For our third annual “Evening with Emily’s Entourage”, we headed to the western Philadelphia suburbs and found a wonderful venue at the Baldwin School. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the attendance – over 400 of you came out to help us mark three years of the Entourage, kick off our annual fundraising campaign, and celebrate Emily’s upcoming 30th birthday!
Our new venue was the perfect backdrop for an expanded silent auction with hundreds of items including weekend getaways, one of a kind artwork, handcrafted jewelry, and luxury sports tickets. Catered food was provided, as well as our trademark mini cupcakes, homemade baked goods and delicious candy table. Of course, we incorporated interactive elements to be shared via social media, including a larger than life hot air balloon and a giant birthday “cake,” where we all left birthday wishes for our dear Emily.
The hallmark of the evening was our speaking program. It started with Hope Cohen, television food personality, who served as emcee for the evening for the third annual year. Then Dr. Kevin Foskett, Chair of the Department of Physiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and member of the Emily’s Entourage Scientific Advisory Board, provided a moving explanation of the unique challenges that come with Emily’s specific genetic mutation, the scientific progress being made, and why it’s more important than ever to keep raising money for research.
Next came the long-awaited premiere of the annual campaign video. The video reminded the audience of the important progress we’ve made, but that we still have much to fight for and the situation is dire. The birthday girl herself addressed the room and as always, her extremely poignant and eloquent speech completely energized the room. We also heard from Emily’s parents and siblings who all shared their personal birthday wishes for their daughter and sister. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
The most moving moment of the evening came next. Led by television news correspondent Heather Braver, all of the guests were asked to hold up purple glow stick “candles” as we dimmed the lights and sang “Happy Birthday” to EE’s namesake and constant source of inspiration; our very own Emily. This powerful sea of purple — the official color of Emily’s Entourage and Cystic Fibrosis — reminds us of the power of community to keep the candles coming for many more birthdays for Emily and everyone fighting CF just like her. Research, like the studies EE is funding, is what will illuminate breakthrough treatments and a cure – and we need money to fund this lifesaving work.
That is where YOU, our wonderful Entourage, comes in! Alone we can’t cure Emily’s CF but together we can advocate, support, and ultimately bridge the gap between hope and a cure. You have propelled us to a level of success we never could have imagined, and now it’s up to the entire Entourage to continue to carry the torch.
The evening was a reminder of how far we’ve come, but also how much we all have left to do together. We will not stop until there is a cure for everyone living with this devastating disease.
A deep, heartfelt thank you to everyone who is part of our incredible Entourage. You are our essence and light and we thank you for your continued commitment to giving everyone with CF the deep breath they so desperately need and deserve. Your commitment to this cause has brought us a huge step closer to our goal of raising $1 million, and, more importantly, to a cure.
THANK YOU to everyone who attended and supported an Evening with Emily’s Entourage and helped us raise nearly $1 million for Cystic Fibrosis research.
Special thanks goes to our amazing event co-chairs; Lorri Bernstein and Barbra Mellits, as well as all our EE volunteers who helped make the evening such a success. None of this would be possible without you!