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INTERVIEW: Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Founder, Denise Rich, On The Upcoming Studio 54 Themed "Virtual Disco Party," Star-Studded Special Guests And More

Nicole Barylski

Michele Rella, Amy France, Denise Rich, Patti LaBelle, and Lorraine Schwartz attend the Angel Ball 2019 hosted by Gabrielle's Angel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation)

Gabrielle's Angel Foundation is reliving the Studio 54 glory days and you can join them on Tuesday, September 15 for what is bound to be an unforgettable "Virtual Disco Party" fundraiser.

Songwriter and Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Founder, Denise Rich, and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter will host the benefit, which will celebrate the memory of Gabrielle Rich Aouad, whom the Foundation was named in honor of. The soiree kicks off at 7 p.m. and will include spectacular performances from several incredible icons, special appearances from many notable names, an online auction, and more.

We spoke with Denise about the Studio 54 theme, the star-studded lineup of talent and guests, the Foundation's mission and more.

The "Virtual Disco Party" has quite the lineup of icons taking the stage. Besides sensational performances from legends including Chaka Khan, Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers & Kathy Sledge, and Marti Gould Cummings, what will the evening entail?

DR: In addition to the iconic performances, our guests will also hear from cancer patients, survivors and scientists about the importance of our mission and the impact of their support. DJ Cassidy will also be zooming in some special viewers from home so they can join the live dance party! We want the event to be fun and lighthearted, and with our incredible lineup of performers we know it's going to be a great night!

The evening will also feature a few very special guest appearances. Who can we expect?

DR: Guests will have the special opportunity to hear from Clive Davis, Olivia Newton John, Pat Cleveland, Marc Benecke and Myra Scheer about their favorite Studio 54 memories. We will also have a guest appearance from DJ Kyle KXTZ!

How will the benefit's Studio 54 theme be incorporated into the evening?

DR: Studio 54 has inspired every aspect of our event! Our event website incorporates amazing Studio 54 photographs from Dustin Pittman, our performers will be playing the best songs of the era, and guests will receive an amazing Party Box with a disco martini kit and disco truffles by celebrity chef Mary Giuliani!

There will also be a "Virtual Disco Party" luxury online auction via CharityBuzz.com. What fabulous items will be up for auction?

DR: Gabrielle's Angel Foundation is a family effort! This year guests to the Virtual Disco Party will receive LOVE masks from @maskersoftheuniverse, designed by Daniella Rich Kilstock and her daughters Kayla and Talia Kilstock, and they will also have the opportunity to bid on some fabulous items in our auction from Ilona Rich Schachter and her sons including a gorgeous cashmere blanket and elephant candle from Richfashion.com and artwork by Adrian, Gabriel and Sage Schacther! Other auction highlights include a stunning white gold diamond evil eye bracelet from Lorraine Schwartz Jewelry and a gorgeous Judith Leiber shimmering sphere-shaped clutch inspired by a classic disco ball. You can bid starting 9/10 on www.charitybuzz.com/virtualdisco.

Could you please speak to the Foundation's mission and what proceeds from the "Virtual Disco Party" will support? 

DR: Gabrielle's Angel Foundation funds promising and innovative scientific research into blood cancers. We focus on funding early career scientists, giving them the seed money they need to start their labs and pursue their most creative ideas. To date we have contributed $37 million to cancer research and funded nearly 300 projects. More than 80% of our grantees go on to obtain further funding which is proof that the "seed money" we provide is truly shaping the future leaders of cancer research! We have made great progress in the past two decades but we know we still have work to do which is why we are so grateful for the support of our donors! Money raised during the Virtual Disco Party will go towards funding our next group of Medical Research Awards which are $225,000 grants distributed over a 3-year period to early career scientists focusing on blood cancer research.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

DR: There's still time to buy tickets or donate to support our event! Go to our website at www.gabriellesangels.org/virtual-disco-party for more information!

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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