As the new co-chair for Jeffrey Fashion Cares, the 27th annual fundraiser that combines style and philanthropy, Marsha Archer said she is thrilled to help lead the event that’s billed as the kickoff to Atlanta’s fall social season.
“It’s an amazing philanthropic city,” said Archer, who is taking the place of Jeffrey McQuithy, who is remaining involved with the event as a host committee co-chair. “We’re lucky we have so many giving people living here. To be able to serve as one of the co-chairs is wonderful.
“To be going for as long as it has, now in its 27th year, it says something about the magnitude of the organization and for it to remain as steadfast as it is from the sponsorship and participation standpoint.”
The gala will take place Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, home of the eponymous clothing boutique owned by the benefit’s founder, Jeffrey Kalinsky, who has a second store in New York. It will include a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions and a fashion show with styles from designers such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Dries Van Noten and Manolo Blahnik.
Archer is joined by longtime co-chairs Lila Hertz and Louise Sams.
“Every year the energy in the room always seems to amaze me both for the fashion and for the causes,” Hertz said. “... What really makes this stand out is we continue to return right around 90% (of the funds raised) straight to the charities.”
This year’s gala primarily will benefit Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, which provides breast cancer screenings, education and support services, and the Atlanta AIDS Fund, which offers support for HIV/AIDS prevention, advocacy and care. A small portion of the proceeds will also go to the Medical University of South Carolina.
“I think it’s so based in the community,” Sams said when asked what makes the event stand out. “We’re (mainly) supporting two different organizations that are really important to the Atlanta community. I think everybody can think of people that they know who have been impacted by either AIDS or breast cancer.
“I think they can understand why these organizations, Susan G. Komen and the Atlanta AIDS Fund, are so important to the Atlanta community. Many of us are fortunate enough to have really good access to healthcare, whether it’s treatment or preventative medicine or testing. But there are lots of folks who don’t. So these organization are helping people who are in need.”
The 2018 event raised nearly $625,000, and Archer said they hope to raise $850,000 this year. According to a news release, it is one of the largest combined breast cancer and AIDS fundraisers in the nation.
While fashion and fun are the gala’s watchwords, it takes on a serious note, too. Archer’s mother-in-law, Jean Archer, and Hertz are breast cancer survivors, and Sams has friends who have dealt with breast cancer and AIDS, including some who died of AIDS before drugs were created to better treat it.
The co-chairs said they were thankful for the event’s vendors, including Phipps owner Simon, and volunteers, which help keep costs low, and its supporters.
“Also, the generous patrons we have are invaluable, and all of our vendors give their time and give us the best deal they can give us. That’s what keeps our overhead so low,” Hertz said.
Tickets are $500.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.jeffreyfashioncares.com.