With family and friends arriving in Atlanta for tonight's Feel the Love Elise benefit at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown, Atlanta publicist Elise Roth Tedeschi didn't get much sleep overnight. In fact, response has been so overwhelming for the organizers of the fundraiser for the Tedeschi family the event will now be streamed live on the benefit's website for folks who can't make it into Atlanta to be there in person.
Last week, we first chronicled the much-loved publicist's six-month battle with Stage Three pancreatic cancer and since, the column has become one of the most shared stories across social media outlets (pals like TV chef and cookbook author Nathalie Dupree continue to share the story link on their Facebook pages this week). While Tedeschi, 43, has health benefits through her Hard Rock Cafe position, the insurance doesn't begin to cover the extensive costs of her cancer treatment so friends opted to throw the Tedeschi family (Elise and her husband Patrick are the parents of Jake, 8, and Ryan, 6).
Elise's former chef client, The Spence chef and "Top Chef All Stars" winner Richard Blais has now donated a private cooking class for four to the benefit's silent auction and Atlanta singer-songwriter Ben Deignan has donated a private acoustic in-home concert for one lucky donor.
Heck, even Atlanta's favorite radio talk show curmudgeon Neal Boortz took time out from his broadcast apoplectic fit over the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling to donate a "producer for a day" trip to his show, broadcast at WSB studios in Midtown. If you're more suited to Clark Howard's less agitated work style, Howard's staff has also donated a "producer for a day" package for the benefit.
Posted Elise this week: "I am just so blessed — the outpouring of donations, silent auction items and simply the generosity of people blow me away. This cancer of course sucks but the love and blessings far outweigh the cancer. Looking so forward to seeing everyone!"
To buy tickets for tonight's benefit or to donate to the Tedeschi family, go to the event's official website, feeltheloveelise.com. To view the event's live stream tonight from the Hard Rock Cafe, click here.