Saks and the City, the Sequel

In a town where non-profits are fiercely competing for precious dollars these days, The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, founded 6 years ago by Nikki Simon-Katz is hard at work raising funds to ensure that children in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Louis Obispo Counties receive the undivided attention and comfort of their parents during treatment and recovery of cancer. “Cancer does not stop in a financial downturn,” said Executive Director Marni Rozet.

Since its inception in 2003, the TBCF has given over $277,000 in financial assistance by paying rent, mortgages, utilities, car payments, hotel accommodations, and basic day to day necessities to families in financial straits. In addition TBCF offers programs such as parent support groups, family fun days, health and fitness for children in treatment, spa days for moms and more to 130 families per month.

The jewel in Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s fundraising crown last year was an evening for women at Saks Fifth Avenue called “Saks in the City”. The event, which consisted of women dressed to the nines hanging out with friends and being pampered after closing hours at fashion icon SFA, was a great success. Local businesses and individuals made it possible for TBCF to give 100% of the event proceeds directly to families by donating all goods and services. This year is no exception.

On March 19 from 7 to 10 pm, the Foundation’s event committee Lucia Engel, Nicole Greene, Eric and Marian Greenspan, Jeannette Hawes, Sheela Hunt, Mer James, Kristi Marks, Dawn O'Donnell, Lynn Rollins, Christina Rottman, Marni Rozet, Teresa Sharifi, Carla Tomson, and Lauren Von Fabrice, have ordered up food from Via Vai, Epiphany, Duo Catering, China Pavilion, Hot Cookie and Village Modern Foods, firefighters from Santa Barbara County will be selling raffle items and serving “Saks-tinis” and “Teddy-tinis” courtesy of Russian Bear Vodka and wine from local Santa Ynez Winery Sweeny Canyon Vineyards will be poured. Masseuses and Saks make-up artists will be offering hand and head massages and mini makeovers; guests can also get palm readings and photos taken.

Fashionistas will get a sneak peak and get to try on next season’s must-haves from the spring collections of designers such as Etro Theory, Diane Von Furstenberg, Max Mara, and Piazza Sempione, among others. Special collections not usually in stock will be brought in from Saks corporate for the occasion. No department is off limits. People can wander throughout the store and shop to their heart’s content or credit card limit, knowing their contribution will go to an excellent cause. A percentage of all sales for the evening will be donated to TBCF by Saks Fifth Avenue. An additional treat from Saks is pre-shopping the week of March 16, whereupon attendees or those unable to come can pre-shop and pickup their items the night of the big event. In addition, a live auction will be held featuring some of the best-looking guys in town offering services from their various professions and areas of expertise.

Some of the live auction items include a private jet getaway to Napa Valley for a weekend stay, a night of pampering for 6 at Summerland Day Spa Bellezza Vita donated by Theresa Borgatello, a weeklong escape to Nantucket donated by Jeanette Sanford Hawes, 3-night stay with golf donated by Ojai Valley Inn, dinner with firefighters, weekend retreat at Lake Nacimiento for 6 lucky ladies or 3 couples donated by Eric and Marian Greenspan, 20-karat gold and pearl earrings designed and donated by Daniel Gibbings, and surf lessons with Glen Hening, founder of the Surfrider Foundation. A look at more items can be found on the interactive website www.teddybearcancerfoundation.org