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THE Party Raises Awareness for the Importance of Organ Donors

Renee Freeman, Diane Bailie (the mother of Don's organ donor) and Don Freeman. Image by HughE Dillon for Philly Mag

Renee Freeman, Diane Bailie (the mother of Don’s organ donor) and Don Freeman. Image by HughE Dillon for Philly Mag

High profile, Philly-based interior designers Don & Renee Freeman of Freeman Interiors have been working tirelessly to imbue Philadelphia’s commercial and residential spaces with their chic, trademark aesthetic. Highly sought after by the Rittenhouse elite, Main Line’s high society, and national clients looking for a glamour-boosting makeover, their work has been featured by Philly Mag, Philadelphia Style, GQ, House Beautiful, and House & Garden.

What you might not realize about this dynamic design duo is that their passion reaches well beyond their professional aspirations to a life-saving mission that began over a decade ago. As founders of the Donors Are Heroes initiative, the Freeman’s lead a group of volunteers who support the Gift of Life Donor Program, while raising awareness about the unfortunate scarcity of donor organs and tissues.

Founded in 2001, Donors Are Heroes throws an annual party which Philly PR Girl had the pleasure of attending at one of Philadelphia’s most lavish venues, The Four Seasons, on March 27th.

On the surface, it’s a night of glitz and glamour, with dancing, sparkling cocktails, and gourmet food from highly regarded Philly restaurants including Abe Fischer, Molly Malloy’s, Bistro La Minette, Ocean Prime, Brown Betty, Fountain Restaurant, The Twisted Tail, and Melograno. THE Party is one of Philly’s most extravagant events, but beneath its facade exists a profoundly deeper motive for the gathering.

Don knows the powerless feeling of waiting on a donor organ firsthand. Facing a heart transplant, he and many others around him helplessly waited for a match to be found. According to the American Transplant Foundation, 21 people die every day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

While her husband was just weeks away from losing his battle against the disease, Renee realized that, at the time, even she wasn’t a donor. It became immediately apparent to her that most people are unaware of the profound need for organ donation in our country. Renee’s mission was to change that.

Luckily for Don, he received a donor heart in 2000; and one year later, THE Party was born.

The true goal of THE Party is to celebrate life while raising awareness for the dire need for organ donation in an unpressured, organic way. Partnering with The Gift of Life Donor Program, these two groups synergistically support and coordinate lifesaving organ and tissue transplants in the tri-state area. 14 years since its inception, this event has grown and evolved into one of Philly’s finest.

Thanks to sponsors such as Cashman & Associates, Evantine, Olitsky Family Foundation, Parx Casino, Joan & Bernard Spain, and The Four Seasons Hotel, all proceeds benefit education programs that will communicate the need for these life saving transplants.

Unfortunately, not all stories have that same happy ending as Don’s, but just one single donor can save and enhance the lives of over 50 people! April is Organ Donor Awareness Month. Consider registering today to become an organ donor!

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