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Celebrity Philanthropy News 2  3

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Black Tie International:
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
Eighteenth Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

Eighteenth Annual
Women of Distinction Luncheon

Hosted by Channel 7 Eyewitness News Anchor
 Diana Williams

Honoring Lorraine Schwartz,
Michele Sweetwood & Lizzy Noble

Photos by Rob Rich © 2011

Diana Williams & Denise Rich

Diana Williams & Denise Rich

Michelle Swarzman, Michele Sweetwood, Diana Williams,

Michelle Swarzman, Michele Sweetwood, Diana Williams,
 Lizzy Noble, Ellen Crown & Elyse Newhouse


Lizzy Noble, Jillian Heller & Diana Williamson

Lizzy Noble, Jillian Heller & Diana Williamson

Marian Sussman, Jodie Epstein, Iris Schwartz, Jane Pontarelli,

Marian Sussman, Jodie Epstein, Iris Schwartz, Jane Pontarelli,
Dr. Howard Sobel & Debra Wasser

Rosanna Scotto, Robin Modell

Rosanna Scotto & Robin Modell

Ron Rodgers, Jane Pontarelli & CD Greene

Ron Rodgers, Jane Pontarelli & CD Greene

Fashion Show

Fashion Show

Until next year....

New York, N.Y - The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), Greater New York Chapter, hosted their Eighteenth Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria on Thursday, April 28th.  This year’s luncheon was hosted by WABC Channel 7’s Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams.


This year, the Women of Distinction Luncheon honored three outstanding women.  CCFA Board Member Michele Sweetwood received the Woman of Distinction Award. Michele has been a dedicated member of the CCFA Board since 2000, and for the past 12 years she has co-chaired the Women of Distinction Luncheon and has been a driving force in raising funds in the hopes of finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.   


Celebrity jeweler, Lorraine Schwartz was  honored with the Woman of Distinction In Business Award.  Lorraine is an internationally renowned jewelry designer whose iconic designs have been worn by some of the most fashionable women in the world. She has created unforgettable red carpet looks for the who's who of Hollywood stars including: Blake Lively, Heidi Klum, Angelina Jolie, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez and her muse, Beyonce Knowles. She credits her mom's style and elegance for her creativity and designs.


This year’s Rising Star Award was presented to 16-year-old Lizzy Noble, who after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in her freshman year of high school, has faced her disease with courage, humor and strength and is committed to helping others with the disease.


This year’s luncheon  featured a fashion show presented by Bergdorf Goodman, featuring the Evening Collections of Alexandra Vidal, Andrew GN, CD Greene, J. Mendel, Kaufman Franco, Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta and Zuhair Murad; Jewelry by Sister Act Lorraine Schwartz and Ofira; Evening bags by Judith Leiber; and Makeup by Trish McEvoy. 


The mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Since 1967, CCFA has been the leader in research, advocacy, and patient support for those suffering from these diseases.  Approximately 80 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to research and support. It is estimated that 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, approximately 150,000 of whom are children under the age of 18. Since its inception, the Foundation has funded over $136 million dollars in direct research grants and as a result, has seen the development of important new medications and improved surgical procedures. CCFA currently supports more than 150 grants at some of the finest research institutions in the world. Proceeds from the monies raised at the Women of Distinction Luncheon will be used to fund mission-critical programs, including a variety of pediatric programs and initiatives.


Nancy Brown, Co-Founder of the Women of Distinction Luncheon eighteen years ago and Jim Gold, President and CEO of Bergdorf Goodman are this year’s Honorary Chairs. Luncheon Chairs Ellen Brown, Jill Heller, Elyse Newhouse and Michelle Swarzman have all personally been touched by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.   Over the past 18 years the chairs have helped to raise over $13 million to help find a cure for these diseases.   


About Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong painful and debilitating diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract and is incurable, while ulcerative colitis inflames the large intestine (colon) and can only be cured by surgically removing the entire large intestine. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery.  These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. 

About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, and 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy
(  ).

For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit



Joyce Brooks

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