If there was ever a group we were happy to see make it to 70 years, it’s The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, which has long raised millions for research and patient care at the renowned cancer center.
The Society’s galas have always attracted New York’s best and brightest and the turn-out for the milestone anniversary event was particularly stellar–Stephen Schwarzman and his wife Christine, among the city’s top philanthropists,who have donated tens of millions to city education and cultural programs (if you don’t know the Schwarzmans, you certainly know the Schwarzman building at the New York Public Library); Yahoo anchor Katie Couric, an avid activist for cancer research; Ari Kopelman, who used to run Chanel and his wife Coco; Jeff Zucker, who heads up CNN and his wife Caryn, a major player on the city’s charity circuit; along with The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering president, Lavinia Branca Snyder; Doctor Richard O’Reilly, Liz Lange, Wilbur and Hilary Ross, Earle and Carol Mack, Shoshanna Gruss, James and Gina de Givenchy, Paul and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Peter and Jamee Gregory, Richard and Kamie Lightburn, Philip Baird Ryan and Alexia Hamm Ryan . Kate Allen, Liz Gardiner and Heather Leeds served as event co-chairs.
Ron Wendt Design transformed the Plaza ballroom into a glamorous spring-like setting for the 400 guests. After cocktails and dinner there was dancing to sets by DJ Alexandra Richards, and a surprise performance by the iconic musical group, Sister Sledge.
To commemorate the 70th Anniversary, president Branca Snyer presented a new award, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Prize, to Richard J. O’Reilly, MD, Chairman of the MSK Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. The honor was established to recognize an individual who has made significant or groundbreaking contribution to the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. O’Reilly was selected because of his transformative research accomplishments over the past 40 years and his outstanding service to MSK’s pediatric patients and families.
The Society has a longstanding commitment to MSK Pediatrics, for which it has raised funds for research since 1946. In the future The Society of MSK Prize will be awarded annually and is intended to increase awareness of pediatric cancer research on a global scale.
The anniversary dinner was a tremendous success and raised over $1.3 million for these noteworthy causes.