Can we just say…WOW. On Saturday December 7, 2019, Emily’s Entourage (EE) held its 8th Annual Evening with Emily’s Entourage Gala at Moulin at Sherman Mills in East Falls, PA. The mission: raise critical funds to speed life-saving research and drug development for nonsense mutations of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). With over 500 corporate partners, philanthropic leaders, young professionals, and community leaders in attendance, the night exceeded our wildest dreams!
This year’s gala theme was winterbloom, a form of witch hazel that defies convention with its rebellious spirit and mystical medicinal powers. While most flowers drop their leaves in the dead of winter, winterbloom blossoms with bold yellow flowers. The resemblance to EE is striking—just as winterbloom acts as a powerful reminder during the gloomiest days that spring is around the corner, EE’s work illuminates that hope lies ahead.
First, the Kramer-Golinkoff family held an intimate champagne reception for VIP sponsors, EE leadership, and honored guests. Co-founder Emily Kramer-Golinkoff took turns saying a few words with honorary chairs, Kami and Josh Verne; Winterbloom Sponsors, Jill and Mark Fishman; and English Primrose Sponsors, Loreto and Miguel Rodriguez, before toasting to fast breakthroughs and a cure for CF, officially commencing the gala.
Guests arrived to a transformed venue, where the talented decor team worked their magic yet again, bringing to life the winterbloom-themed invitations (exquisitely designed by TPD Design House) through frost-covered evergreens and yellow winterbloom centerpieces. Before entering the main event room, attendees had the opportunity to pose for a photo booth session or experience the interactive art installation by NYC-artist Alex Nero, presented by EESHO.
Once inside the main event space, guests were greeted by a vast display of unique silent auction items and experiences in categories ranging from jewelry, dining, sports, art, travel, and more. Guests at the gala, could view and bid on all items on an easy-to-use mobile platform, vigilantly trying to win their favorite items! Even people who were not present at the gala were able to view and bid on the platform!
Brulee Catering offered a delicious feast of appetizers and carving stations, then Federal Donuts, Sweet Stuff, Le Bus, Insomnia Cookies, and La Colombe presented an array of desserts. Tito’s Handmade Vodka served two custom-made cocktails thematically named “Berries in Bloom” and “Floral Forest.”
As the silent auction came to a close, it was time for the EE in Bloom program to begin. Champion sculptor of Ice Sculpture Philly, Peter Slavin, entered onstage, creating a gorgeous art piece in real-time with ice blocks featuring winterbloom flowers and the EE logo! After the performance, emcees Julia and Coby Kramer-Golinkoff, two of Emily’s siblings, took the stage. They spoke about the mission of EE, the realities of CF, and thanked all of the sponsors, supporters, and in-kind donors that made the evening possible including Presenting Sponsor Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as well as Amethyst Sponsor PRA Health Sciences, in-kind donors Anro Printing, Color Reflections, 3AW, and so many more.
Julia and Coby recounted the monumental year it has been for the CF community with the recent FDA approval of a game-changing new drug for 90% of the CF population. They reminded the audience that though historic, this new drug does not benefit those in the outlying 10%, including those with nonsense mutations like Emily. EE’s sole commitment is to extend the recent progress to 100% of the CF community.
To represent the progress EE is making for the final 10%, Julia and Coby presented a video by Leahy Films that updated the crowd on the impact of EE’s research and the recently acquired gene therapy company for which EE provided the impetus and preliminary funding.
Honorary chairs and local philanthropists, Kami and Josh Verne, were invited to the stage to receive their award and spoke of their dedication to EE and the Kramer-Golinkoff family. Liza Kramer and Michael Golinkoff, EE Co-Founders and Emily’s parents, then followed with the honor of presenting the 2019 Trailblazer Award to Kevin Foskett, PhD, Chair of the EE Scientific Advisory Board. Jordyn Amoroso, 2018 EE Champion and 2019 Team EE runner, then honored the 15 EE Champion teams who through their personal networks raised an incredible total of $27,061 in the months leading up to the gala.
As the champions exited the stage, the official 2020 campaign video debuted. Produced by Storied Stories, in collaboration with Adam Kennedy and Andrea Amanda, the campaign video shows a beautifully animated narrative about the strides that have been made and EE’s commitment that no one is left behind. View and share the video here.
Then, Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, EE Co-Founder, took the stage. She delivered a powerful speech about how during a year of health challenges, entrepreneurship—and the opportunity to create through Emily’s Entourage—emerged as the ultimate antidote to the destruction caused by her CF. She shared her invigoration to envision what should be and to create that future for everyone in the outlying 10% quickly, calling EE a “foundation of the future” for the manner in which it is changing the way and pace at which research is done.
On a mission, Coby returned to the stage to enumerate the critical factors of success for startups from his own experience in healthcare consulting, concluding that EE shares every single one. He then started the donation countdown, urging the audience to become partners in this fight. As guests contributed, the donation thermometer rose to new heights and with each milestone came a surprise celebrity video message. The room watched in amazement as the thermometer rose to an astronomical $807,458!!! The evening ended in a burst of hope and confetti as everyone grabbed each other in celebration for an unbelievable start of the annual campaign.
Emily’s Entourage would like to thank every single member of the Entourage that made it possible for the 8th Annual “Evening with Emily’s Entourage” Gala to bloom with unparalleled strength, vision, and hope.
To those who have been with us since the beginning—thank you for your compassion, your dedication, and your most generous support. To those who joined for the first time on December 7 in person or virtually—we welcome you with open arms and look forward to working tirelessly beside you towards fast breakthroughs and a cure for CF!
WATCH our 2020 Campaign Video
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DONATE to EE’s cause and help save the final 10%
EXPERIENCE the 8th Annual Evening with Emily’s Entourage online. Watch the program on Facebook, check out our Instagram stories, meet the 2019 EE Champs, and view the photographs from the night in our Facebook album
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