The Season's Gala

Michael J. Snell, High Society contributor

There are only a few select events that can pack a ballroom on a cold NYC winter evening.

Perhaps the preview of a new designer collaboration or a meet and greet with an Insta celeb stand as perfect examples. This room was filled with individuals hoping to make difference this holiday and they did just that.

Gathering at the iconic Cipriani on Wall Street, close to 1000 guests made the $2500 a-plate contribution to attend the 22nd annual Collaborating for a Cure Gala on behalf of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation is known for specializing in innovative research, they are pioneers in the fields related to genetics and metastasis but are most highly praised for their efforts in funding collaborative approach research.

This year, CBS’s Chris Wragge presented the foundation’s honorees, which included famed hairstylist Valery Joseph who has done the dos for the likes of all of NYC’s high society, including those like Lady Gaga.

Also among the honorees were Marc D. Taub, CEO of Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections, the Wine and Spirits organization known for their killer portfolio and impeccable selections, and Kobi Halperin, the notable Israeli designer whose couture pieces grace the floors at Bergdorf’s and Bloomingdales. All three were chosen for their commitment to philanthropy and community leadership.

A sea of waitstaff outfitted in white tailored suits swiftly served the elaborate 6-course menu, which was paired with the finest select spirits, to a packed room. This certainly was a curated culinary experience, even for 1000 people. The program included brief interludes by notable speakers, including the foundation’s own Bill Sullivan and Dr. Samuel Waxman.

The night was not without excitement with a one-of-a-kind live auction lead by Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s. It featured some of the most elaborate items including not one, but TWO Cockapoo Puppies that went to the highest bidder (and a verified good home) for upwards of 10k each, a uber-luxurious getaway to the iconic Baker House 1650 in East Hampton and even a wine tasting experience in Veneto, Italy. The buzz of excitement only continued when musical guest, Lukas Nelson & The Promise of Real, performed (yes, that is the son of the legendary Willie Nelson- and just as talented.) Judging by the several rounds of requested encores, they were definitely a hit with the crowd. A total of just over 6 million was raised, a record for the foundation which will go toward the funding of cancer research in 2020.

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