This year's City of Hope Spirit of Life Award honoree was OPI's George Schaeffer. At a party in his honor this past Saturday night, more than 1,700 guests were treated to the soulful stylings of Reverend Al Green and Aretha Franklin. And true to Schaeffer's gift for surprise, we all also got to see him marry his long-time girlfriend Irina Afzal.
The annual beauty industry Spirit of Life Award is a tradition at the summer Cosmoprof North America Show, and as its honoree this year, Schaeffer committed to breaking all industry records with the amount of money raised. Schaeffer vowed to match dollar for dollar everything raised up to $2.5 million, and, sure enough, through efforts that included a special City of Hope limited lacquer collection, a raffle for an Audi A7, a hard-cover tribute book with hand-drawn illustrations by City of Hope patients, and countless other fund-raising efforts undertaken in Schaeffer’s name, more than $2.7 million was raised.
The evening’s entertainment were two separate concerts, one by Al Green and one by Aretha Franklin. It was a rocking fun evening. Everyone danced and sang along. We had the entire NAILS crew there (including Ed Bobit, our founder, and Ty Bobit, our president) to enjoy and celebrate Schaeffer’s great accomplishment.
But, as many of you who’ve followed Schaeffer’s illustrious career over the years know, he’s always got a little something extra up his sleeve. So after a meal conceived and prepared by Hubert Keller (you might recognize that name from the “Top Chef” series on Bravo), the presentation of the award, a live in-person vocal accompaniment to a tribute video by Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik, and a $5.2 million donation to the City of Hope for diabetes research, George married his long-time girlfriend Irina Afzal. (Turns out, George actually got married officially last year, on 11/11/11 at 11:11 but this was the public celebration that he wanted to share with industry friends.)
Since most of our readers were not there to enjoy the evening with us, we hope you’ll enjoy the photos of some of the evening's highlights.
You can also click here to watch the tribute video of George we got to see at the party.