Foodies from the Hamptons and New York City satisfied their appetites for cuisine as well as philanthropy at the tenth annual "A Hamptons Happening" fundraiser on Saturday, July 26th. The crowd raised over $400,000 to benefit The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF), one of the leading cancer research institutes.
Hosted at the beautiful Bridgehampton property of Maria and Kenneth Fishel, the event's tented setting was magnificent in white and accentuated by décor and floral arrangements by "Flowers By Topaz," in the SWCRF's cancer research awareness color, Orchid for the Cure. The event honored celebrity chef David Burke, iconic fashion designer Betsey Johnson, and Paul Ridley, the co-founder of the organization Row For Hope, to support the SWCRF's funded research programs to reprogram cancer cells and develop less toxic treatments for cancer patients.
Approximately 400 guests, including former stars of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City" Jill Zarin and Allyson Shapiro, and Christine Silverstein, a contestant on the current season of FOX's Master Chef
and contributor to TheSavory.com, enjoyed dishes presented by the top chefs, restaurants, food and spirit brands in New York City as well as the Hamptons.
The evening included an awards presentation and live auction presided over by WCBS-TV Channel 2 News anchor, Chris Wragge, "A Hamptons Happening" founding co-chair, Laurie Schaffran and SWCRF founder and CEO, Samuel Waxman, M.D., who announced a $25,000 grant for brain cancer research established by the Fishel family in memory of Avi Concool, who died of brain cancer at only 23 years old.
"When cancer rears its ugly head, you want Dr. Samuel Waxman in your corner, and he is a great resource to decide who, how and where your research dollars are spent," said Schaffran. Wragge captivated the audience by hosting a spontaneous auction to match the Fishel's generous donation. The crowd was eager to donate to such a great cause, offering large sums of money and succeeding to match the Fishel family's donation. The crowd then gathered to wish Dr. Waxman a very happy birthday, which was indeed on July 26th, and what a great birthday party he had.
Howard Schwartz, the principal of Grandstand Sports and Memorabilia conducted the primary auction, which was highlighted by the appearance of Gianni Russo, one of the stars of the classic film "The Godfather," to present his donation of an authentic Sicilian dinner for eight and a serenade of Italian classic songs performed by Russo himself. Some of the other prizes included an evening with Derek Jeter at his private VIP party, 2 tickets to the Grammy Awards with an invitation to the after party, and a hotel package and VIP tickets to the final round of the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament. Dr. Waxman then presented SWCRF awards to honorees David Burke, Betsey Johnson, and Paul Ridley for their support of fundraising and awareness for cancer research, which affects all of us equally.
Johnson, a breast cancer survivor herself, joked that, "My cell went nuts because of my last husband." Celebrity Chef David Burke said, "I think what you're doing is great and it is both an honor and a privilege to be here tonight. I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done, are doing and will continue to do."
Chefs from across the Hamptons teamed up wiht counterparts at David Burke's restaurants to create all of the delicious dishes served during the evening. (Photo: Tom Fitzgerald and Pam Deutchman/society-in-focus.com)
The raffle that night was chaired by Jennifer Myles, who got together an exciting line-up of designer products donated by Calvin Klein Home, Tori Burch and Lauren Cecchi New York, among many others. Erica Fineberg was the journal chair.
An after party to celebrate the SWCRF's new Millennial Society Committee was hosted at Red Stix by chairpersons Bradley Fishel, Melissa Fishel, Allyson Shapiro, and Joanna Wexler.
In addition to David Burke, participating "A Hamptons Happening" chefs included 75 Main, Peter Ambrose Catering and Events, Arlotta Food Studio, Bostwick's Chowder House, Bareburger, The Candied Anchor, Carlyle on the Green, Joe Cipro, Chris Coleman, The Cuddy, Dawn's Delights, Delmonico's, Elegant Affairs, Erica's Rugelach and Baking Co., Fresh Hamptons, Georgica, Hampton Chocolate Factory, Hampton Coffee Company, Komegashi, The Living Room @ c/o The Maidstone, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park, Marcony, Pizza Luca, Red Horse Market, Red Stix, The Seafood Shop, Sen Restaurant, Smush, and T Salon.
Brewery Ommegang, Douglas Elliman, and Palm Bay International provided financial and in-kind sponsorships. Music was provided by D.J. Phresh of 4AM. Event production was by LBS Productions.
The "A Hamptons Happening" committee included Chris Arlotta, Marjorie Baldinger, Tammy Caress, Diana Chudnoff, Jessica Cohen, Maria Fishel, Kenneth Fishel, Robyn Joseph, Adrienne Kantor, Robert Kantor, Bettina Klinger, Marcia Lavipour, Jessica Mackin, Pamela Morgan, Mario Pecoraro, Andrew Sabin (Gold Patron), Edward Sadovnik, Sarah Sarpolis, Lisa Simonsen, Diane Spilker, Marc Taub, Sandy Taub, Bettina Waxman and Spencer Waxman.
The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research and its mission is to eradicate cancer by funding cutting-edge research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer and develops minimally toxic treatments for patients. Through the Foundation's collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its founding, thirty eight years ago, The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has awarded more than 85 million dollars to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe. For more information, please visit, www.waxmancancer.org
Joanna Wexler, Lenore Zarin, Dr. Samuel Waxman, Marion Waxman, Jill Zarin, Bobby Zarin, friends, and Ally Shapiro. (Photo: Tom Fitzgerald and Pam Deutchman/society-in-focus.com)