Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Hosts 17th Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. Last week, the charitable organization hosted their 17th annual benefit dinner and auction. The event honored fashion designers and our seatmates, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, otherwise known as the duo behind Cushnie et Ochs. The evening started with a cocktail reception where more than 750 corporate executives, board members, and their guests mingled and bid on silent auction items. Notables included Dr. Samuel Waxman and family, Chris Wragge, Michael and Elin Nierenberg, Ruth Finley, and a host of others.

After the reception, guests made their way down to the beautifully decorated main floor of Cipriani Wall Street. Michael Nierenberg opened the program with remarks to welcome guests to the Dinner & Auction and thanking supporters for their continued efforts to raise funds for cancer research. CBS 2 News This Morning co-anchor, Chris Wragge later took over as he hosted the program. He later introduced the man of the night, Dr. Samuel Waxman whose remarks highlighted the importance of investing in cancer research and developing less toxic therapies for cancer patients of all ages, particularly senior citizens who are unable to tolerate the intensity of chemotherapy. While enjoying dinner, I got the chance to speak with my seatmates and honorees, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs who told me they were “excited to be recognized by such a wonderful organization and the recognition is a career highlight.” I asked if they were nervous before going up to accept their award, and I was immediately greeted with a “yes!” You couldn’t tell these ladies were nervous as their acceptance speech went off without a hitch. Carly Cushnie said she and Michelle were “thankful to support a cause close to so many hearts.” She described the privilege they had of visiting Dr. Waxman’s laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and gaining a better understanding of his work, which she described as “mind-blowing.” See the full speech below or on our YouTube channel.

Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House Hugh Hildesley led the auction where guests were eager to bid on exclusive items such as two black Labrador puppies which received winning bids of $9,000 and $8,000 and opportunity to meet Ziggy Marley and receive a guitar autographed by the reggae superstar, which sold to the highest bidder for $23,000.

The highest bid of the night, $100,000, went to a luxurious five-night cruise in the Bahamas aboard an M/Y Serque private yacht. Other packages included an Official F1 Opus Champions Grand Prix Experience, which sold for $40,000; an America’s Cup Yacht Race experience captained by former America’s Cup Team Members, sold three times for $11,000 each; a Golf Outing at Hamptons Hills Country Club in Westhampton Beach for 24 People including lunch, 18-holes and a post-golf cocktail party, sold for $13,000; a painting by Peter Lik sold for $15,000; and a one-of-a-kind abstract painting by Harold Garde titled “Drimmed” sold for $20,000. Online auction items – including a 5-night stay in a 3-bedroom residence in Aspen next to The Little Nell and Aspen mountain; a 4-night stay in an ocean view room at Hilton Los Cabos & Golf Resort with airfare for 2; and a 5-night Rome Getaway at St. Regis Grand Hotel with airfare for two – will be available for bidding online at until December 10, 2014.


As if that wasn’t enough, reggae legend Ziggy Marley, treated everyone to a intimate performance of some of his classic hits and had everyone on their feet for the rest of the evening. Check out exclusive footage below and even more on our YouTube channel.

Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” the yearly fête is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City. In recent years, “The Waxman” has raised several million dollars to support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer. For more information about THE SAMUEL WAXMAN CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION please visit