Haute Benefit: High-Profile New Yorkers Turn Out to Fight Blindness

Haute New Yorkers turned out for a good cause Wednesday night. The Foundation Fighting Blindness’ Banking on a Cure Awards Dinner at the historic Plaza Hotel drew 350 attendees celebrating Wall Street’s vision to help end blindness. The gala event honored Aryeh B. Bourkoff, vice chairman at UBS Investment Bank, and Dr. Stanley Chang, the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center.

The glitzy night raised nearly $1 million that will go toward research on preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. A good chunk of that came from some of the fabulous live auction items such as a trip to China, which went for $17,000; a trip to the Bahamas, staying in a private residence, which went for $10,500; and 2011 tickets to a New York Jets-New England Patriots home game, which included a personal tour of the playing field during warm-ups led by Jets executive vice president Thad Sheely, that went for $5,500.

Among the attendees were NBA Commissioner David Stern, outgoing president and CEO of NBC Universal Jeff Zucker, former governor of New York David Paterson, and president emerita of The Museum of Modern Art Agnes Gund.

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