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Ann Liguori Dinner Dance Swings In Support Of The American Cancer Society

Originally Posted: July 26, 2010

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Honoree NBC Correspondent Kerry Sanders addresses the packed crowd in the Duck Walk Vineyards tasting room. (Douglas Harrington)

Host Ann Liguori with former PGA Tour Pro Gabriel Hjertstedt.

Water Mill - Sports was appropriately the theme as hundreds gathered at Duck Walk Vineyards in Water Mill for the Ann Liguori Foundation Outback Steakhouse Dinner Dance Benefit in support of the American Cancer Society.

The driving force behind this annual fete is nationally recognized radio and television sports broadcaster and author Ann Ligouri who among numerous other media outlets has hosted a weekly Saturday morning Hamptons radio show on WLIU, 88.3 FM and writes regularly for Hampton.com.

Along with the fantastic food donated and prepared on site by Outback Steakhouse, wine was donated by Alex Damianos of Duck Walk Vineyards and cocktails courtesy of Three Olives Vodka.

Casual and great fun, the event featured both a silent auction comprised of many rare items of sports memorabilia from Eagle Sports and a live auction that featured everything from golf lessons to room remodeling to vacations - the latter hosted by popular CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Max Gomez who was nothing short of hilarious in his role as auctioneer.

CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Max Gomez served at the evening's auctioneer.

Other fundraising activities included gift bag raffles, 50/50 raffle, a jewelry table provided by Judith Ripka, a very animated dance contest and as if in a homage to the scene in the golf movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance," there was an automobile headlight lit evening putting tournament.

This year's honoree was NBC News Correspondent Kerry Sanders who is regularly seen on the NBC Nightly News, the Today show, MSNBC and Dateline NBC. A reporter's reporter, based in Miami Sanders is well known for his hurricane coverage, but was also on the front lines covering both Desert Storm and the war in Iraq. He is both a Peabody and Emmy Award winning journalist.

"I am honored and thrilled to see so many people supporting this event because my family, like so many other families, has been touched by cancer," Sanders said. "Many people don't think about the American Cancer Society until cancer touches them in some way and then they want to know everything about the society. I think people realize that we need to keep the money coming so we can attract the brightest minds to attack this hideous disease."

Professionally versed in the subject as both a journalist and a physician, Dr. Gomez had an optimistic outlook on the battle against the disease, "The popular perception is that we are not any closer than we were, but if you really look at the numbers and you know what the research is doing and what is in the pipeline, we actually are getting very close. It is hard to say curing cancer, but at the very least we are getting very close to controlling it. What we are going to do is turn cancer into a chronic, treatable disease, sort of like diabetes."

Ann Liguori surrounded by her enthusiastic and selfless volunteers.

Several of Liguori's friends from the world of professional golf attended, including former PGA Tour Pro Gabriel Hjertstedt of Sweden, professional PGA instructors Bob Joyce and Megan Padua and leading putter authority Marias Filmarker, all of whom donated to the event.

Silent auction sports memorabilia items from Eagle Sports among the Duck Walk wine vats.

The proceeds from the evening's event went specifically to support Camp Adventure on Shelter Island whose mission was described by Liquori in her opening remarks, "Whatever the activity, the focus is on making camp a place where kids can be kids despite their dealings with childhood cancer. In the words of a volunteer, 'perhaps if we can get the kids to forget the cancer, we can get the cancer to forget the kids!'"

A portion of the revenue generated also went to the society's Healthy Children, Healthy Futures campaign. Liquori was particularly proud of her foundation's support of this program saying, "The Ann Liguori Foundation is also very proud to say that we have brought the program Healthy Children, Healthy Futures to Long Island for the first time and right out here to the Southampton Intermediate School where the nutrition curriculum was incorporated into the student's health classes."

If you missed this event, the Third Annual Ann Liguori Foundation Charity Golf Classic will take place on Monday, September 27 at the beautiful Maidstone Golf Club in East Hampton.

Good people in support of a great cause enhanced by the generosity of corporate sponsors, a local vintner, golf professionals, media celebrities and too many local volunteers to possibly name. Yes, thanks to events like this one, one day we will beat cancer, it is inevitable.

For more information go to www.annliguori.com.

The crew from Outback Steakhouse did a fantastic job.

Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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