lois pope

17 Jan Dionne Warwick, Rita Rudner, and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Headline LIFE’s 28th Annual “Lady in Red” Gala

Event Raises More Than $1.5 Million With Proceeds Benefiting “Pups4Patriots” at American Humane and “Lois’ Food4Kids” at Palm Beach County Food Bank

Lois Pope, founder and chair of LIFE’s Lady in Red Gala, told the sold-out audience at the 28th Annual event at The Breakers this past Sunday, January 9, 2022, that the hallmarks of the much-anticipated affair are always: fabulous entertainment, important causes to support, great food, music and dancing, and no long speeches.

And, as always, this year’s gala fulfilled each of these hallmarks in magnificent fashion. The headliner entertainment was spectacular. The seven-time Grammy Award winning couple, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. kicked off the night with a rousing set featuring both their biggest hits, from “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In” to “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Up, Up and Away,” to tunes from their new album, including the title track, “Blackbird.”

Then, after a surf and turf feast of Maine lobster and Filet Mignon, comedian Rita Rudner, who has the longest running solo act in Las Vegas history, had the audience roaring with laughter. This was the side-splitting comedian’s third “Lady in Red” gala and it was easy to see why, as she rifted on the differences between women and men, getting older, and how the world has changed over the past few years because of COVID19.

And if that was not enough, legendary singer and six-time Grammy Award winner, Dionne Warwick, had the audience singing along to her greatest hits, including, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Alfie,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”

dionne warwick

The magical evening continued in sweet and spectacular style with individual baked Alaska for dessert, followed by dancing to the incredible music of The Danny Beck Band.

Of course, as Mrs. Pope noted in her brief remarks, “The extraordinary evening of entertainment was to support causes that are meaningful to all of us.”   Indeed, proceeds benefitted disabled veterans through the “Pups4Patriots” program at American Humane, and South Florida youth through the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s, “Lois’ Food4Kids” program.

The former takes dogs, primarily those languishing in shelters, provides them with specialized therapy dog training, and gives them free of charge to disabled veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries.  The latter is a year-round initiative that provides underserved, disadvantaged children in Palm Beach County with nutritious meals when they are not in school, on weekends, and during the summer.  Gala co-chairs Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO and President of American Humane and Marti LaTour, Board Chair of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, thanked the attendees for their generous support –  more than $1.5 million was raised from the gala.

Mrs. Pope credited the gala attendees and LIFE supporters for being able to fulfill this mission.  “Everything that we have achieved with the Lady in Red Gala over 28 years – all the lives we have touched for the better, the difference we have made in helping disabled veterans, impoverished and hungry children, in saving dogs and cats, and so much more – is because of you and your generosity, empathy, friendship, and commitment.”

In addition to Mrs. Pope, Dr. Ganzert, and Ms. LaTour, Grand Honorary Chair was Christine Lynn and Honorary Chairs were Gail Worth and Frank Orenstein. Co-Chairs were Holly and David Dreman, Connie Frankino, Suzi Goldsmith,Patrick and Milly Park, and Suzie Sayfie.  Inspirational Chair was Tova Leidesdorf, and Entertainment Chair was Sunny Sessa.  Corporate Ambassadors were Gianna Bartilson, sales manager, Valentino; Sally Kimball, president and founder, Ambassador Realty Corp.; Christiane Ouvier, Van Cleef & Arpels; Walter J. Schwenk, AAMS, managing director and investment officer, Wells Fargo Advisors; and Gladys & Sy Ziv Foundation, Ronald S. Kochman, President.

SAVE THE DATE: The 29th Annual Lady in Red Gala is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, 2023, at The Breakers, Palm Beach. To learn more about LIFE or to donate, please call 561.582.8083, email life@life-edu.org, or visit www.life-edu-org.