Last week, at the lavish Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue, just off Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, a bevy of well-heeled patrons of the Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals gathered for the 2011 Breast Service Luncheon. This year’s elegant charity engagement funded over $700,000 for Breast Cancer advocacy and research at Beth Israel’s Appel-Venet Comprehensive Breast Center and the Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals.
Philanthropists at the luncheon enjoyed a fanciful spread in the enchanting Grand Ballroom of the Pierre, but before wine was poured and feast served, a silent auction of luxury treasures was held. Items up for bidding ranged from $7,500 18k gold earrings from Bulgari, to an autographed guitar from Bruno Mars, and a $9,000 Tahitian black cultured pearl necklace.
Once attendees had taken to their tables to dine, Emmy Award-winning journalist and bestselling author, Cokie Roberts, delivered a powerful address about the state of Breast Cancer awareness, fundraising, and research. Roberts, who serves as a political commentator for ABC News and is a senior news analyst for National Public Radio, is a survivor of the disease, and spoke candidly about her experience and the important role women have played in activism. She also commended all three hospitals for their commitment to providing superior health care in New York.
Alison Estabrook, MD, chief of the Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital delivered an educational update that discussed the numerous advances in treatment options for Breast Cancer patients.
The luncheon drew to a close, with what can undeniably be coined as the highlight of the afternoon: a fashion show by designer Georges Chakra. Having presented his haute couture collection semiannually in Paris, Chakra has earned great respect for his masterful craftsmanship, attention to the feminine form, and imaginative designs. In 2009, Chakra débuted a ready-to-wear collection, EDITION Georges Chakra, which he now presents twice a year at New York Fashion Week. Chakra has dressed glamorous women like Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Beyoncé Knowles, Katy Perry, and Emily Blunt.
With 30 looks, Chakra demonstrated his ability to make even the stiffest grande dame coo with desire and admiration. Heart-stoppers that lingered in one’s memory comprised of an ivory crepe halter cocktail dress with satin detail, a gold sequin strapless cocktail number with satin strap and crisscross details (pictured), and a purple ombre chiffon halter with a Lucite beaded neckline.
The Breast Service Luncheon, now in its twentieth year, benefits two of New York City’s largest programs at Continuum Cancer Centers, which provide diagnosis and treatment, educational programs, screenings, genetic counseling, clinical research, support groups and wellness programs for thousands of Breast Cancer patients and their families. The Luncheon has raised more than $8 million since its inception.