Happy Birthday my beautiful sister Judy Dillon Wilkins. Today would have been Judy’s 51st birthday, but her life was cut short by cancer, Ovarian Cancer to be specific. The whispering disease as many women don’t realize they have it until to late, and neither did Judy. But today I celebrate her life, and I thank my friends and family for supporting the 2nd Annual Judy Wilkins Gilda Club of SJ event we had at Fleming’s Steakhouse in Marlton NJ on Monday. (Judy above with my youngest sister Crista. Judy knitted this afghan for family friend Colleen Walsh Spangler for her wedding.)
Walt Wilkins and Margie Spurlock, ABC’s Bachelor Season 2010 Craig Robinson and Susie Celek. I love that Margie wore teal, which is the color for Ovarian Cancer. Last year I had two events in Judy’s honor and we raised a total of $10,000 at those two events.
My buddy/co-worker at Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia Mike Jerrick came out to support the event. He’s with my sisters Tracy Boneventure and Crista Bateman in front row, Margaret Goleash, Janine DeFeo and Ray LaGreca in the back row. Also spotted Lisa and Diane Libertella, Maryanne Massi, The Shusters, and so many others as the night was a big wonderful blur of happiness.
My Gilda’s Club team mates, Gloss PR Cori Moskow and Ilana Waber with representatives from Gilda’s of SJ, Gilda’s Club South Jersey’s Development Director Lauren Crenshaw and CEO Sarah Griffith. Thank you so much for all your work. Missing from this shot is Billy Sullivan, Operating Manager of Fleming’s Steak House, Marlton NJ
Thanks to all the sponsors who donated items, Lago’s Jewelers, Justin Wineburgh, Zarwin Baum, Sampan, Rouge, Carol Drumsta, Secrets Limo, Deanna Durante, Bob Gaudio (Original member of The Four Seasons and writer of such classics as “Walk Like a Man” and “Sherri Baby”, Eagles coach Andy Reid, Skin Palette, Philadelphia Eagles Jon Dorenbos, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Vick and, Brent Celek, and a dozen more Eagles, Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Johari Rollins, Cole and Heidi Hamels Anonymous, Cashman and Assocs. Walnut Street Theater, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Estia Restaurant, Hair of the Dog, Holiday Inn, Palomar Hotel, Sofitel Hotel, Preston & Steve, Marisa Magnatta,
Mom (Virginia Dillon on right) and her high school and traveling bud Shirl
Billy Sullivan greets the crowd as Sarah Griffith, CEO of Gilda’s Club of SJ looks on.
Evan and Lynsie Solomon
Thanks to City of Hope for adding to the great rafffle. I had equally great stuff on both tables raffles and silent auction, so that everyone could have a chance at winning something fun. We had signed Flyers hockey pucks (Thanks to my brother Ray LaGreca), and a Tommy Lasorda signed ball in both auctions (Thanks for the donation from NBC10’s Deanna Durante).
Mom her friend Fred, Jon Dorenbos and my sisters Tracy (l) and Crista (r). Crista just had her third child in less than 4 years, doesn’t she look great? She wanted to have them all before she was 35, she had a plan.
Paula Lisenbee and fiance Philadelphia Eagles, and a darn good singer (go youtube him) Julian Vandervelde.
My good friends Julie and Jon Dorenbos with Rose and Tom Cunningham, Rose is with the David Akers Foundation. She won the Andy Reid signed football. I wonder what is to become of that?
My buds: Arthur Etchells Foobooz and Michelle Cassidy (Yelp)
My niece (and Judy’s daughter) Lauren Wilkins and her beau George Berner
Daniel L. Cevallos, Cevallos & Wong, LLP, Lauren Richmond, Owner at Lauren Richmond Photography, not pictured but somewhere close by Brynne Ashton, Survior season one Gervase Peterson, opening Burnz, a cigar lounge in Lawnside, NJ
Neil Diamond, Connie Rykiel Beach and Tim Beach. Connie and Neil and I were friends growing up in Cherry Hill. (See youse Christmas Eve)
Julie is in the Preston and Steve calendar this year. She signs a copy for the auction. Looking on is my workout partner, GN Kang, who came with her new assistant Kristen Celins and Nicole Herring from the Hamels Foundation Council. (GN takes her workouts much seriously than I do.)
Pastry Princess: Monica Glass was in the house, with Top Cheftestant Jen Carroll. Here she’s with Ilana Waber
Colleen Walsh Spangler, Mrs Ginger Walsh, and Karen Walsh Murphy (Colleen is my sisters childhood friend, and then we all owned condos in the same building in Philadelphia. Now that was fun!!)
Gervase, Lisa Gaudio and Jimmy Kazanjian. Thanks for coming and your family’s generous donation. See you on opening night for Jersey Boys 12/9/11
Vasiliki Tsiouris, KYW 1060’s Hadas Kuznits, Dan Reinherz and George Tsiouris
I support Gilda’s Club because of the free services they provide to people, men or women suffering from cancer. The services include support and networking groups, lectures and workshops, social activities including the knitting club which I am raising money to rename in honor of Judy. We only have $5,000 left to reach our goal of $25,000
The effort will not stop there, as Flemings is committed to hold an event at their Marlton restaurant for as long as we are willing to have it. I am so touch by the generosity of everyone. And the support of my friends who came out, especially in that crazy traffic of South Jersey. I don’t know how anyone commutes. Above: Carmena Ayo-Davies, 3B Markting, GN Kang, Kristen Celins and Nicole Herring.
Laura Burkhardt (The Lab) and my beau of 17 years, Mike Toub
Jon Dorenbos showing my family his magic tricks. In the back row are long time friends from Audubon, NJ Jodie Shaw and Kenny.
Bruce and Michelle Shannon, thanks for stopping by. Check out Philly Mag online to see what their tradition is for Thanksgiving Day.
My niece Colleen Wilkins and her friends, Kara Castillo and Stacie Viggiano. The Clean Up Crew.
Thanks to Mike Jerrick for setting up this shot of the room. Check out my segment on Fox 29 Wednesday morning at 9:15AM, and also my column in Philly Mag today to see another pix & story, ok it’s similar to this one. Thanks to everyone who made this a success: Over 125 people came out to support the event. Thank you all very much. We will be doing it again next year. In the meantime if you would like to make a gift to Gilda’s Club in honor of my sister, Judy Wilkins Click HERE. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks.