On May 4, 2019, Emily’s Entourage (EE) stormed Manhattan yet again with the 4th Annual EENY fundraiser. The event was breathtaking (in the best possible way!). The theme was Ultra Violet, a color just beyond our visual spectrum, so it was fitting that this monumental and truly ultra-visionary evening turned out beyond our wildest dreams, and shattered our fundraising goals by raising $202,000!
The evening began with an elegant and delicious VIP Sponsor Dinner at Blue Ribbon’s Federal Grill in the South Street Seaport district (you must try the fried chicken!). There, our most cherished and supportive corporate and individual sponsors came together to dine and celebrate, with brief remarks by Coby Kramer-Golinkoff and Emily herself. Then, the big event began just a few cobblestone streets away. Our spectacular venue, Anderson Contemporary, was a soaring glass atrium space bathed in ultra violet lighting.
Coby stepped up as the EENY co-chair again, and this year he was joined by the effervescent team behind Eesho, EENY 2019 co-chairs Judah Levine and Emily Priebe. Coby, Judah and Emily enlisted a team of spectacularly talented artists who each created an immersive art piece inspired by the EE mission and the ultra violet theme. The result was a dynamic and engaging full GallerEE of outstanding original artwork—special shoutout to artists Alex Nero, Murt, Ian Sullivan, Julie Gratz, Zeehan Wazed, and Adam Marz. The early evening was spent mingling and walking through the GallerEE, with musical sets by the talented DJ Coolhand of Remixologists followed by our beloved DJ DeModa (playing for the 4th consecutive year!) and enjoying nibbles from our excellent caterer Open Skies.
Next up, Lexie Lowell took the stage with an enchanting harp solo, drawing the crowd’s attention to the stage for the evening highlight, the EE ultra-visionary program. Emily and Judah spoke about how EE has sparked a philanthropic fire in their young hearts and how getting involved with the cause has transformed their lives in the last year. They then took a few moments to honor our 2019 EENY Champions for their commitment and fundraising prowess! This year, the 2019 EENY Champions raised $20,782, and Jessica Rotman was awarded “2019 EENY Champion of the Year,” raising $5,040!!
After a screening of the 2019 EE Campaign Video, it was time for Emily to take the stage. Emily’s profound remarks told the tale of her struggle to accept her forced retirement at the age of 30 on the insistence of her medical team. She spoke to the young audience about accepting the unexpected. “It turns out that sometimes that process of redirecting ends up revealing a beam of potential far brighter than you even knew possible,” she said. “That beam is ultra violet. It’s a beam that lies just beyond the visible spectrum, that sees beyond what currently is—and lights the way for what is yet to come, the realization of your ultimate potential.”
Coby led the crowd in our final fundraising push, and our inspired and outrageously generous crowd of over 400 people put their wallets together and contributed over $15,000 in four short minutes. Something to celebrate! And celebrate we did, with the final treat of the evening, an acrobatic dance troupe with an epic music set by world renowned DJ FDVM who closed the night.
This event would not have been possible without the support of our incredible corporate sponsors, especially our Violet Sponsors—Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Eloxx Pharma, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, our in-kind sponsors including Anderson Contemporary and MHP Real Estate Services, and the absolutely heroic efforts of our planning committee, co-chairs, and evening volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the hundreds of guests who had a hand in making this event such an outrageous success in every way.
We are forever inspired by the exponential growth of EENY, which started as a seedling of an idea and has now touched the lives of thousands of caring and committed New Yorkers. Together, we are a mighty, unstoppable force and together, we see beyond the status quo to a world where everyone, 100% of the Cystic Fibrosis community, can all finally breathe easier.