The biennial Angel Ball, the mother of all big-ticket fundraisers, was held at the Marriott Marquis. It was hosted by Grammy winner Denise Rich, whose daughter Gabrielle Rich Aouad lost her battle with leukemia at age 27. The evening added $5 mil to the G&P Foundation for Cancer Research. The Foundation, established at Gabrielle’s own behest and currently in its 10th year, has grown into one of the leading non-governmental purveyors of funds for the fight against blood cancers.
Sloan-Kettering chief hematologist Dr. Stephen D. Nimer was honored for his untiring commitment, as were Harper Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey, BET Networks CEO Debra Lee, and the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for their support and generosity. Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Joss Stone, John Legend, and Epiphany delivered rollicking performances, while Natalie Cole and Neil Sedaka, albeit present, had the night off. Sean P. Diddy Combs, sporting shades, was flanked by supermodels Bar Rafaeli and May Anderson. Kelly Ripa looked outrageously voluptuous in her shoulderless gown, and boxing promoter Don King’s hair pointed skyward as always.
Among the 450 A-listers in the room: tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova, hip-hopper LL Cool J, Roberta Flack, Harvey Weinstein and gal pal Georgina Chapman, Jessica Stam, Karen and David Pecker, Beverly Johnson, Liz Smith, Damon Dash, Star Jones, Katrina Bowden, Nick Chavez, Ivana Trump, Brenda Braxton, Nicole Miller, Randy Jackson, Nikki Haskel, Brittny Gastineau, and Joan Collins.