Last night, midtown’s Cipriani hosted the star-studded Global Lyme Alliance annual gala, “Uniting for a Lyme-free World.” Fox’s Rosanna Scotto emceed the event and led the crowd in honoring supermodel and Lyme-sufferer, Bella Hadid. In total, the event raised nearly $3 million for Lyme research.
Hadid, who said she was not feeling well, gave a teary speech discussing her illness, praising her family for their support and explaining she wants other teens afflicted to know they are not alone. “It’s really rude they make all the Lymies come up here and talk, because I can’t even talk in real life,” she said, referencing one of the illness’ symptoms, brain fog. She went on to explain that as a result of the affliction she had to give up a career in Olympic horse jumping.
Other honorees included designer Heather Glass who detailed her years long treatment quest (she joked that the only thing she hadn’t tried was exorcism, and that was only because no doctor every suggested it) — and commercial real estate bigwig Arthur J. Mirante II whose son is afflicted. Honoree BNY Mellon President Karen Peetz announced that she would be joining the Global Lyme Alliance full time upon her official retirement.
Also in attendance were other prominent figures in the entertainment industry who have bean affected by the chronic illness such as celeb Yolanda Hadid — Bella’s mother — and designer Ally Hilfiger — daughter of designer Tommy — who has suffered from the illness for 25 of her 31 years and recently wrote a book about her battle called “Bite Me.” Musician Rob Thomas of “Matchbox Twenty” — whose wife Marisol has Lyme Disease — treated the audience to a musical performance.
The most lively part of the event centered around a rousing fundraising auction in which a lunch with Bella and Yolanda Hadid was sold for the final bid of $60,000. Dinner for 10 and tickets to a Tommy Hilfiger runway show went for $100,000. Tickets to three sporting events — Wimbledon, The World Series and The Superbowl — were grabbed by a donor for $70,000.
Party planner Lawrence Scott handled the event.