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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrated its seventh annaul FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala by honoring music executive Tommy Mottola and his wife, Latin superstar Thalia, on May 16, at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida.
Lili Estefan, co-host of the popular Univision show El Gordo y La Flaca, presented Tommy and Thalia with the 2009 Al-Rashid Hope Award for their commitment to children’s causes and for their contributions to the entertainment industry.
More than 550 guests, including St. Jude patients and television and music industry celebrities, walked the red carpet. For the seventh year, model and television personality Daisy Fuentes served as hostess of the gala and welcomed celebrities and athletes such as Sammy Sosa, Raul de Molina, Ana Maria Canseco, Romero Britto, Felipe Viel, Rodner Figueroa, Catherine Siachoque, and Miguel Varoni.
“Tommy and I were in awe and inspired by all of the people who attended the FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala. It was a wonderful and humbling experience. We were honored to be part of such an extraordinary event focused on the amazing children of St. Jude,” Thalia said .
Guests enjoyed dinner and a silent auction, and were treated to live performances by some of the hottest Latin music stars including Mexican singer Cristian Castro, Cuban singer Willy Chirino, Colombian songstress Fanny Lu and pianist and composer Arthur Hanlon. The live auction included exclusive items such as an opportunity to join Thalia at a music video shoot, vacation packages, tickets to the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in Los Angeles, and an extravagant European cruise.
“This year’s gala was a great success and FedEx is very proud to be part of such a wonderful cause. Every year thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer and it’s our goal to bring awareness to the mission of St. Jude,” said Julio C. Barrionuevo, vice president of Finance, Planning and Engineering for Federal Express, Latin America & Caribbean and chair of the 2009 FedEx/St. Jude Gala. FedEx has been the title sponsor of the Angel & Stars Gala since its inception in 2002.
“We are so grateful for the remarkable outpouring of support that the event sponsors, volunteers and attendees have shown to St. Jude,” David L. McKee, chief operating officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “It is so heartwarming each year to see the Hispanic community in Miami embrace the St. Jude mission. They inspired hope in the patients and families at St. Jude and around the world who are fighting for their lives.”
“This year’s event was truly amazing. I am so happy to continue to help raise awareness for St. Jude,” said Fuentes. “I enjoyed spending time with patients who are currently fighting cancer at St. Jude. They are the real inspiration for this event."
Since 2002, the FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala has raised more than $1.6 million in support of the groundbreaking research and lifesaving care provided by St. Jude for children from across the country and around the world. This includes the St. Jude International Outreach Program which has dramatically increased the survival rates for children with cancer across the world. This program has partnered with clinics in more than 15 countries including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile and Brazil.
Gala sponsors include FedEx Express, Pollo Campero, The Gutierrez Family, International Dermatology, VISA International, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, Tony and Sandy Tamer, Fahad Al-Rashid The "M" Point, ARASCAPE Inc., Mercedes Benz of Miami, Universal Music Latino, Eventus, Amna Healthcare, Univision Radio, Stephen James Associates, Office of the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, AT&T, Leon Medical Center, Inktel Direct, DDB, MillerCoors, Fiji Water, Car Factory Outlet, cocktails courtesy of Grey Goose Vodka, Carnival, Social Affairs Magazine, AirTran, Miami Parking Authority and Noiseworks Productions.