In 2013, A Purple Tie Affair was created to raise funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training sports endurance program. LLS provides funding for ground-breaking research as well as financial assistance to individuals and charitable organizations for expenses incurred as a result of blood cancer treatments.

A Purple Tie Affair was conceived by co-founders Sarah Smith (Charleson) and Laura DiRado in 2013. Now a 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation, A Purple Tie Affair has raised $120,000 directly, but more importantly, led individuals and companies to sign-up for their own Team in Training events, exponentially supporting the cause.

Sarah has personally raised over $100K for LLS over the years through her participation in Team in Training, completing 4 marathons, 3 century rides and 1 Triathlon.  As many of you know, Sarah was driven by her youngest daughter, Meredith’s Leukemia diagnosis in 2003 when she was just 2 years old.

On February 8th, at this year’s Purple Tie Affair, they will be honoring Sarah with the first annual “Purple Tie Rock Star” award for her contributions to raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. At this point, this will be a surprise. If you know Sarah, please do not say anything to her regarding the award until after February 8th.

If you would like to help honor Sarah’s award with a small contribution, your name will be added to the registry and presented to her, along with the award, that night. All proceeds benefit LLS.


Make a donation to honor Sarah Smith, the 2020 Purple Rock Star award recipient !