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‘Dreamgirl’ to the rescue

Jennifer Hudson and Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla. Jennifer Hudson and Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla. (Lucien Capehart Photography Inc.)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 21, 2011

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Even a last-minute cancellation by the star of the show couldn’t prevent Reebok and Willowbend Country Club founder Paul Fireman and wife Phyllis from putting on a serious party in Palm Beach, Fla., over the weekend. The couple, who chaired Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s 20th anniversary Discovery Celebration at Donald Trump’s super-exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club, had to think fast when superstar Rihanna canceled at the last minute because of bronchitis. “Dreamgirl’’ Jennifer Hudson saved the day — and night — flying to Florida early Saturday and rehearsing with the band all afternoon. Intercontinental Real Estate CEO Peter Palandjian, his wife, Minou, and his mother, Sheila, were honorary co-chairs, and the Palandjians’s kids — Manon, Petros, Margot, and Madelon — joined the former “American Idol’’ finalist onstage to sing “I Believe in You and Me.’’ The well-heeled crowd — single tickets cost as much as $2,500 — included Trump, jewelry designer David Yurman, Patriots owners Robert and Myra Kraft, Pats star Wes Welker, New York Jet Jason Taylor, hotelier Bob Sage and wife Phyllis, Summer House owner Danielle de Benedictis and husband Peter Karlson, developer Steve Weiner and his wife, Roberta, attorney Bob Crowe, and foremost flack George Regan. Super event planner Bryan Rafanelli handled the arrangements.