On March 15th, Cassie Zampa-Keim, Innovative Match, LLC (IM) CEO & author of “Ask Cass,” joined fellow IM supporters on the red carpet for the 5th Annual Stars & Crescent Evening for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A lifelong entrepreneur and philanthropist of the San Francisco Bay/Silicon Valley area, Cassie and her family have been longtime contributors to St. Jude, whose mission is to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. This year’s Stars & Crescent event afforded Cassie the perfect opportunity to continue support of St. Jude and also broaden her charitable reach to the east coast, building a philanthropic partnership between IM and New York City’s brightest young philanthropists.
IM CEO Cassie Zampa-Keim with Stars & Crescent Co-Chair Miranda Payan and IM supporters
The Stars & Crescent Evening is hosted each year by the women of Delta Delta Delta, a body of upwardly mobile New Yorkers giving their hearts and souls to this important cause. Delta Delta Delta, whose membership includes almost 200,000 living alumnae, has had a national partnership with St. Jude since 1999, raising more than 27 million dollars. In its 5th year since inception, the Stars & Crescent Evening has become a banner event for the sorority, attracting hundreds of guests who celebrated the evening with light hors d’oeuvres, complimentary cocktails and champagne as well as a silent auction and raffle to benefit St. Jude. Cassie and her IM team joined in the festivities held at the Bowery Hotel, once located at the heart of old “Skid Row” – home of the Bowery Boys. Since its opening in spring 2007, the ultra chic venue has been attracting a host of celebrities and entertainers.
Cassie and IM sponsored a VIP services package for the highly-anticipated auction, joining the ranks of other generous donors including Katie’s Couric’s The Katie Show, Rent the Runway, Kate Spade, Vince Camuto, Exhale and more. Thanks to generous benefactors, the evening was a great success, generating over $50,000 for this important cause.
2014 New York City Delta Delta Delta Stars & Crescent Committee Members
Cassie commented, "It was inspiring to see such young women dedicating their efforts to the cause. I was deeply touched by their selflessness. Putting others first is not something that everyone can do, especially at an age when you may not have your own family or children. Yet these women accomplished something tremendous for St. Jude."
Cassie's passion for this special organization has deeply resonated in her life as well as in her business. Cassie was diagnosed with cancer at age 20. "We received the news in December; the doctors told my parents it would be my last Christmas if we didn't act aggressively" says Cassie. "During my year of intensive treatment, I saw many children suffering from cancer. It affected me deeply - some of those children made it, some did not. I felt so grateful to be a survivor that I knew I wanted to help children with cancer. Helping St. Jude is one way that I can make a difference."
When Cassie turned thirty, she became a monthly donor to St. Jude. “After I had my children, I asked each of my two daughters and my son to write a Christmas card every year to a cancer patient at St. Jude.”
Then when Cassie was 39, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor as a result of the massive amount of radiation treatment she’d received. “I went through the gamma knife to shrink the tumor. Unfortunately it damaged nerves in my left year, which resulted in permanent hearing loss. When I was working with my audiologist I learned that his assistant was a patient at St. Jude when she was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of two. I met her when she was 26. She told me what her parents shared with her about the experience. They remembered positivity, incredible doctors, and the amazing place that is St. Jude. It was fate that we met.”
Such experiences continue to resonate deeply with Cassie, instilling her with a sense of personal resilience and responsibility, which spurred her to get a degree in life coaching and give back. “I am passionate about helping St. Jude in any way I can,” says Cassie who donates a portion of IM proceeds to the hospital. “It is a driving force to build my company so that I can help children beat cancer.” IM is Cassie’s personal testament. She infuses her clients and team with the same resilient spirit seen in patients and families of families, helping people create lasting love in their lives.
Learn more about St. Jude at www.stjude.org or by visiting Stars & Crescent Evening for St. Jude, featuring an ongoing Gifts that Give campaign. To be involved in the 2015 Stars & Crescent event, please contact co-chair Miranda Payan at email@example.com.