The Gaye Watkins Report: Mary J. Blige Rocks HOPP


By Gaye Watkins

Mary J. Blige insisted on no more drama at The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s 3rd Annual Spring Ball at the Pierre Hotel Ballroom at  60th street and fifth avenue in manhattan. Wearing the evening’s sponsor, David Yurman’s Signature Albion Ring with 18 Kt. Gold Pave White Diamonds, and dressed head to toe in white, she belted out song after song to a black tie crowd of approximately 425 people. At one point she laid across the stage as she sang. Rising from the floor and a bit breathless, apologized to the crowd and said that sometimes that particular song has her acting like ”a fool.” She spoke of how she is grateful for where she’s in her life and how we choose to experience drama in our lives and still can overcome it. She performed songs such as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, her hit song “No More Drama” and asked everyone to get to their feet as she sang “Just Fine”.

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center out did themselves as they raised $1.4million for the HOPP or Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program. The program  develops non toxic targeted cancer therapies. In a video montage Dee Dee Ricks, one of the  chairwomen for the evening, stated ”Hope lies in the hands who treat you.”.  Said Dr. Charles Sawyer, the nights honoree and Inaugural Director of HOPP, ” we’re ahead of the curve.“. Said Dr. Schwartz, ”..customized medicine… the future is now.”.

At event designer, Bronson Van Wyck’s invitation, I joined his friends for the evening and experienced his cascading butterfly design. Between the warm chocolate soufflé with espresso ice cream, fresh raspberry compote and creme anglaise,  DJ Cassidy gave pumping non stop music on the dance floor. In every corner of the room people smiled warmly, boogied down in gowns and were bonded by the hope for HOPP.

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