For Philanthropists Like Donna and Roys Poyiadjis, October 22 Annual Angel Ball is a Lesson in Strength

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Beneath the glitter of the October 22 Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Gala, a heartfelt purpose.

Star-studded and glamorous, the annual Angel Ball benefitting Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation is a high point of the New York social season. Event founder Denise Rich is a Grammy-nominated songwriter whose music has been recorded by the likes of Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. And this year's Angel Ball, held at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, October 22, was a who’s who of New York artists and philanthropists from Natalie Cole to Roberto Cavalli.

But the Angel Foundation was built on a foundation of heartbreak - both that of Ms. Rich and of the millions of individuals facing cancer and its often agonizing treatment. For long-time supporters like benefit committee member and entrepreneur Roys Poyiadjis and his wife, co-chair Donna Poyiadjis, the ball is both humbling and inspirational.

“Denise has taken the greatest pain a mother can endure and turned it into a celebration of life and a huge force for good,” says Roys Poyiadjis. “She and the Foundation are working with doctors and research scientists to ensure a brighter future for cancer patients. Donna and I are so honored to be involved both with the Angel Ball and with Denise’s dream to honor her Gabrielle.”

In 1996, Ms. Rich’s daughter Gabrielle Rich Aouad, an accomplished actress and model, died of acute myelogenous leukemia at age 27. Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research was created to encourage the development of more effective therapies for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and related cancers.

In addition to raising funds for research, the 2012 Angel Ball honored the philanthropic legacies of Bonnie Pfeifer Evans and the Charles Evans Foundation and the Lester and Sue Smith Foundation.

The Charles Evans Foundation was established by Evan-Picone co-founder Charles Evans in 1988. And The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation has donated more than $75 million to support cancer research and treatment at organizations that include Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Cancer Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

About the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation
The Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation funds research to improve the efficacy of cancer treatments, reduce their toxicity and improve the quality of life of patients with leukemia or lymphoma.

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Gregory Flynn
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