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Saks Fifth Avenue's Key to the Cure Gala


Saks Fifth Avenue's Key to the Cure Gala

Lauren wakeman


By Katherine M. Johnson

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Saks Fifth Avenue's Key to the Cure Gala

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 at Saks Fifth Avenue (301 Canal St.). Tickets start at $75, available at the door and at

How long has Saks hosted this event? This is the 16th year, and it's raised over $2 million for Louisiana cancer research.

How did you become co-chair? I'm co-chairing with my mom, Barbara Greenberg, so it's a special experience. Sue (Singer, corporate sponsorship liaison) approached us because she knows how important cancer research is to my ... entire family. ... Unfortunately, cancer has shown our family no mercy. ... My mom lost her mother and sister within a three-year period to cancer, as well as her husband, my father. My brother was diagnosed within just a year of my dad's passing, but thankfully he's ... now cancer-free. I've lost (three of) my grandparents to cancer. ... My dad's family carries the BRCA1 gene .... (and) I carry a different genetic mutation called CHEK2, which increases (our risk). For us, research ... has helped us confront it head-on. We're now able to take preventive and surveillance measures early.

How does the event raise money for research? The proceeds are donated to the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. ... Part of the way we raise funds is ticket sales ... and direct donations. Also, Saks sells a T-shirt designed exclusively for the event. This year's is designed by Missoni and is available starting Oct. 1 for $35. A portion of those proceeds are donated to local cancer charities as well. There's also a charity shopping weekend (Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 12-15), during which a portion of sales at Saks will be donated to the consortium.

What's your favorite Saks department? I enjoy shopping the women's dress collections, especially for special occasions. My style trends toward classic and understated with some youthfulness to it. I'm not super trendy ... but I do like to shop the contemporary styles when I think I can pull it off. I also get all my makeup staples from Saks.

Describe your everyday style. I have young kids, so I'm running to and from school during the week, and in the morning, I like to exercise, so I'm often in Lululemon workout clothes or just jeans and a comfortable top and sandals. It depends on what the day brings.

Where else do you like to shop? I love our local boutiques — (especially) Em's (Boutique) on Metairie Road and Azby's Uptown.

What are you wearing to Key to the Cure? (My styling is) by Steven Putt of Saks. It's a little more glam than I'm used to ... but so much fun. My cocktail dress is by Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon, my evening bag is by Saks Fifth Avenue and I'm wearing pink suede shoes by Christian Louboutin. My makeup is by Dean Smartt of Giorgio Armani Beauty.

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