Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization which remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and fund groundbreaking prostate cancer research programs to save the lives of millions, hosted its annual gala at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY. PCF has recently partnered with the Veterans Administration to fast track better treatment and research opportunities for underserved veterans. The event raised over $4.0 million in support of the foundation’s work and included several Young Investigator Awards that will focus on VA Initiative programs that will benefit all cancer patients.
Special guests included Michael Milken (Founder), David Koch, Bill Ackman, Tom Lee, David and Sybil Yurman, Jonathan and Sheryl Sokoloff, Gina Rinehart, Dr. Francis Collins (Director of the National Institutes of Health), David Shulkin (Secretary of Veterans Affairs), Jerry and Adrianne Cohen, Mitch Modell, Larry Leeds, and Igor Tulchinsky.
The night began with a fun short quiz, touching on topics covered over the weekend, by the Founder of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Michael Milken, with guests guessing the answers from their seats. A short speech by Michael Milken highlighted how far PCF has come since its founding, and how much of a difference the foundation has made. A video was shown highlighting the Foundation’s progress and its aim to make prostate cancer an illness to “find in the history books”. Next, a few words were spoken by PCF’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jonathan W. Simons. Dr. Simons touched on the progress being made and how it has made it possible to identify the drivers behind the disease, not only in prostate cancer but in all types of cancer.
The first musical performance was by Paulo Szot, the acclaimed operatic baritone who has performed at the Met and received a Tony for South Pacific on Broadway. The evening’s next performance was held by Kool and the Gang, who performed an R&B medley of their most memorable hits.
A live auction was also held to support a young scientist. Attendees were asked to donate $75,000 per year for 1 to 3 year commitments to support the research of a young scientist and his or her research in prostate cancer. Guests made 15 such commitments. Alongside a silent auction, there was also a live auction package for the Home Run Challenge to attend four MLB games as a VIP with Mike Milken. Glenn Myles successfully bid $100,000 and was matched by a second bid for a second package by Arik Kislin.
Jan Haber, PCF’s Vice President of Events, then came to the stage to thank the weekend hosts, sponsors and donors for supporting the very important work of the PCF, after which she introduced the evening’s closing performers to the stage, award winning singers Kool and the Gang, who performed a few of their celebrated funk and R&B songs to the delight of the audience.
The gala was hosted in support of the 13th Annual Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament held from August 25 – 27, 2017 and named after the successful entrepreneur who turned tragic events throughout his life into philanthropic causes.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a special dialogue with tennis legend Billie Jean King on her remarkable life, tennis career and her groundbreaking advocacy for equality and empowerment of women. She also touched on the movie being released immortalizing her epic tennis exhibition match between her and Bobby Riggs which was televised nationally from the Houston Astrodome in 1973. The movie, Battle of the Sexes, which will be in theatres this September stars Oscar winner Emma Stone and Academy Award nominee Steve Carell.
The Weekend’s Pro-Am Tennis Champions were: Anton Levy and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Amy Griffin and Jared Palmer, Brad Peck and Cyril Saulnier, Marie Bernstein and Teymuraz Gabashvili. Finalists included: Mark Ein and Rajeev Ram, Jane Lauder and Georgy Chukhleb, Dick Merkin and Rohan Bopanna, Jay Bernstein and Scott Lipsky.
Weekend hosts and sponsors of the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tournament include: Bill Ackman, Steve and Alexandra Cohen, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Bill Finneran, Ken and Maria Fishel, Larry Gagosian and Chrissie Erpf, Josh and Marjorie Harris, Jefferies, John and Susan Kean, David and Julia Koch, Michael and Margie Loeb, Bill and Phyllis Mack, Richard Merkin, Mike and Lori Milken, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Glenn and Jennifer Myles, Joel Pashcow, Artie and Selma Rabin, Steven and Daryl Roth, Jonathan and Sheryl Sokoloff, Shinnecock Tennis Club, Tom Lee and Ann Tenenbaum, Igor and Valentina Tulchinsky and Whispering Angel Wine.
Images: Patrick McMullan and Rob Rich