July 18, 2024
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“Night of Wonders Benefit Concert” is a Labor of Love for Cancer Patients

Teaneck–“Do Wonders,” a non-profit organization that collects and customizes used wigs free-of-charge for women and girls with cancer, will hold its second-annual red-carpet fundraising gala on October 26th at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe. Founded by Lillian Lee, owner of the Lillian Lee Salon and Spa, the charity has won the hearts of Teaneck residents and local businesses.

“Last year’s gala changed everything about Do Wonders,” said Lee, who has been in Teaneck for 24 years. “It broadened our reach, allowed us to connect with recipients in many hospitals, as well as the American Cancer Society, and provided the resources needed to purchase brand new wigs for children instead of adapting adult wigs. It makes such a difference to these children, and it’s all because of this loyal and caring community.”

“A Night of Wonders Benefit Concert,” will honor Teaneck resident and breast cancer survivor Pat Battle as guest of honor. A senior correspondent and co-anchor of NBC’s Weekend Today in New York, Battle spoke at last year’s inaugural event, noting “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.” She featured the work of Do Wonders on NBC’s The Good Fight (www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/The-Good-Fight–Do Wonders/243210991), and has been personally involved in helping recipients, even babysitting for a patient’s children in the salon while the patient was fitted and styled.

Last year’s gala was a resounding success, with about 200 guests in attendance, some describing the evening as “inspirational.” One remarked that “the electricity of good feeling in the room was palpable.” It set the stage for this year’s highly anticipated benefit concert, which will be kosher and feature dairy fair, including a sushi bar. Over 250 guests are expected, which was described by co-chair Aliza Fischman as “kind of like an America’s Got Talent.” Fischman added: “Last year, individuals, businesses, and artists responded emotionally to this cause with goods and services and performance. This year there’s even more excitement.”

The gala will feature hip hop violinist Damian Escobar from season 2 of America’s Got Talent along with other artists, including dancers. “This is a labor of love,” said Lee. “My staff is very involved and motivated by both the recipients and by our Teaneck clientele, and our very own stylist, Maryann, will play piano.” Her family will pitch in as well, with opera singer daughter Adriana organizing the performances as well a singing herself, and son Chris performing spoken word poetry.

There will also be a silent auction, with prizes donated by neighborhood businesses and eateries. The grand prize, free orthodontics for one child, was donated for the second time by Dr. Staci Frankowitz, and cosmetics giant Shiseido donated fragrances and cosmetics. Services were donated by the Glenpointe Marriott, photographer Yaron Karl, and Petals Premier.

“This will be such a special evening,” said Lee. “The recipients are so inspiring, and we are eager to create more awareness of the work that we do to highlight the femininity of these cancer patients. We bring hope to these women because their hair means so much to their self-image.” Lee reports that the need is great, with about 1-2 patients approaching her for help each week. Fischman adds: “we are changing lives one wig at a time.”

By Lisa Matkowsky

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