By Karen Amster-Young

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation’ Benefit Dinner Breaks A Record

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) held its 18th annual benefit dinner and auction at Cipriani Downtown New York City, where there was a palpable sense of excitement in the room as the Foundation itself gears up for its 40th Anniversary in 2016.

“There was clearly a shared sense of celebration in the air – not only about the evening but our anniversary and the great work being accomplished,” says Dr. Samuel Waxman, founder and CEO of the Foundation. “Despite the unprecedented number of attendees, the room was intimate, warm and especially joyful.”

The “Collaborating for a Cure” annual benefit is considered to be one of the top fundraising events in the city, raising over $2.5 million for cancer research. Chris Wragge of CBS 2 News This Morning was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and introduced Dr. Waxman, who highlighted the importance of investing in cancer research and developing less toxic therapies for cancer patients of all ages.

After dinner, the uber-talented designer John Varvatos was presented with the SWCRF Fashion Cares Award. Varvatos’ remarks were personal and heartwarming, clearly demonstrating his unwavering support of the organization as he lauded Dr. Waxman’s lifelong commitment to his work and research.

“It’s amazing that it has been almost 40 years,” says Waxman. “What I am most proud of is that we have established an international culture of collaboration that has established that cancer can be reversed and cured.”

All of the Foundation’s events for 2016 will acknowledge the anniversary, including the well-known annual Hamptons Happening event scheduled for July 9. Other key 2016 events include the annual “Collaborating for a Cure” Luncheon andthe Scientific Review and Symposium – both in May — which brings together researchers from around the world. The Foundation will also be hosting its 34th annual Golf Tournament next summer.

Later in the evening, guests were entertained by the American rock legend, John Fogerty. His performance brought the already-lively crowd to their feet as he performed hits from his solo career and his legendary run as lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Past musical performers at the Gala have included Sheryl Crow, Gregg Allman, Steely Dan and the Counting Crows.

The evening’s exciting live auction, was led by Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House. Guests had the opportunity to bid on exclusive items such as: a $10,000 shopping spree and lunch with John Varvatos which sold for $17,000 and an autographed flannel shirt from John Fogerty with an opportunity to meet him one-on-one which sold to the highest bidder for $10,000. The highest bid of the night, $60,000, went to a five day, four-night stay for 10 people at the Ian Fleming Villa at the GoldenEye Hotel in Jamaica via private jet that really wowed the crowd.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the Foundation’s 40th anniversary – a huge milestone — with our incredible supporters, scientists and the public,” says Waxman. Just like the Gala which raised record-breaking funds for cancer research, I hope 2016 will bring in record numbers so we can continue our work and make progress each and every year.”