Dina Manzo Thanks Chicago For An Amazing First Ladybug Bash

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Please welcome my friend and guest blogger, star of HGTV's new show "Dina's Party", former "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast memeber and "Project Ladybug" founder, Dina Manzo.


There are some days that will just stand out in my mind forever...April 7th 2011 is without a doubt one of those days. No words can express what I experienced at Chicago's First Ladybug Bash. So many wonderful talented caring people put their egos aside and worked tirelessly for an unbelievable cause. I think it has a lot to do with one little girl that has stolen all of our hearts.

Atia embodies the spirit of what our fund stands for, she lifts our spirits and inspires us all to be better people. I love that little girl with all my heart...

The list of Thank yous can go on and on but the biggest one has to go to Laura, Atia's mom for taking on the task of coordinating this event WHILE her child is in treatment. Is there a more selfless act you can even begin to think of? She is an amazing person as well as a cancer surviver that I am proud to call a friend.

She put together a team of fierce woman that worked their fingers to the bone to ensure a successful event. I'm blown away by their dedication and the time they took away from their own lives and families on a daily basis to coordinate this event.

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The other Big Thank you needs to go to my brother Jaime Laurita. As a Celebrity chef he called upon his team of experts (and friends) to produce this event. These are people that produce some of the biggest names you can think of in the music industry, and there they were working day & night for Ladybug.

To say I am humbled would be an understatement. If you have a moment please take some time to look at their website and see exactly how they step in no matter what the cause and lend a helping hand. Check it out www.justabunchofroadies.org

Laura, Jaime and their teams pulled off one hell of a night that Chicago will be talking about for a VERY LONG TIME, and for that I am grateful. Thank you for your continued support to a cause that NEEDS our help. Together we can make a difference in the lives of children with cancer...

Love, Dina xoxo


From Me (Laura)

Without a doubt Chicago's First Ladybug Bash delivered on the "Night to Remember" promise my team had been making for months. Not only was it fun, swanky and cool, but it far surpassed our expectations. We exceeded our ticket sales goal, with over 600 people in attendance, but more importantly, with money still trickling in, we also exceeded our fundraising goal by making upwards of $60,000!!

Simply amazing.

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Chicagoans really came out in support of Project Ladybug like only Chicagoans can. Be sure to check out the pictures below to get a true feel for the event.

We have so many people to thank.

First and foremost our deepest gratitude goes to Grossinger City Autoplex. Talk about an incredibly philanthropic company.

Not only does Gary Grossinger, Ron Stone, Brian Weinberg and the entire staff at Grossinger City Autoplex have hearts of gold, they have unparalleled patience; I can't imagine another company being as accommodating as they were while we "took over" their place of business for days on end.

And on top of everything else, the night of the event, Mr. Grossinger presented Project Ladybug with a generous monetary donation - Incredible!

Jon from AKIRA, you rocked the fashions. Your clothes are amazing and your models were gorgeous. Thanks for adding the "threads" to Grossinger's "treads"!

Dan from Tone Productions DJ Services, you really kept the night moving. Thank you for your energy and patience!

Brooke from BBJ Linen. Girl, we couldn't have made that space feel more warm and inviting without you.

Barrie from Beantrees Fine Organic Coffee for creating an amazing café.

The many amazing chefs from around Chicago that made our tasting room a huge success; I heard so many comments about how good the food was.

Thank you to the families that gave us permission to feature their brave cancer warriors throughout the evening. It was  important to me to make sure that the reason everyone was there didn't get lost in the fun of the event. Thank you also for being there with me to experience this amazing moment.

Our event production companies:

Our entertainment:

And of course, to our army of volunteers and supporters, a HUGE thank you! Please know that we are grateful to each and every single one of you and you should be proud of what your efforts help accomplish.

I also want to personally thank my team that was in the trenches with me - Diana, Sonia, Bridget, Jaime, Margaret and Adam (and our significant others that did without us for the last three months). Without you, I'm just a mom with a dream...


And finally Dina, thank you for for opening your heart to the children and families afflicted by cancer. As I said in my speech that night, you don't have to do any of this; you don't have a child battling cancer and never have. Your selflessness and dedication to the cause is beyond inspirational. Thank you for giving pediatric cancer a voice, for helping spread awareness and for helping raise money for research so that some day children will no longer have to feel the pain of chemotherapy, radiation and invasive procedures; so that some day pediatric cancer will be eradicated!

As this will be an annual event, if you're interested in participating as a vendor, sponsor, etc. next year, please send an email to chicagofund@projectladybug.org to secure your spot. We've already had several people and businesses tell us they'll be back next year. We are so grateful for all the love.

LIKE Atia's Project Ladybug Fund on Facebook.

A special thanks for Chicago Scene magazine for covering the event and to our in-house photographer Rose from Rose Alene Photography.

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  • Wonderful!!!! What a spectacular event! It is amazing how far you have come with us!!! Congratulations!

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