On Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, I attended the Celebrate Life! Soirée’ presented by the Birthday Girl and the JED foundation at the Paramount Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Birthday Girl is a birthday apparel and lifestyle brand that was established by Mary J. Blige & her protégé, Starshell, who lost her sister to suicide at the age of 14. The efforts of Birthday Girl are combined with JED foundation and the Love is Louder movement with the goal of breaking the stigma attached to mental and emotional illness such as depression, anxiety and body image issues.
The event was held to raise awareness to the mission and programs of Birthday Girl, and the celebrate life movement. Attendees enjoyed cocktails compliments of Birthday Cake Wines and Ciroc, and had photos taken in an interactive photobooth.
Perhaps most poignant was when Birthday Girl Founder Starshell addressed attendees with the story of her personal tragedy, and encouraged the audience to share their own stories. One by one guests shared emotional anecdotes to a crowd full of strangers about losing loved ones and learning to celebrate life.
Guests also had the opportunity to shop Birthday Girl apparel available at the event – a portion every sale funds suicide prevention programs. To learn more about the organization click here.