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American Cancer Society’s Inaugural Hamptons Summer Bash

Originally Posted: August 31, 2011


Sylvia Diaz, Mark Feuerstein and B. Smith at American Cancer Society's Festive in Flip Flops. (Ann Watt)

Sherri Abruzzese and Gail Muszynski. (Ann Watt)

Brigehampton - August 20th was one of those perfect Saturday evenings in the Hamptons - certainly better than this past weekend when Irene rained on our parade - soft ocean breezes, clear skies filled with a thousand stars and a lemon-wedge moon. Over 250 guests joined American Cancer Society (ACS)'s Co-Chairmen Sherri Abruzzese and Gopa Dobson, Gold Sponsors Joe Abruzzese of Discovery Communications and Bill Koenigsberg of Horizon Media and Emcee and "Royal Pains" star Mark Feuerstein.

The event was ACS's Festive in Flip Flops at the Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club. Sunset cocktails on the deck, delectable food by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs and dancing to live music by The Touch. At 12:15 a.m., the dance floor was still crowded. There were very successful silent and live auctions. Best of all, the party raised over $200,000 and still counting to support the ACS's efforts on Long Island.

Centerpiece for the tables were buckets filled with sand and a pair of flip flops for every woman. FlipOut Sandals donated the in style summer footwear.

Bill Koenigsberg, Buddy Valastro and Joe Abruzzese. (Ann Watt)


Every guest contributed to the celebratory theme with a joyful parade of summer fashions. Dobson wore a Ralph Lauren strapless bright blue chiffon dress, Abruzzese was in a form-fitting white dress with gold floral appliqué, ACS Senior Vice President Mady Schuman wore a Zoran bronze and copper silk evening pants ensemble, Sharon Bush brought out vintage Pucci and Jean Shafiroff was in a one-shoulder, plum-colored satin dress.

The men got into the spirit, too. Their attire varied from jackets and slacks to Bermuda shorts with a French-cuff shirt and bow tie to jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. Buddy Valasto's lavender tie and pocket square matched his wife's stunning amethyst and diamond necklace. Harvey Feuerstein, Mark's father, took the prize with his pink suit, turquoise button down shirt and pink silk bowtie. Joe Abruzzese wore a lime-green sherbet sports jacket.

Sharon Bush and Dana Klein. (Ann Watt)

Emcee Feuerstein, in white jeans, blue blazer, bowtie and what his wife Dana calls "Moon desert boots" was charming and lively. His energy and warmth set the tone for what was a fun-filled as well as inspiring evening.

Festive in Flip Flops was created to raise awareness and support for ACS's critical programs and services on Long Island. Something many Long Islanders don't know. For more than 50 years, the Society has been providing patient assistance to those in need.

Last year, ACS helped 1,100 breast cancer patients with services, information and guidance, including one-on-one support provided by breast cancer survivors through their "Reach to Recovery: program.

Every August, Camp Adventure, the overnight camp on Shelter Island, hosts 150 children under 18 who are fighting cancer. And, it's free of charge. Teenage cancer survivor Matthew Pitera got a standing ovation after narrating his anti-cancer therapy and his experiences at the Camp. In closing, he said, "It's because of people like you who offer such support that make Camp possible. It's a blast, and I can't wait to go back next year." He continued, "I'm lucky to be here, and I'm lucky to be alive, and I can't thank you enough for helping, through your contributions, to make that possible."

Erica and John Ohrn with Jay and Gopa Dobson. (Ann Watt)


ACS has six active research grants at two Long Island facilities - Stony Brook University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. This represents a current, local investment of more than $3 million.

Abruzzese told how she was invited by ACS to chair the Event at about the same time her best friend Gail Muszynski contracted the disease. Sherri agreed to Co-Chair if Gail would agree to attend the event. Both friends agreed and Gail was there.

Ronnie Rothstein, Rick Passarelli and Joseph Smith. (Ann Watt)

Many of the guests were part of the Cable TV industry - not only Feuerstein, Abruzzese and Koenigsberg but also silver sponsors Buddy Valastro, "Cake Boss;" Ronnie Rothstein, "Say Yes to the Dress;" sports broadcaster Ann Liguori; VivaKi's Jack Klues; B. Smith with her husband Dan Gasby and Turner Broadcasting's Greg D'Alba and David Levy.

Other guests included Silver Sponsors Joseph Smith representing Bobby Van's and Mary and Michael Levine; as well as Jay Dobson, Audrey Feuerstein, Martin Shafiroff, Dana Klein, Beth Landman, Ellie and James Libby, Joy Marks, Adam Muszynski, Jamie Pacheco, Rick Passarelli, Alex Pitera, Carmen Marc Valvo, Shari Vermeulen, and ACS's Sylvia Diaz.

The benefit committee included Lori Berke; Christy Birnbaum; Ellie Libby; Ann Ligouri; Emma K. McGrattan; Leslie B. Anderson, Esq; Cynthia F. Grauer; Deborah A. Taylor; Jordana Roberts; Harriet Rosenberger; Kristina L. Scanio and Gloria Snyder.

Proceeds from Festive In Flip Flops will help the American Cancer Society initiatives and services for Long Island, including the North and South Fork.

Many of the guests appeared the week before when in big display of community spirit, MacKenzie-Childs in Southampton, Christopher Fischer in East Hampton and Gail Schoentag Gallery in Sag Harbor hosted pre-event cocktail parties.

Festive in Flip Flops will be back next year.

Beth Latorre, Niki Levy, Robin Diamond and Greg D'Alba. (Ann Watt)




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