It’s time to pack your bags, and take the trip of a lifetime to the third annual Stars of the Season event benefiting the Cardon Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), Banner Health and the Banner Health Foundation.
On Oct. 27, Scottsdale’s Montelucia Resort & Spa will host an unforgettable evening of cocktails, dinner and entertainment, including a silent auction, which will auction off tickets to NYC Fashion Week. Guests can also expect a performance from Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park, which donated $25,000 to sponsor a table.
This year’s theme, 1001 Nights, will take attendees on a unique, Lebanese journey through music, entertainment and authentic food. The theme promises to invoke childhood memories with a strong cultural perspective.
All proceeds from the event will help support Cardon Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program, which provides care for children born with congenital heart defects or who develop heart conditions early on in life.
But what makes this event even more unique is its dedicated group of volunteers and the teamwork and preparation by Micheline Etkin and Dr. Sophia Yang — two close friends with close ties to Brazil who are this year’s event co-chairs. A diverse advisory council of more than 30 people also assists the ladies in the planning process.
Etkin, a professional model, has always been passionate about children and became involved with the event through one of her old girlfriends, Tina Curran, the chair of the advisory council.
“We can all come together and make an incredible impact,” Etkin says. “It’s so nice to be a part of something so open-minded.” Etkin adds that she has great faith in the program and thinks it’s amazing that children can now get care in their own backyard.
Yang, a mother of triplets, also enjoys helping children and co-chairing the event with her close friend.
The event is already at capacity with an estimated 600 attendees, with tickets sold out by the end of June — before invitations were even mailed out. Luckily, those who are unable to attend the event can still support the cause by donating, sponsoring a table or even purchasing raffle tickets in hopes of being able to attend.
Etkin says she’s proud of both her and Yang’s ability to put on such a popular, extravagant party and tie it to their Brazilian roots.
“We come from the national party capital in the world,” Etkin says. “This is how we are.”
Co-chairing a large event such as this one, regardless of heritage, is not easy. The planning began more than 10 months ago, shortly after last year’s Brazilian-themed Stars of the Season took place.
“It’s like a full-time job, I don’t think I could do this three years in a row,” says Etkin, who would often wake up in the middle of the night to jot down new ideas.
Despite the long hours and stressful planning, Etkin and Yang enjoying putting on something that is both fun and for a good cause. They hope this event will be an inspiration to others, and they enjoy bringing smiles to the faces of the many children they are helping.