Saturday, November 21, 2009


One of the Big Apple’s favorite fundraisers, the Annual Collaborating For a Cure Dinner and Auction that benefits the Institute Without Walls®, the worldwide collaborative cancer research program supported by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF)…took place this past Wednesday night (November 18th, 2009).

Held at the glorious NYC landmark-the Park Avenue Armory, the night began with a jam packed cocktail hour prior to the main event.

One of Three Very Well Attended Bars-No Waiting!!!

We had a chance to chat with JJ Mautner, a Board member and interim President of SWCRF. In addition to the latest advances in science that the Institute Without Walls is generating, Mautner told us he’s most proud of “putting the evening together,” the twelth one.

JJ and Jill Mautner

Here’s why…

The evening had envy overdose silent auction items like--- dinner for someone and their five BFFs at the impossible to get into to RAO’s---($16,500!!!)…

… and live auction items like four pairs of tickets to the impossible to get into Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show ($125,000)… and a glam once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean Island cruise for six days/five nights on the luxurious 133-foot custom yacht M/Y Serque ($95,000).

No surprise really, but top Sotheby’s auctioneer Hugh Hildesley was masterful--- enticing the crowd to bid on…and on.

We were most impressed with the $11,000 that secured an adorable golden retriever puppy.

A winner!

Bottom Line: $4.2 million was raised for this worthy 501 (c)(3).

Renaissance man Peter Tunney helping out with his "Don't Panic" work of art (and donating his take to the cause. Nice).


The congenial and obviously brilliant Ethan Dmitrovsky, a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and of Medicine
American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor at Dartmouth Medical.

Even us physics for poets types could appreciate Dr. Dmitrovsky’s excitement and dedication to furthering along the breakthroughs--- and meeting the challenges of--- educating and treating people at risk for/suffering from lung cancer.

That list increasingly includes women, former and non-smokers.

Indeed, our brief chat with the man of the hour, Dr. Samuel Waxman, touched on his most “proud moment” this year…successfully treating a woman diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.

This patient’s first person recall of her ordeal on the road to wellness, as well as three other cancer sufferers- was the subject of a well produced and heartfelt video--- that was shown later on that night.

Their All Reved Up And Ready To Go


Michael Nierenberg, Chairman of the Board, can add Top Host to his resumé…as he did an amazing job.

In addition to thanking everyone for coming, (1100 people!)…he recalled how his former employer, the financial firm Bear Stern’s strongly “encouraged” employees to get “involved” with worthy non-profits. Nierenberg- amusingly related how the first SWCRF fundraiser was held at the Rainbow Room, with entertainment by guitarist Warren Hayes (Gov’t Mule, Allman Bros…Duane’s part).

“I was afraid to ask for money then…and now I am not afraid to ask for money.”

That’s progress. As is not having Chevy Chase as host IMHO.


Clearly this man is very popular: as he and the Mrs.Elin Nierenberg will need an airplane hangar to host the many more than happy fork over $2000/couple--- to the Italian Wine Merchants' provided wine tasting and dinner.


A private concert by Grammy award winner Steve Winwood and his band----who jammed on those forever wonderful Traffic tunes including extended jams from John Barleycorn, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, and Blind Faith’s Can’t Find My Way Home.

Naturally the classic Gimme Some Lovin’ got the crowd dancing.

We left just as the breakout band Lost Trailers- wailed out a credibly sharp version of Whipping Post.

But there were plenty of folks rockin’ on.

" develop therapies to reverse abnormal cancer cell behaviour and establish normal function to eradicate cancer selectively, working through a uniquely organized network...


Jean Shafiroff, Philanthropist---"My dad was (successfully!) treated by Samuel Waxman..."

Words, Images J. Ecochard