Rays of Hope
From Down Under to the Big Apple, Activist Evelyn Lauder Turns a Pink Spotlight on Breast Cancer
If you ask cosmetics queen Evelyn Lauder, New York City could use a makeover. "I would love to see the top of every building lit in pink," she says, "so if you were in an airplane, you would see a pink city." It sounds lovely—but beauty isn't Lauder's goal. Every October for three years, she has bathed sites around the world in rosy light as part of Estée Lauder's Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative, which helps mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year Vienna's city hall, Niagara Falls and Paris's Place de la Concorde are among dozens of locales taking part in calling attention to a disease that kills some 375,000 women annually. Lauder's commitment is ongoing: As senior corporate vice president of the Estée Lauder Companies, she has helped raise millions for breast-cancer research. "We get letters saying, 'Thank you for saving our lives,'" she says. Sightseers are appreciative too. "It's spectacular," says New Zealander Neville Marriner, after seeing the blush of the Skytower in Auckland. Though she loves her lights, Lauder hopes they'll one day be unnecessary. "When it comes to fighting breast cancer," she says, "I want to go out of business."