The 14th annual FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala recently raised $1 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, while honoring a prominent journalist in the Hispanic community and a local St. Jude mother for their philanthropic efforts.
More than 500 guests attended the May 14 event at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida. Longtime St. Jude supporter, model and entrepreneur Daisy Fuentes, a co-founder of the event, and her husband, Grammy Award-winning musician Richard Marx, were among the celebrities at the carnival-themed gala. Guests were treated to a special musical set by Marx as well as a performance by Venezuelan pop duo Chino y Nacho.
In a special presentation, Patty, a Miami-based businesswoman and philanthropist, and the mother of former St. Jude patient Stephan, was honored for her longtime fundraising work with St. Jude. Stephan was diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor at the age of 11. He is now 21 and has finished his treatment at St. Jude. He returns annually for checkups.
“As a mother of a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital cancer survivor, I’m deeply touched by the lifesaving mission of the hospital,” Patty said. “I have experienced firsthand the darkness of cancer. St Jude gave me my son’s life back and gave me the opportunity to help brighten up the lives of other families that are going through difficult times.”
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. Thanks to the dedication of supporters at events like the FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala, St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Cuban-born American journalist Cristina Saralegui, who has been named one of TIME magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, was also honored at the event for her commitment to giving back and educating the Hispanic community.
A special highlight of the evening was the announcement of a $500,000 endowment gift to St. Jude by St. Jude supporter Alitza Weiss and the Miami-based Weiss family.
This year’s gala sponsors included: FedEx Express, Gutierrez Family Foundation, Mosteiro Family Foundation, Carnival Foundation, Gloria Estefan Foundation, Neutrogena, Zoological Wildlife Foundation, Anthony Abraham Foundation, International Dermatology Institute, Grupo CIMA, Yezz, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Diario Las Américas, Univision Radio, C-ComGroup Inc., American Tower Corporation, Arteasan, Arven Financial, Ernst & Young, Facebook, HSBC, Omnicom Media Group, Rana Furniture, Wellmax, Tu-Be Global Spirits, FUNKSHION, Event Design Group, Nuage Designs, Ocean Drive magazine, Casa Diris and The Dream Team Agency.