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INTERVIEW: Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Executive Director, William T. Sullivan, On The 16th Annual "Hamptons Happening" - A Premier Virtual Concert

Shakir Philippe

Rufus Wainwright is performing during A Hamptons Happening Benefit. (Photo: Clint Spaulding/PMC)

The Annual Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Hamptons Happening event is going entirely virtual for the first time in its 16-year history, for a one-night-only concert featuring six musical artists on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. East End residents can even turn the concert into a backyard party, in which the Foundation will arrange the contactless delivery of beautifully-packaged dinner boxes and wine for up to 20 people, following CDC guidelines.

Pop stars Sophie Beem, Caly Bevier, and Rufus Wainwright return to the Hamptons Happening this year after performing at previous year events. Beem and Wainwright both performed live in 2017 and Bevier in 2019. Additional performers include two-time Tony-nominated actor Constantine Maroulis, Grammy Award-nominated singer Sophie B. Hawkins and Steven Reineke, the New York Pops Music Director and Conductor.

This year's virtual concert will commemorate the COVID-19 frontline heroes. The concert will include a special presentation from Rajeev Fernando, M.D., a globally-renowned infectious disease expert and Director of Infectious Diseases at the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

I spoke with William T. Sullivan, Executive Director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, to learn more about The 16th Annual Hamptons Happening.

Congrats on the annual Hamptons Happening event reaching its 16th year in operation. Is this the first time the fundraiser will be a fully virtual event?

WTS: Yes, this is the first time the event is entirely virtual in its 16-year history.

How will the virtual concert be different from the past, in-person ones? What can people expect?

WTS: This year, the Hamptons Happening to support cancer research features six musical artists across the rock, pop, and musical broadway genres. We think everyone will enjoy the mix. Also, in place of celebrity honorees, the SWCRF is honoring all COVID-19 first responders.

What does the private backyard viewing party consist of for potential hosts?

WTS: Supporters who host a private backyard viewing party can opt-in to receive gourmet catering with a wine and vodka basket from our chef partner and beverage sponsors. The catering and beverages are available to residences in the Hamptons area via contactless delivery. Hosts who opt-in for catering can request a minimum of two meals and up to 15 and based on their commitment to observe social-distancing guidelines for any guests they invite into their home.

Is there anything else you'd like to add about the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation and the overall event?

WTS: This year, the SWCRF virtual concert honors COVID-19 first responders. The concert will feature a presentation from Rajeev Fernando, M.D., a globally-renowned infectious disease expert and Director of Infectious Diseases at the Stony Brook Southampton Hosptial.

Tickets including contactless dinner delivery are available for purchase in groups of 2 or more in the following categories: Flying Solo ($150), Top-of-the-Charts ($350), The VMAs ($500), and The Grammys ($1,000). Click here to purchase a ticket and for more information. Proceeds from The Hamptons Happening will support the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation's mission of "eradicating cancer by funding collaborative cross-institutional research to identify and correct abnormal gene function that cause cancer."

For more information, visit www.waxmancancer.org.

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