Coast to Coast: Rhonda’s Kiss takes New York With Legacy of Love Gala at Tao

by | Sep 21, 2023

On September 7th, New York City witnessed an electrifying spectacle as Rhonda’s Kiss Charity held its Second Annual Legacy of Love Gala at the renowned TAO Downtown. Celebrities, industry titans, and influencers came together to raise the bar for philanthropy, all in the name of aiding cancer patients in need. With A-list guests like Zach Braff, Adriam Grenier, and Katie Cassidy gracing the occasion, it was an evening filled with glamour, compassion, and unforgettable moments.



A Star-Studded Affair

The red carpet was ablaze with star power, as luminaries like Zach Braff, Danny A. Abeckaser, and Michael Cayre joined forces to support Rhonda’s Kiss. Executive Director Kyle Stefanski, the driving force behind this incredible charity, led the charge alongside industry notables and influencers like Richie Akiva and John Powers Middleton.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The guest list was a who’s who of Hollywood and the fashion world, with the likes of Foodgod, Bo Dietl, and Diana Madison adding to the evening’s allure. And who could forget the presence of style icons like Derek Warburton and Jamar Hart, setting fashion trends ablaze.


Eustace Montgomery Hicks (left) with Rhonda’s son, Kyle Stefanski(right). (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


DJ Pookie doing his magic. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


A Night of Entertainment and Elegance

The Legacy of Love Gala was more than just a glamorous gathering; it was a celebration of life and love. Performances by the legendary Slick Rick, featuring DJ Kaos, and the soulful Young Paris had the crowd grooving to the beats all night long. DJ Pookie kept the party alive with a playlist that had everyone on their feet.

Amidst the glitz and glamour, a silent and live auction raised funds that will make a significant impact on cancer patients’ lives. With open bars and delectable hors d’oeuvres making the rounds, it was a night that seamlessly blended elegance with charity.


A Legacy of Compassion

Rhonda’s Kiss, a national non-profit, has a heartfelt mission – to support cancer patients by covering their non-medical expenses. The organization, born out of love and tragedy, continues to honor the memory of Rhonda Stefanski, who succumbed to stage four pancreatic cancer in 2013. Founded by her husband Marc Stefanski and now led by their son Kyle Stefanski as the Executive Director, Rhonda’s Kiss has already donated over $2 million to assist cancer patients.



But their support doesn’t stop at medical bills. Rhonda’s Kiss provides a three-pronged approach: outreach, navigation, and patient services. This includes everything from rent and utilities to wigs, oncology massages, and groceries, ensuring that cancer patients can focus on healing, not financial burdens.

The gala served as the ultimate stage for Rhonda’s Kiss to make a difference. In partnership with Maimonides Cancer Center, the event aimed to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Patient Care Program. The night featured moving speeches, dazzling entertainment, and the support of sponsors like TAO Group Hospitality, El Cristiano Tequila, and Maison No. 9.

After the gala, the festivities continued at the Starchild Rooftop, located at the Civilian hotel, where the spirit of giving and celebration carried on.


A Message from Kyle Stefanski

Kyle Stefanski, Rhonda’s son and Executive Director, spoke passionately about the organization’s mission:

“At Rhonda’s Kiss, we are reminded every day that people struggling with cancer need support to maintain their dignity and fight. We are blessed to have the assistance of our national partners such as Maimonides and supporters to continue to build a legacy of helping others fight this terrible disease through the memory of my mother.”

Kyle Stefanski delivers his passionate message. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


Young Paris performs at the event. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


The event’s chairs included Danny A. Abeckaser, Marc Stefanski, and Kyle Stefanski, with Ambassador Eustace Montgomery Hicks and Reception Hosts Richie Akiva, Michael Cayre, and Kenny Hamilton. The Reception Host Committee featured prominent names like John Powers Middleton, Peter Facinelli, and Ali Lasky.

Rhonda’s Kiss doesn’t just rely on gala events; they’re known for their star-studded fundraisers and concerts across the nation. Past events have featured celebrity supporters like Johnny Depp, Demola, and even Kool and the Gang, ensuring that their mission to help cancer patients is broadcast far and wide.

Zach Braff (left) with one of the event’s chairpersons, Danny A. Abeckaser. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Celebrities in attendance: (Right) Katie Cassidy; (Left) Darren Weiss. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


Join the Cause

If you’re inspired by Rhonda’s Kiss and their commitment to supporting cancer patients, you can donate here:  For more information about their work and the Legacy of Love Gala, visit their website at

Rhonda’s Kiss is a beacon of hope for cancer patients, and their legacy of love continues to shine brightly in the fight against this devastating disease. Follow them on social media @rhondaskiss and visit their website at  to stay updated on their impactful work.

Prepare to be inspired, motivated, and moved by the incredible work of Rhonda’s Kiss as they continue their fight against cancer.


Style Icons: (Left) Derek Warburton; (Right) Diana Madison. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)