By Bruce Northam

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FIND CANCER BEFORE IT FINDS YOU

Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation rocks Cipriani Wall Street—and raises $2.5 million for liberation from cancer while posthumously honoring footwear industry icon and Nine West founder Vince Camuto 

Roger Daltrey (Patrick McMullan)

Roger Daltrey (Patrick McMullan)

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation recently hosted its 19th annual benefit dinner and auction featuring classic rocker Roger Daltry of The Who. $2.5 million was raised to support cancer research, while Daltry—an eternal staple of global rock music formats—and his bandmates raised the roof at Cipriani Wall Street with an incredible set of music mixing his 60s and 70s classics with his later hits. Cipriani Wall Street is a towering triumph of Greek revival architecture, and one heck of a place to enjoy a rock icon—and a great cause, the ultimate red carpet for cancer survivors.

 

But the main focus of this annual event is supporting cutting-edge cancer research—handily redefining the concept of Collaborating for a Cure. Entertainment aside, the energy in this epic auditorium bustling with some of New York’s most influential heavy-hitters was not about being seen, but more about supporting a visionary named Dr. Samuel Waxman. Waxman, a cancer specialist and founder and CEO of Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, is a disarming dream-maker who, while mixing affably with everyone, also introduced me to some of his patients who have overcome the odds to beat cancer and continue to thrive.

Chris Wragge, Louise Camuto, Samuel Waxman, Joyce Varvatos, John Varvatos, Michael Nierenberg (Patrick McMullan)

Chris Wragge, Louise Camuto, Samuel Waxman, Joyce Varvatos, John Varvatos, Michael Nierenberg (Patrick McMullan)

Q. (for Waxman) “What is your most recent revelation about curing cancer?”

 

A. (Waxman) “Find cancer before it finds you.”

 

Waxman’s vision: Imagine a world in which cancer can be treated without disrupting life, can be cured, or can even be prevented. Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” the yearly gala is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City. Waxman’s laboratory is at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

 

Then, Waxman introduced me to cancer scientist Frank Raushcher, Ph.D., who explained “that self-monitoring starts with being aware of everything that goes into and out of your body.”

 

The fundraiser’s brainchild is Long Island native Michael Nierenberg, a philanthropist who is Chairman of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Nierenberg, a CW Post graduate, investment guru, and classic rocker, also had his fingerprint on the event’s soundtrack before Daltry’s performance.

 

Once again, CBS News anchor Chris Wragge was the Master of Ceremony while Charity Buzz created a dazzling benefit auction, both live and online. The live auction, led by Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House, offered guests the opportunity to bid on exclusive items such as a $10,000 shopping spree and lunch with John Varvatos which sold for $15,000; an America’s Cup Yacht Race experience captained by former America’s Cup team members, sold for $8,000; a Private Wine Tasting at Italy’s most popular wineries for $16,000; an exclusive opportunity to meet Roger Daltrey and receive a guitar autographed by the famous singer, which sold to the highest bidder for $15,000. The highest bid of the night, $48,000, went to a Private Jet Experience for eight people which includes 10 hours of air travel on the state-of-the-art, luxurious Hawker 4000. Other travel packages included a CMH five-day Heli-skiing trip for two in Canada, which sold for $16,000, and a Milwaukee Bucks Experience including a G4 flight to a game and team memorabilia that sold for $16,000.

 

Online auction items, which will be available for bidding at CharityBuzz.com until November 22, include: a behind-the-scenes visit to the set of The Today Show with a chance to meet hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, a one-week stay in a gorgeous two-bedroom apartment in Paris, four Coaches Club tickets to watch the New York Jets play against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on December 17, a Maroon 5 autographed Fender Squier Bullet Guitar, two tickets & cocktails to a taping of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live! Hosted By Andy Cohen in New York City, and two Tickets to the John Varvatos Fall/Winter Runway Show on February 2, 2017 in New York plus a leather duffle bag.

 

The event was attended by Waxman Foundation board members and 750 corporate executives and their guests. The money raised will support the Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer by reprogramming cancer cells and to deliver tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. The scientists funded have made significant breakthroughs in cancer research, including identifying pathways to deliver novel therapies to treat cancer.

 

Go here for more information about the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation—and here for more information on Collaborating for A Cure.

 

The prior year’s musical guest was John Fogerty. Past celebrity supporters have included Ziggy Marley, Train, the Warren Haynes Band, Kid Rock, Chevy Chase, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, and Counting Crows.