A sold-out gathering of more than 750 industry notables and celebrities helped raise in excess of $1 million last night for cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS research and treatment at City of Hope during the Spirit of Life awards gala, honoring furniture industry icons — Michael Amini, founder and CEO of AICO, and the Goldberg family, Neil, Steven, and Michael of top 10 retailer, Raymour & Flanigan — as the 2013 recipients of the coveted Spirit of Life award. The prestigious award is City of Hope's highest accolade, presented to recognize outstanding business leadership as well as philanthropic achievements.
In addition to the awards ceremony and dinner at The Grandover Resort, highlights from the evening included a video montage featuring dozens of industry all-stars illustrating what gives them hope, the theme of this year's Citizens of Hope public awareness and support campaign. Participants displayed a badge with the word that best illustrates what gives them hope, especially in the face of devastating illness. Hope and success were the keystone messages from the evening's special speaker, Lacey Conlan, a former pediatric oncology patient at City of Hope.
Designer Jena Hall and Roger Friesen, president and CEO of case goods source Casana, are co-chairs of the National Home Furnishings Industry group supporting City of Hope, and Kevin O'Connor, CEO of Samson Marketing, chairs the organization's Spirit of Life gala.