Mary J. Blige Gets It Percolatin’ At The 25th Annual Angel Ball

New York’s event season is in full swing and there’s few galas quite like Denise Rich’s annual Angel Ball. Last night, Rich and her slew of well-dressed friends returned to Cipriani Wall Street to raise funds for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, which supports cancer research. Tamron Hall hosted the black tie evening, honoring hospitality entrepreneur, Richie Akiva; founder and CEO of Mielle Organics and founder of Mielle Cares, Monique Rodriguez; and founder and CEO of The Elizabeth Elting Foundation, Elizabeth Elting.

Richie Akiva, Denise Rich and Lorraine Schwartz

“I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since the first Angel Ball! Wow,” Rich said. “When I think of all we’ve accomplished: over $41 million to over 333 researchers….I know that Gabrielle would be so proud. As I look at this crowd I see so many faces that have been here since the very first gala in 1998.” Rich lost her daughter Gabrielle 27 years ago to Non-Hodgkin’s Leukemia after a four-year battle. Her family made it their personal mission to fulfill Gabrielle’s wish to fight cancer and created the foundation, which has helped countless lives.

Tina Knowles, Denise Rich and Star Jones

A live auction featured a restorative stay at Casa Maxence in Barcelona, a pair of earrings by Lorraine Schwartz Jewelry, a stay at ultra-luxury eco retreat Casa Loro provided by LVH Global, a private party at American Dream, and a luxurious stay at SHA Wellness Clinic. Additional funds were raised with a paddle raise led by Rich’s longtime bestie, Star Jones. Guests donating $1,000 or more also received an original painting by artist Fer Da Silva, which were on display in a large mosaic at the event. All together, these efforts helped the event raise a staggering $2.8 million.

Robin Thicke

The night included a performance by Mary J. Blige, who sang Real Love, Family Affair, Love No Limit, and No Drama. There were also performances from Chloe Jane, Miri Ben-Ari, and Robin Thicke, who was on hand to present the award to his friend Richie Akiva. Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maquire, were also there to support their pal Akiva on his big night.

Mary J. Blige

Guests included Dee and Tommy Hilfiger, Candace Bushnell, Clive Davis, Dennis Basso, Dylan Penn, Erich Bergen, G-Eazy, Emilia Fazzalari, Gretta Monahan, Lexi Wood, Michael Bolton, Heather Kerzner,  Nicole Miller, Tina Knowles, Tyrod Taylor, Ubah Hassan, Mayor Eric Adams, and hosts Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter. Angels among us.

Monique Rodriguez and Tina Knowles

Tamron Hall and Dennis Basso

The Angel Ball was presented by Cincoro Tequila, Farfetch, Mielle Organics and Lorraine Schwartz, with additional sponsors including automotive sponsor Dennis & Co., Armand de Brignac Champagne, Valmont, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, The Macklowe, Whispering Angel and IKRAA Caviar. 

Images: Getty

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