Saks Blast 2013 Breaks Records

An evening of fashion and charity collaborated as guests of Saks Blast 2013 filled Saks Fifth Avenue to the rooftop benefitting Transition to Betterness (T2B) and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.  More than 800 guests joined event chairs Stephanie and Barry Zekelman and honorary co-chairs Lil and Alex Erdeljan, in a fashion event that broke records, raising nearly $1.2 million. What is even more impressive is that 78% which is 8% better than the industry standard of funds raised will be used to meet local needs in Windsor and Detroit. Of the grand total raised, a record breaking $600,000 will stay right here in our local Windsor Essex community benefiting T2B’s capital campaign.

Picture-newsletter-300Funds will be used to benefit T2B’s “Rooms to Wings” Capital Campaign of $1.4 million dollars This campaign includes the refurbishment of the new T2B Supportive Care Unit-Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Wing on the 3rd floor at the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility. The unit provides support and care for local oncology patients and other patients impacted by various diseases who are in need of palliative care. A total of 18 newly refurbished rooms are now open and accessible to the community.  Additional comfort amenities include a family waiting lounge, refurbished nurses’ station and family kitchen areas. Karmanos Cancer Institute will use their funds for clinic and center improvements.   

Saks Blast attendees enjoyed lively music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the event, while viewing a fashion show by Paris couture house J. Mendel. Gilles Mendel, chief designer and CEO of J. Mendel, was present for the fashion show. Models showed off selections from the fall collection. Everyone was also encouraged to purchase a fashion star pin; more than $65,000 was raised through pin sales. 

“It is wonderful to be able to unite the fashionable people of Michigan and Windsor for this premier fundraising event,” Zekelman said. “Barry and I are pleased once again to be involved in SAKS BLAST because we know first-hand that Karmanos has always provided the best and most innovative care for patients. We also highly value the services that Transition to Betterness provides to patients and their families. “We’re proud to spread the word here in metro Detroit and to those living in Windsor/Essex County that such wonderful cancer care and support resources can be found in this region.” 

T2B is a Windsor/Essex County-based organization whose mission is,” ensuring comfort for patients and families living with cancer and other diseases As part of this mission T2B has had tremendous impact transforming hospital settings. Their ongoing programs include the concierge desk, comfort & coffee carts, comfort blanket program, pediatric oncology programs art and music therapy and room refurbishment.

Three lucky people won the evening’s raffle items including, one-of-a-kind drop earrings in sterling silver with black diamonds and “sleeping beauty” turquoise provided by Jared Lehr; a $1,000 men’s wardrobe provided by the men’s collection at Saks Fifth Avenue; and a Saks Fifth Avenue fashion presentation for up to 15 peoplefollowed by lunch at The Capital Grille, provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and The Capital Grille. 

Saks Fifth Avenue officials said they were thrilled to partner withT2B and Karmanos while kicking off their fall fashion season. “Saks is dedicated to supporting the communities in which we do business,” said Ina Levinson, Vice President and General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy. “Supporting organizations like Karmanos Cancer Institute and Transition to Betterness is a privilege and a pleasure, because we know that the two organizations do all they can to improve the lives of those they serve. Plus, it’s fun to hold a glamorous fashion event to support two very worthy causes!” 

Going forward, T2B continues to fundraise in order to reach their capital campaign goal of $1.4 million dollars by the end of fall 2014. T2B will continue to host many events throughout 2014 including their popular signature events and other exciting ventures.  To set the stage for 2014, they will be hosting their 17th annual gala on Saturday January 25, Crash the Ball. For information on this Gala that is guaranteed to sell out please call 519-944-5143 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  



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If you have any questions regarding T2B, your involvement or ways to get involved, we invite you to contact the T2B office at your convenience.

Transition to Betterness is located at:
3200 Deziel Drive, Unit 307
Windsor, Ontario N8W 5K8

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Office: 519-944-5143 
Fax: 519-944-2590

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