On Saturday, July 11th, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital hosted their inaugural Hope in the Hamptons benefit. Held at a private Water Mill property, over 500 guests came out to support the cause.
"We want to introduce people to St. Jude and what they do," shared event co-host Sue Birdsall. "It's really special to be able to do it." The organization is especially important to Birdsall, whose grandson Drew is a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She got involved with the event because she really wanted to do something to give back.
Attendees mingled and sipped on cocktails as they checked out the silent auction items. All proceeds from the evening directly support St. Jude. Through the Mazda Drive for Good program, Mazda North American Operations donated a 2016 MX-5 Miata Launch Edition, which was auctioned off at the event. Later in the night, attendees enjoyed a performance from the Movin' Out
Band, a Billy Joel
"I think that it's [St. Jude] just a wonderful organization and I'm hoping that we can really grow it into more of a major event," said Sara Herbert-Galloway
, who was on the event committee. She noted that tickets sold out almost immediately and there was a waiting list for people who wanted to attend the event.
KT McFarland served as the event's emcee. Attendees included "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer
, "The Real Housewives of New York City
" star Ramona Singer
and Don Diamond, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who flew all the way from Arizona to attend the event. He is a big supporter of St. Jude and said what really makes this a special event is that funds raised are going to the right place.
"To me, there's only one thing that matters, it's the kids," said event co-chairman Glenn Myers. "There's nothing worse than hearing the words
'you have cancer,' unless you hear 'your child has cancer.'" Myers started working with St. Jude because he wanted to do something to raise awareness for the organization. He believes that money is not the only goal of the evening, it's also vital to get the younger generations involved. "The reasons for this," he said (about the event), "the money is good, money is important, but creating the awareness is much more important."
The inaugural Hope in the Hamptons raised over $500,000.
For more information, visit www.stjude.org.