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Peter Leone with Phillip and Sofia Pilla

The 8th Annual Shay Ladies

Elizabeth Iorio, CareyBeer, and Tamara Gerber

Chris Paradysz, Ron and Peggy Dowd, and Dory Neilinger

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The Shady Ladies Spread Some Sunshine With the Eighth Annual Dinner & Celebrity Sunglass Auction

Written by: Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Client: The Shady Ladies Dinner and Celebrity Sunglass Auction
Release Date: 2013-02-11

Wellington, FL – February 11, 2013 – Sunglasses, auction packages, good food and a fun time. This is what guests found at the Shady Ladies Dinner and Celebrity Sunglass Auction on Saturday evening, February 9. The eighth annual event, hosted by The Shady Ladies, a group that raises money and awareness for the Lupus Research Institute, auctioned off sunglasses from celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Honorary Chairs were fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and the event co-chairs, Angela and Chris Paradysz and Teri and John Wood.

The event was started eight years ago by Angela and Chris Paradysz, because their daughter Allie, suffers from Lupus. Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that is difficult to diagnose, and also forces those diagnosed with the disease to stay out of the sun, and in the shade. The disease affects each person differently, and usually effects more women than men, especially those ranging in age from 10-50.

Guests were greeted at The Wellington Club, located at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The event welcomed over 150 guests to a beautifully themed setting, designed by DN Concepts, of parasols and sunglasses set amidst the red and orange colors of the Lupus Research Institute. Each guest had the opportunity to try the signature drink of the evening, “The Shady Lady,” as they browsed the selection of sunglasses available at the silent auction table.

The sunglasses available for bidding during the silent auction were those of celebrities and famous athletes, and the guests could not write fast enough as they bid on glasses from Gloria Gaynor, Richard Gere, Ryan Beckett, Patti Scialfa, Brad Coleman, Landon Cassill, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George H. Morris, Laura Kraut, Kris Kampsen, Brandon Phillips, Julio Gracida, Nic Roldan, Eric Lamaze, Beezie Madden, and Julio Arrelano.

The live auction items took place after dinner, where the big name celebrity sunglasses, many of which were donated by Phillip Pilla of Pilla Sport, were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Steve Williams emceed the auction, while Olympian Nona Garson modeled the celebrity sunglasses for the crowd.

The first item of the night was the Leonardo DiCaprio prize pack. In addition to signed sunglasses, the winner received a set of DVDs and a signed Titanic poster. Although the hands flew up fast to take home the set, it was Angela Paradysz who settled the frenzy with the winning bid!

Acting and directing legend, Martin Scorsese, was the next package to take the limelight on the stage. Both Scorsese and DiCaprio signed the sunglasses case, as well as the poster for the four-time Oscar winning movie, The Departed. The package went to Michele Philip and Jonathon Gold.

The most anticipated item of the night was a prize pack signed by ‘The Boss’. Autographed Bruce Springsteen sunglasses, CDs, a book and a t-shirt, had guests outbidding one another in a whirlwind. The lucky winner was Elizabeth Schroeder.

The last live auction item was a prize pack of two autographed sunglasses from Mark Badgley and James Mischka, along with a one-of-a-kind dress that would be fitted for the winner. The black dress was adorned with vibrant silver and gold beading down the front, and had a breathtaking back. It was Allie Paradysz who walked away the winner from the high-level bidding.

Throughout the event, Alex Sepkus Jewelry had a booth set up for guests to peruse their stunning line of jewelry. The store, located in Midtown, NY, sells 18K rose, yellow and platinum jewelry. For the night of the event, 30 percent of each sale went directly to the Lupus Research Institute. In addition, if someone attending the event saw a piece that they were interested in and called about it after the night came to an end, the 30 percent donation was still viable, as long as they mentioned that they saw the piece at the Shady Ladies Dinner and Celebrity Sunglass Auction.

Another fabulous contributor to the dinner and auction was Eyes of Wellington, who has two stores in Wellington, as well as a booth at the horse show. Owner Ginger Popper set up a booth at the Shady Ladies event, as it has for the full eight years of the Lupus Institutes’ social highlight event. As they have done in the past, 100 percent of the profits raised at the event benefited the Lupus Research Institute. 

The night was filled with excitement and entertainment as the guests enjoyed the $82,000 Adequan Grand Prix ringside in the Wellington Club. Along with a delicious dinner, they were able to watch as top professional show jumpers contended for the winning title. At the end of the night, each guest left with a goody bag containing an Essex Classic show shirt and gifts from Michael Angelo Salon & Spa.   The event was produced by Kim Tudor of Tudor & Company and was a great success for the Lupus Research Institute, not only in the sense of fundraising, but also to share the plight of the disease with the new faces in attendance.

This year’s Shady Ladies was held in honor of Corry Walker with all proceeds earmarked to a Lupus Research Institute research grant recently awarded to Dr. Jane Salmon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Dr. Salmon’s topic,  “Is There a Way to Prevent Lupus Kidney Damage,” investigates whether a type of protein found on the surface on kidney cells worsens the kidney damage and whether these proteins could be blocked to prevent the kidney damage and be a target for new treatment. 

For more information on the Lupus Research Institute please visit


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