“Collaborating for a Cure 18th Annual Samuel Waxman Dinner”

The 18th Annual “Collaborating for a Cure” dinner to benefit the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation took place at Cipriani Wall Street with cocktails beginning at 6:30 pm. The Samuel Waxman Foundation is dedicated to preventing and curing cancer with a focus on uncovering the causes of cancer and reprogramming cancer cells. Samuel Waxman has dedicated his entire life as an oncologist to developing minimally toxic therapies to improve the lives of cancer patients, and is legendary in the cancer field.  Since its inception in 1976, the Foundation has awarded $90 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.

Cristina Cuomo, Samuel and Marion Waxman, John and Joyce Varvatos

This evening had famed menswear designer, John Varvatos, as an honoree. Varvatos looked edgy and elegant in one of his own designs but always seems embarrassed by any sort of publicity.  Varvatos is a rock ‘n’ roll designer and revered in fashion circles for his fashion forward clothing; however, few of the Wall Street suited crowd looked like they ever stepped into one of his stores. If John was hoping to get any new clients from this predominantly male crowd he was out of luck.

Maria Fishel in Jenny Packham and Lauren Phelps

However, John’s wife Joyce, who is kind, beautiful and supportive is the best consolation prize any man could receive. John and Joyce are one of the hippest couples in New York and can be seen socializing with rock ‘n’ roll royalty like Mick Jagger or alternatively, just chilling on a terrace with their next door neighbors. At the dinner, John spoke about his sister and father’s diagnoses of cancer and how it has struck his whole family.

Master of ceremonies Chris Wragge and Michael Nelson

This event has become one of the premier nights in Wall Street circles largely due to host Michael Nierenberg, who works tirelessly to get 800 of his nearest and dearest “Wolves” to give $1500 and show up for three-and-a-half-hours when they could be home with their families or closing major deals. However, this dinner was about making connections with most of the crowd standing by their tables or bar to socialize and do business.

Chair of dinner Michael Nierenberg with daughter Ali

Nierenberg, told me that he felt bad asking his friends for money but was compelled to do so after Bear Stearns chairman, Ace Greenberg, instituted the policy in 1994 of giving 4% of your paycheck to charity. Since then Nierenberg has devoted his time to this charity strong-arming his friends, colleagues, and relatives into attending, and was proud to say they raised almost $3 million this year. Chris Wragge, who was the master of ceremonies and a CBS anchor, said he was honored to be a part of this night and noted that we are all one degree of separation from cancer.

Jean Shafiroff in Oscar de la Renta

After the dinner, a silent and live auction were held with items including golf outings, wine tastings, and a shopping spree at John Varvatos. One noteworthy event was the auctioning off of a goldendoodle puppy which fetched a whopping $17,000. After the bidding war concluded, the guests enjoyed music by country legend John Fogerty and a goody bag with Varvatos cologne. This was an imperative evening on the calendar of every Wall Streeter enabling these capitalists to give back with a maximum rate of return on their $1500 investment.

 Lieba Nesis

Lieba Nesis

My love of fashion, writing and photography were something that always dominated my lifestyle however it wasn't until I was approached by the editor of Lookonline that I realized I could utilize these three skills in combination.

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