More than 300 news media, fashion and entertainment leaders gathered at the Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York City to honor television co-host and news correspondent Hoda Kotb and fashion designer Kay Unger with City of Hope’s top philanthropic honor, The Spirit of Life Award.
The pair’s notable contributions to their professions, their community and charitable causes were the focus at the May 4 “Woman of the Year” luncheon hosted by City of Hope’s East End Chapter/Jeanne Kaye League.
|Hoda Kotb, right, embraces Ann Curry upon receiving The Spirit of Life Award. (Photo by Terri Bloom)|
Kotb and Unger, both cancer survivors, are staunch advocates for medical advancement in the treatment of cancer.
Kotb received her award from the “Today” show’s Ann Curry.
“A big kiss for honoring me today at City of Hope’s luncheon ... but in reality, it is the work that this fine organization does that should truly be honored,” said Kotb. “Like so many breast cancer survivors, I have a new outlook on life. If you survive breast cancer, you get four very important words ... you get ‘You can’t scare me.’ Whatever life throws at us, we are ready.”
Unger received her award from long-time friend Tim Gunn, chief creative officer for fashion company Liz Claiborne and co-host of “Project Runway” and “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.”
“I’m honored to receive this special award from City of Hope,” said Unger. “In recognition of cancer survivors around the world, my hopes are that some day researchers will discover a cure for cancer and ways to prevent cancer for future generations.”
As part of the award event, Saks Fifth Avenue teamed with Unger’s company for a special event in April on the department store’s famed Floor Four, where they donated 10 percent of all purchases of Kay Unger New York fashions to City of Hope.
“City of Hope is proud to honor both Hoda and Kay for their remarkable achievements,” said Dan Lacovara, associate vice president of communications at City of Hope. “Both are women of incredible talent, strength and courage, and are role models and an inspiration to women everywhere.”
Other guests at the event included “Today’s” Meredith Vieira, Natalie Morales and Amy Robach.
Past Spirit of Life Award honorees from the annual luncheon include Fran Drescher, Kelly Ripa, Cindy Crawford, Paula Zahn, Mary Tyler Moore and Katie Couric.