June 18, 2024
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June 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Lillian Lee’s Charity Hosts Red-Carpet “Night of Wonders” Gala to Fund Cancer Wigs

Teaneck, NJ—Lillian Lee’s charity, “Do Wonders,” a non-profit organization that collects and customizes used wigs, free-of-charge, for women and girls with cancer, held its inaugural red-carpet fundraising gala in Teaneck this past Sunday.

The event, called “Night of Wonders,” was held at the Teaneck Jewish Center, and included a benefit concert, a silent auction and CNN contributor Saranne Rothberg as the dynamic Master of Ceremonies. Rothberg, who is noted for her own cancer charity, “Comedy Cures,” and who is featured in Oprah’s book as her “hero,” volunteered to helm the event, which she learned about while a customer at The Lillian Lee Salon and Spa, the epicenter of “Do Wonders.”

Rothberg was not the only one to jump at the chance to contribute to this event, which was co-chaired by Aliza Fischman and Rubina Iqbal. “People, businesses, and artists responded emotionally to this cause, with goods and services and concerts,” commented Fischman. “Everyone who heard about it immediately asked ‘How can we help?” Acclaimed Jazz musician Doctor Dubious (of Dr. Dubious & the Agnostics), and David Cryer of Phantom of the Opera fame performed at the event.

Twenty-eight gift baskets were donated by community stores, and other prizes were donated by vendors such as Larch Street Music and Butterflake Bakery. “A client’s husband contributed the spectacular lighting,” added Fishman. “And the gorgeous flowers were provided by the florist husband of another client. Everyone gave openhandedly.”

The gala was a resounding success, with about 200 guests in attendance, many describing the evening as “superlative” and “inspirational.” One remarked that “the electricity of good feeling in the room was palpable.” NBC 4 New York’s New Jersey senior correspondent Pat Battle, a Teaneck resident and breast cancer survivor who spoke at the gala, agreed that it exceeded expectations in every way, stating “I’m an African American woman speaking at an event in a synagogue which was started by a Puerto Rican woman, largely supported by Orthodox Jews, in a town with a Muslim Mayor. This is what community is all about.” Her daughter, Clarke Johnson, sang and played guitar.

Lillian Lee, owner of the eponymous salon on Teaneck Road, founded and heads the nascent “Do Wonders” charity, and she, along with her two co-chairs, developed and ran this event which she described as a “labor of love.” Her family pitched in, with opera singer daughter Adriana organizing the performances as well a singing herself, and son Christopher performing spoken word poetry.

Donated prizes included a trip to Cancun won by local powerhouse L’via Weisinger, who is a registered nurse, professional cake decorator and baker, and writer. “L’via is a true ba’alas chesed and always gives to others,” Fischman said. “She embodies the spirit of giving, and we’re thrilled that she won this amazing prize.”

Another prize was orthodontic treatment by Dr. Staci B. Frankowitz, won by Moishe and Yacha Singer of Teaneck. Other winners included Maureen Ash and Debby Teicher of Teaneck, and Dawn Tragno of Clifton.

By Lisa Matkowsky

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