All Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
On November 1, the grand ballroom of the Hotel Nikko was transformed into a sea of optimism, hope and success for the Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo (RTR4C) inaugural gala. The nonprofit organization devoted to transforming chemotherapy rooms into beautiful and inspiring spaces drew some serious attention from heavy-hitters like Dianne Feinstein, Richard Blum and the Honorable Willie Brown, among many.
The black tie fundraiser, hosted by KGO’s Don Sanchez, was a dynamic event that featured education, performances, silent and live auctions, a fashion show and dancing. The evening began with performances by X-factor TV star Jason Brock and San Francisco virtuoso violonist Lea Bourgade, both of whom delighted the audience.
Following the perfomance, guests were treated to a 3-course dinner, during which guests had an opportunity to learn about and support RTR4C’s vision with a touching speech made by founder Nancy Ballard. The Honorable Mayor Willie Brown then took the stage for a passionate endorsement of the impact Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo has made in the city of San Francisco.
After such an impassioned speech, the room was abuzz and poised for a live auction led by the auctioneer Abra Annes. The formidable Abra set the bids high for the “Fund-a-Need” with a $25K goal. Within less than one minute, Mr Richard Blum stunned guests by raising his paddle to make the $25K bid. Needless to say, Mr. Blum received a standing ovation.
The formal portion of the evening came to a close with a fashion show by San Francisco’s rising fashion star, Vasily Vein. Fashion chair Sophie Azouaou introduced the designer in his own creation, a “vision of white elegance and beauty” made especially for the occasion. His muse, Sonya Molodetskaya, donned a superb black coat, black lace dress – a stunning end to the show.