J.W. MARRIOTT certainly lived up to its “happening” image with social bigwigs, Cabinet ministers and local and international celebrities coming together at one of the glitziest charity gala dinners ever held in Malaysian history.
Organised by Pink Ribbon Deeds (Pride), “Walk With Pride” was a tribute and reminder to breast cancer survivors that there is life after cancer, as well as raise funds to increase awareness and improve standards of diagnosis, treatment and care of breast cancer in Malaysia.
Pride is a special purpose committee established in collaboration with Yayasan Budi Penyayang under the patronage of Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood.
The guest list for the event was quite spectacular and included international celebrities Jackie Chan, Pointer Sisters and Mike Davis and Donnie of the Platters, as well as local celebrities Anita Sarawak, Paula Malai Ali, Sheila Majid and Syafinaz Selamat.
Heading the VIP list was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was accompanied by an entourage of his Cabinet ministers and deputies including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Education Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
“‘Walk with Pride’ is such an interesting event because it has removed the fear and gloom out of breast cancer and demonstrates that survivors can still celebrate life after cancer.
“It’s an inspiration and an encouragement that life goes on, and goes on well even after breast cancer,” said Dr Ng, who was accompanied by her son Julian Chin.
Stewardess Rebecca Oh, who was impressed with the grandness of the event said: “Breast cancer patients tend to feel inadequate, that they have lost out in life. This event reaches out to those people and gives them hope.”
Sumptuous food, fine wines and good entertainment aside, the pinnacle of the event was the fashion show in which 28 gutsy survivors paraded with pride in glamorous creations of DKNY, Versace, Christian Dior and Fendi as well as local fashion house Jendela Batik, among others.
A silent auction was also held to raise more funds for the cause. Items on auction included a Fendi Celebrity Chefs bag, a Jaeger-LeCoultre limited edition watch, DaimlerChrysler Malaysia’s Smart For Two car and dinner with Pride ambassador and ex-Bond girl Datuk Michelle Yeoh.