended by H.S.H. Prince Albert, the First Lady of Costa Rica and members of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors.
On July 22, guests toured Monaco's Old Town featuring the Princely family's castle, Jacques Cousteau's Oceanographic museum, the Cathedral where Grace Kelly married H.S.H. Prince Ranier and where she is now laid to rest, and the Rothschild Foundation & Gardens. Guests also toured the wine cellar of the Hôtel de Paris, the world's most respected wine cellar with nearly a half-million bottles of wine.
The morning of the gala, St. Jude patients Yiressy Izaguirre, of Honduras, and Sebastian Baussan, of France, spoke with media representatives from Monaco, France, Italy and the U.S. "I just thank you all for supporting St. Jude, because St. Jude saved my life," Yiressy told reporters and guests, "and I would not be here if it weren't for the people at St. Jude who loved me and cared for me."
Following the press conference, H.R.H. Princess Ghida, chair of St. Jude's Jordanian partner site, the King Hussein Cancer Centre, hosted a luncheon for ALSAC/St. Jude National Board members in attendance.
"We are deeply grateful to once again be the guests of the Principality of Monaco," said Richard C. Shadyac, CEO of ALSAC, the fund-raising arm of St. Jude. "And we appreciate the generous opportunity we've been given to expand St. Jude's international outreach programs and create awareness of our life-saving work on an international level."
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