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Snowflake Ball Brings the Rainmakers

UNICEF's Gala Raises $2 Million for Charity

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Maggie Betts, Barbara Bush, and Lucy Liu   
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Wallets have been hard hit by the recession, but New Yorkers opened theirs at Wednesday night's UNICEF Ball. "It's a pretty simple mission: Save a child's life," said Bryant Gumbel, who played host. "There's no recession on child mortality rates," added his wife, Hilary, one of the gala's co-chairs. "Twenty-five thousand children die each day from preventable diseases in underdeveloped countries. We need to bring that number to zero." Despite the seriousness of the cause, the evening—which honored actress Lucy Liu and included a performance of "The Christmas Song" by Jon McLaughlin—had a festive theme (the biggest cause for celebration: the $2 million-plus raised for the charity). With snowflakes everywhere—projected onto the walls, hanging from the white tree centerpieces—guests waxed nostalgic about the holiday. "My mom had a tradition of putting our pictures on the Christmas ornaments, so our tree was littered with our faces," said Lauren Bush. "My tree had a very big menorah," countered David Lauren.

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