The 5th DKMS Linked Against Leukemia Gala, held on April 28 at Cipriani Wall Street, broke all records of previous years and raised $2.5M to support the fight against leukemia and other blood related cancers. The money raised jointly by Coty Inc., a leading global beauty company, and DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center, will help register over 30,000 new bone marrow donors and help patients worldwide. Over the past 20 years, DKMS has registered 2.7 million donors and has facilitated more than 25,000 life saving transplants around the world.

During the star-studded event, Katharina Harf, COO of DKMS Americas and host of the event presented the DKMS Linked Against Leukemia Award to global pop star Rihanna for her tireless work with the organization to register bone marrow donors and help save lives.

Bernd Beetz, CEO of Coty Inc. and the Gala's Honorary Chair had the honor of presenting Michael Clinton, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer and Publishing Director of Hearst Magazines with the DKMS Linked Against Leukemia Award, in recognition of his dedication to the fight against cancer and his great support of organizations and charities which do the same.

After the award presentations, Tshidi Manye from the Broadway Musical, the Lion King, sang a moving version of the The Circle of Life in honor and remembrance of Shannon Tavarez, a former cast mate and child-actor that recently passed away from the deadly disease.

All of us at Coty are passionately committed to supporting DKMS in its fight to raise awareness about an easy way to get involved and potentially save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients, stated Bernd Beetz. Each year sets a standard for the next, with immeasurable support delivered by Coty employees, partners and supporters. During the past year, Coty has exceeded its fundraising goal through donor drives and continues to push forward on raising funds and expanding its recruiting efforts.

Rapper Pharrell Williams emceed the black tie event, which included a special performance by Grammy Award winner, Mary J. Blige. Vera Wang, Leighton Meester, Iman & David Bowie, Carmindy, Keri Hilson, Sasha Knezevic, Solange Knowles, Padma Lakshmi, Cyndi Lauper, Eva Mendes and Anja Rubik also attended.

In honor of the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia partnership and the DKMS 5th Annual Gala: Linked Against Leukemia, actress and star of the new Vera Wang fragrance from Coty, Leighton Meester lit the Empire State Building, an iconic New York City landmark, in red and white lights on Thursday, April 28.

Since the formation of the Linked Against Leukemia Partnership in 2006, Coty Inc. has aligned itself with DKMS and its mission to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. Coty joined DKMS in October 2006 in the fight against leukemia, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide. Leukemia also touched Coty Inc. in a very personal manner in 1991, when the wife of longtime Coty Inc. Chairman Peter Harf succumbed to the disease. Each year, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer, including leukemia, which is the most common cancer among children and adolescents.

All proceeds from the DKMS 5th Annual Gala will go directly to enrolling life-saving bone marrow donors, and furthering advancements in cancer treatment and care.