MS Hope for a Cure held its 10th and final “WABC-TV and Friends vs. MS” Bar Night at Blondies Sport Bar and Restaurant on March 7, 2013. This event was started by Cat McKenzie and other regulars from Blondies who wanted to help make a difference in the fight against MS when their close friend EJ Levy (Founder of MS Hope) was diagnosed with MS in 2002. In 2003, the first year of the benefit, Cat was a producer at WABC-TV local news, when she told her team about EJ they were all eager to donate their time to make the night a huge success. For over 10 years the news anchors and other ABC celebrities guest bartended and made personal donations. There was always fun with Karaoke, Raffles and a great Silent Auction. And we can’t forget Charity Poker in the back room.
In our final year we raised over $16,000 bringing the running total to over $111,000! The event would not be the success that it has been without Cat and the folks from WABC-TV. MS Hope is eternally grateful for their support.
We are also eternally grateful to Blondies owners Patty, Jill and Joe who were generous enough to donate their establishment year after year. The great staff at Blondies always made it a perfect night.
Thank you to Danny G who was with us all ten years running karaoke.
There were also a number of volunteers along the way that also deserve a shout out including:
Christine Burke, Scott Curkin, Margo Doolittle, Jane Greene, Amy Hastings, Julie Haubner Smith, Amie Hoff, Armand Juanillo, Lisa Kassel, Kelly Leikhus, Casey Lipscomb, Michele Manfeda, Wayne Mayo, Liz Nagel, Stacy Paolozzi, Meryl Ravitz, Charles Richards, Julie Roth, Jill Siegel, Mindy Silverman, Kim Stern, Betsy Werbel and Jamie Woodward.
EJ would like to thank everyone (on behalf of herself and everyone living with MS) who came to Blondies and supported the benefit. Not only did the event raise money to help find a cure but it gave her something to smile about and look forward to during her difficult times.
History of the Event
Founder EJ Levy is a lifetime JETS fan and has spent most of her adult Sundays during football season at Blondies Sports Bar & Restaurant located at 212 West 79th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The owners and other regulars knew her before she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, struggled along with her as her disease progressed and she needed help getting to the bar and getting back home, and rejoice with EJ now that she can walk again on her own two feet.
One regular, Cat McKenzie, who is currently a producer at Good Morning America, was a producer at WABC-TV News when EJ was diagnosed. She wanted to start an annual benefit to show support for EJ and help raise money to find a cure for MS. She engaged other regulars and friends from Blondies (Julie R., Meryl, Casey, Julie H., Peter, Kim, Betsy, Carolyn, Stacy, Chuck) and owners Patty and Jill to help put the benefit together and run the event.
Cat also reached out to WABC-TV anchors and correspondents as well as other ABC celebrities. They were all eager to support Cat, EJ and this important cause, and year after year have come after a long day at work to guest bartend. “Blondies” has become an annual event for MS Hope. On any given year, you might see Michelle Charlesworth, Nina Pineda, Kemberly Richardson, Bill Evans, Jeff Smith, Darla Miles, Sade Baderinwa, Sandra Bookman, Lee Goldberg, Phil Lipof, Lori Stokes, Diana Williams, Jim Dolan, Lauren Glassberg, Amy Freeze, Heidi Jones or Carolina Leid serving up drinks and socializing with our wonderful donors.
Other ABC celebrities joined the fight against MS throughout the years including; Tony Danza, Meredith Vieira, and Susan Lucci. In 2006, ABC soap stars from One Life to Live and All My Children came out to meet their fans and raise money for Multiple Sclerosis programs and research.
EJ is extremely thankful to Cat (also a founding Board Member), all the owners and regulars at Blondies, and everyone at WABC-TV for all the years of support and kindness they have shown her and MS Hope.
Past Blondie’s Events
The 9th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit – over $11,000!
Blondies – Thursday, April 5, 2012
In 2012, ConsciousWine joined our team and brought our Raffle to a new level by donating a fabulous wine trip for two to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Other prizes included tickets to the Daily Show with John Stewart and a $350 Gift Certificate to Oasis Day Spa
The 8th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit – over $13,000!
Blondies – Thursday, April 7, 2011
The 7th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit –over $10,500!
Blondies-Thursday, February 18, 2010
Blondies 2004 – 2009
The 6th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit – over $10,000!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The 5th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit –$10,900!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The 4th Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit –$9,200!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The 3rd Annual WABC & Friends vs. MS Benefit – $8,500!
Thursday, March 30, 2006