“This Entourage. All of you. You are the force that’s fueling the fight of a lifetime. And tonight, we have the chance to obliterate CF.” – Emily’s EENY speech
It’s hard to know where to start when you’re talking about an evening as incredible, awe-inspiring and earth-shattering as EENY was on April 22nd, 2017. This night blew away every expectation of everyone in the room. Talk about “Breaking Through”? This night broke through and then some!!
On this night alone, you could feel the Entourage grow. Over 300 people packed into BRIC in Brooklyn to be inspired and have some fun along the way. With music expertly mixed by DJ DeModa pulsing in the background, guests ate amazing food from OpenSkies and Dos Toros, and enjoyed sweet treats from Butter and Scotch, Fortunato Brothers, Insomnia Cookies, Baked by Melissa, and Mr. Cory’s cookies. Guests also sipped on the perfect cocktail, “The Breakthough”, provided by sponsor Tito’s Vodka, along with a fully stocked bar courtesy of in kind sponsors; Lagunitas, Warwick Valley Winery, Sixpoint beer, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Trinchero Family Estates.
The raffle was PACKED with amazing gifts for the winning, and our Bosco photobooth had a line of revelers at all times. It is impossible to overstate our appreciation to every company and individual who made this event as amazing as it was.
We cannot talk about how high energy the night was without talking about our emcee——the one and only Dr. Mike Varshavski. Dr. Mike is a physician, social media entrepreneur, philanthropist, and oh—happens to have over two and a half MILLION followers on Instagram. Dr. Mike not only kept the night moving, but he helped us understand the importance of mobilizing the Entourage for a CF cure. He even showed us some of his best dance moves!
To kick off the main program of the night, Nikki Bernstein introduced this year’s incredible group of EENY Champions: Alex Barron, Jake Ciorciari, Sanoop Desai, Jackie Root, Hanna Smith-Ide, Med X Champions and Georgia Zeavin who collectively raised an astonishing $17,000. Sandy and Greg Maltzman, who raised over $10,000 during their Champions campaign, were honored as the EENY “Champions of the Year.” Our Champions are yet another example of the tremendous power of this growing Entourage. We are forever grateful for their efforts!
We were so thrilled to recognize last year’s “Champion of the Year,” Becca Denenberg, as the first ever EENY Honorary Chair! Becca’s fierce devotion and tireless efforts to support EE came across loud and clear in her beautiful remarks. Becca is and will always be an EE all-star!
Becca introduced Emily’s brother and EENY Co-Chair Coby Kramer-Golinkoff, who once again did not leave a dry eye in the house when he talked about his sister and how her fight has become his fight. He talked about how he goes into “full ninja mode” when it comes to protecting Emily. You can watch his stirring speech here.
Next, the audience got a look at the 2017 Emily’s Entourage campaign video. If you have not had a chance to see it, please take a moment and view it here.
Then—it was Emily’s turn. Emily spoke to a riveted room about the fight for her life, the fight for a cure, and the battles she wages each day as she pushes closer and closer to a breakthrough.
“There’s a funny thing that happens when life gets interrupted. You have two choices. You can wallow in the bitterness of what can’t be—Option A. Or as Sheryl Sandberg so perfectly wrote, you can kick the s&!t out of Option B.”
The audiences erupted in applause.
Emily taught us all about how she embraces Option B through Emily’s Entourage—by challenging the status quo, disrupting the traditional disease research process, and not taking CF lying down—not even close. She also announced that Emily’s Entourage will be awarding nearly $700,000 in research grants in early July. You can watch her inspiring speech here.
Bronwyn Breitner, Emily’s “cherished and chosen big sister,” and EENY Co-Chair, gave the final speech of the night. Bronwyn’s message was simple: Now is the moment to reach into our pockets and help fund lifesaving research. Research that we know will help millions of people with rare diseases and nonsense mutations. She talked about how Emily alone has inspired and empowered so many others like her. How she has inspired us all to disrupt an entire industry and change the way everyone approaches research. She spoke about how we all needed to band together—right now—to take real action to help change the world. And band together we did…
Our night at BRIC raised an awe-inspiring, life-affirming $134,300—surpassing every expectation, every dream, every goal! EENY was a giant leap forward in the race towards a fast breakthrough. It shows the mighty power of Emily’s Entourage and how if we all join forces—CF simply has no chance against us.
Last but not least —the Entourage all got treated to the sweet moves of dance crew W.A.F.F.L.E NYC. They stole the show! Everyone was on their feet, clapping ‘til their hands hurt, and energized beyond belief.
No recap would be complete without a huge thank you to our corporate sponsors—Vertex, Tito’s and Shoudout, volunteers, in kind donors, and event planning committee! This night would not have been possible without you. Our appreciation knows no bounds. Thank you from Emily and the entire Entourage!
The fight does not end here. In fact, it is just the beginning. Now is the time to get involved. Reach out on our contact form if you want to get more involved with Emily’s Entourage.
Until next year, NYC!
For more pictures from the event, check out our Facebook album here!
And in case you missed it, watch Coby, Emily, and Bronwyn’s speeches on Facebook Live below: