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Young Philanthropists Turn Out For Spring Into Style

Originally Posted: March 30, 2010

Edward Callaghan

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Council members Marissa Schneider, Samantha Knapik, and Melissa Phillips. (Edward Callaghan)

New York City - The young professional set turned out in full force to support the Cancer Research Institute's groundbreaking efforts to change the face of cancer at at the "Spring into Style" party at Saks Fifth Avenue on Thursday, March 25 organized by The Institute's Young Philanthropists Council.

Celebrity Stylist Lauren Rae Levy.

Some 400 of New York's most committed young professionals swarmed the Fifth Floor of the tony store for an evening of fashion, cocktails, great music and, most importantly, philanthropy. The fashionable fete was organized by the CRI's Young Philanthropists, a network of professionals ages 21 to 40 committed to charitable giving and volunteerism for the purpose of supporting research in cancer immunology. This promising field of medical research aims to harness the disease-fighting power of the immune system to treat, control and prevent cancer.

Event chair Alexis Feldman and Vice Chair Marissa Schneider along with their fellow council members clearly worked their Blackberries to pull out a stylish crowd of committed New Yorkers who like to party for a good cause. The evening began with an early VIP reception during which guests could have a complete make-up session with experts from Clarins or have the services of a Saks Fifth Avenue personal shopper for the evening. Many of the committee members showed up in cocktail attire or changed in the dressing rooms, grabbed a glass of champagne and plopped themselves on a stool while the expert make-up artists ministered to their needs. The girls reveled in the pampering before the onslaught of guests swarmed onto to the floor at 7 p.m.

Young Philanthropists Council member Kendall Wrigley and Evan Wohl.

With DJ Josh at the turntable, Saks fifth floor quickly became an uptown version of the popular Bungalow 8. Models – both male and female – posed on risers or informally walked through the crowds wearing fancy frocks for the ladies and designer sportswear for the guys. The hot dress of the evening, a gold sequined mini – worn by model Lorraine Serafini attracted admiration from most of the gals. Noting the looks on the faces of the gents in the crowd, Amy Reinhart laughingly said,"I want to buy that dress right now and put it on."

Munching on mini-cheeseburgers and crab cakes, most of the guests were already looking forward to summer and debating which East End clubs would be hot this summer. The consensus was that the Montauk Yacht Club and Surf Lodge would rule once again this year.

Attendees were entered into a drawing to win two VIP prize packages: Grand Prize: a style session with celebrity stylist Lauren Rae Levy and a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree valued at $500; second prize: a weekend stay at a luxury hotel, including car service, massage, and restaurant gift certificate. Chris Niland scooped the style package and Dina Golas was thrilled to win the hotel prize.

Chair Alexis Feldman, DJ Josh Madden, and Vice Chair Marissa Schneider.

Cocktails and designer clothes aside, the party had a very serious purpose – to raise funds to finance clinical trials of the vast number of drugs awaiting funding for clinical trials on humans. Adam Kolom, Director of the Cancer Vaccine Acceleration Fund (CVAF) at the Cancer Research Institute explained the organization's mission and what it was doing now. "For more than 50 years, Cancer Research Institute (CRI) has supported leading immunology researchers around the globe so that we might one day revolutionize patient care by harnessing the immune system's natural ability to target and safely eliminate cancer cells. Today, we are finally at a stage where the development of this elegant new class of cancer treatments called immunotherapies is now a realistic and achievable goal.

Model shows off the must have dress of the season.

Addressing the issue of the long backlog of drugs, he noted, "Obstacles remain that currently slow the pace at which the full promise of these medicines can be unlocked. Most notably, there is a severe shortage of funding for the earliest stages of clinical trials, and as a result, a significant backlog of promising treatments making very slow progress. To help address these challenges, CRI has recently established the Cancer Vaccine Acceleration Fund - a $25 million 'venture philanthropy' fund designed to provide significant support for critical early stage clinical trials of promising new therapeutic cancer vaccines."

Justin Baer founder of Charity Happenings one of the evening's major sponsors which works to promote not for profit events was "delighted to be involved with such an important cause."

The Spring into Style is just one of the many events the Young Philanthropists have planned to not only raise funds for drug trials but also national awareness of the need to support such research. Alexis Feldman and Marissa Schneider and their fellow council members Aaryn Anderson, Steven Beltrani, George Bergamo, Jessica Bloch, Christina Brown, Kelly Cerialo, Kate Cucco, Amy DePaola, Sarah Kassoff, Sean Kiely, Samantha Knapik, Ali Lapinsky, Joey Lico, Meredith Meyer, Melissa Phillips, Ryan Phillips, David Schwartz, Meredith Stampler, Natasha Uspensky, Josephine Vella, Evan Wohl and Kendall Wrigley have a lot more fabulous fetes up their sleeves.

Kudos to Kate Hovey, Steven Beltrani and council members who arranged for sponsorships by Sapporo, Brinley Gold Rum, Touton Limited, Horseneck Wines & Liquors, Charity Happenings, TyKu, Nestle Waters and Vitech Systems Group.

For more information about CRI Young Philanthropists activities go to www.cancerresearch.org.


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Guest (Guest) from NYC says::
Alexis Feldman - Owner/Director of Feldman Realty Group
Sep 5, 2010 8:07 pm

Guest (CJ) from NYC says::
Thanks to Alexis Feldman for all of her hard work and for making this evening a huge success. You are very intelligent and beautiful.
May 1, 2010 6:59 pm

Guest (Brayden H) from Los Angeles CA says::
A lot of talented people at this event it seems! And I've tried tyku before, they have it at a lot of clubs in the LA area, one bottle lights up green its awesome and tastes pretty good if I do say so.
Apr 19, 2010 2:58 pm

Guest (Tracy Westerlund) from Walnut Creek, CA says::
Melissa Phillips is just lovely, always so generous with her time and talents. She also looks stunning in her gown!
Apr 6, 2010 8:19 pm

Guest (Kelani) from NY says::
Looks like a really successful event!! And great sponsors, I've been seeing TY KU as a participant to a lot of events in NY lately, has anyone tried this stuff? Heard it was good but wanted to see.
Apr 5, 2010 3:35 pm


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