COMMUNITY: The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health’s Annual “Give the Shirt Off Your Back” Gala

September 30, 2009 ,
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Last year’s “Shirt Off Your Back” Gala, A Masked Venetian Ball, was held on October 31st, Halloween night, at The Rittenhouse in Center City Philadelphia.  The Gala has historically been recognized as Philadelphia’s most exclusive and high profile fund-raising effort. The Philadelphia Inquirer has said that the SOYB (Shirt Off Your Back) Gala is the “Party with a Purpose, one of the high points of the fall social calendar.”   This year, the Gala retuns to The Rittenhouse on Friday, October 2, 2009.  

The 2008 Gala was co-chaired by Rema Giordano, of  The Rittenhouse, and our own Brian Kappra.  For years, the foundation partnered with Fashion Group International to produce the event, and many times has honored pillars of the fashion community for their philanthropic deeds.  Evantine Design has had the distinct honor and pleasure of creating fabulous environments for these designers: Geoffrey Beene, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Ralph Rucci, Randolph Duke, Mary McFadden, Tori Burch and others.  In years past, the Foundation has honored three local Philadelphian’s for their philanthropic efforts:  Gerry Sills, Georges Perrier and Brian Kappra.

The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (FBPH) is a world-renowned nonprofit foundation and think tank that serves as a catalyst to advance breast and prostate cancer research and treatment.  In addition to sponsoring a series of International Consensus Conferences, the Foundation is dedicated to developing the talents of a new generation of physicians by initiating Breast and Prostate Cancer Fellowships, and advancing the scope of scientific research through grants to pioneering doctors.

Originally founded in 1990 as the Breast Health Institute by our dear friends, Dr. Gordon and Shelly Schwartz, the Foundation initially launched the Mammocare™ program, funding mammograms for thousands of underserved working women with limited health care options.  Additionally, as the Foundation grew, it funded programs to stimulate breast cancer awareness as well as treatment for women with quality-of-life issues in need of breast cancer care. 

As the Foundation’s activities expanded, it realized that its consensus conferences, fellowships, and research grants were not limited by geographical boundaries.  In recognition of its global responsibility, an additional office in Europe was opened and new foundations in Italy, Germany, and the UK were established.

Recognizing that prostate cancer is in many ways a disease analagous to breast cancer, the Breast Health Institute officially changed its name to reflect a new mission in 2006.  The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health was born, incorporating two divisions; Breast Health International and Prostate Health International.

[Additional event photos below.]



As guests arrived at the Gala, we provided them with a selection of stunning Venetian Carnival masks to wear.  Of course, many folks came with their own masks which were phenomenal in their artful displays of plummage!  (Renee Freeman, you know who you are!)


The masks really did set a fabulous tone of fun for an evening full of surprises.


The long feast tables we designed were covered in shimmering aqua silk linens overlaid with gold embroidered lace panels.

Magnificent flowers in sumptuous colors of umber, orange, red, magenta and purple, as well as outrageous accessories, elaborate glassware and rich candles captured the splendor and opulence of Venice!


Our attention to detail was crazy…. down to the Venetian Gold Glass charger plates, the etched glasses, gold flatware, colorful cut glass votives, ornate gold frames, votives hung from silk ribbons and so many other details!

Each course of the dinner service was beautifully presented on a wonderful palette of china inspired by the palaces of Italy.


The colors were just amazing!  We even found “tie-dyed” Roses from Holland that brought in the carnival of color.  Each petal of the rose was a different color!  The always elegant  Eddie Bruce provided the orchestra, Two Paperdolls, the stunning thematic invitations and the incomparable Phil Kramer, the photography.

This year, the gala will be held on Friday evening, October 2nd.  Once again the event will be held at The Rittenhouse [sold out!].  We look forward to creating another stunning setting, with this year’s theme of Black & White. 

Hmmmm….  wonder what we will do this year…….


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