a hamptons happening celebrates swcrf's 40th anniversary



12th annual benefit honors Sandra Lee, Jayma Cardoso and Deirdre Quinn


Honorees Deirdre Quinn, Sandra Lee and Jayma Cardoso


Spirits were high at the 12th Annual A Hamptons Happening, which celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) by noted oncologist and cancer researcher Samuel Waxman, MD. The benefit, which took place on Saturday, July 9th, 2016 at the residence of Maria and Kenneth Fishel, featured 40 of the top chefs and restaurants in New York City and the Hamptons. The event was hosted by CBS 2 News anchor Chris Wragge and honored Sandra Lee, philanthropist, Emmy winning television personality, New York Times best-selling author and breast cancer survivor; Jayma Cardoso, Founder of the Surf Lodge in Montauk; and Deirdre Quinn, CEO of the luxury fashion company Lafayette 148 New York.

Event chairs Marion Waxman, Karen Amster-Young and Laurie Schaffran

The event was resplendent in floral beauty thanks to FlowerBox Wall Gardens, which designed striking installations displayed throughout the venue, most dramatically a gardenlike step-and-repeat that brought a fresh twist to red carpet arrivals. Overall floral décor was provided by Designs by Mark Masone. Adding fun and wonder to the benefit were costumed performers from the National Circus Project, an arts-in-education program, who posed for photos with guests while balanced on stilts and performed tricks for the crowd. An online fundraiser held by Tabooze (www.gettabooze.com), a sugar-free and calorie-free cocktail mixer, raised over $7,000 for A Hamptons Happening in the weeks preceding the event. Tabooze creator Lori Schlakman, a cancer survivor, created the Cocktails for The Cure campaign to partner with the SWCRF in funding research for a cure.


Tabooze cocktail mixers benefited the SWCRF

SWCRF founder and CEO Dr. Samuel Waxman and Chris Wragge took to the stage to introduce this year’s honorees and host the live auction. Wragge, hosting A Hamptons Happening for the fifth consecutive year, thanked the audience for attending the event and for contributing to the work of the SWCRF. Dr. Waxman provided a brief overview of the Foundation’s funded research programs, emphasizing how this work is made possible by generous contributions from donors. He thanked the participating chefs and restaurants for providing delicious food and beverages for the event, and acknowledged the contributions of the event chair people, committee members and the SWCRF staff.

Dr. Waxman looks on as Fernanda Capobianco, Chantelle Pabros and Kenneth Fishel help pour the Champagne Taittinger tower toast to SWCRF's fortieth anniversary.

Following the opening remarks, honoree Sandra Lee captivated the audience with a powerful testimonial of her high-profile battle with breast cancer last year. She said she is cancer free and credited the medical team at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York for their excellent treatment of her. She noted that the work of the SWCRF is unique in that it requires funded scientists to share their findings with other researchers in order to advance the development of cancer treatments. Following Sandra’s speech, honorees Jayma Cardoso and Deirdre Quinn were welcomed to the stage, where Dr. Waxman presented them crystal awards from Orrefors in thanks for their support for this year’s benefit. The awards ceremony was capped by a fun champagne toast to the SWCRF’s fortieth anniversary presented by Champagne Taittinger, the official sparkling wine of A Hamptons Happening. Champagne Taittinger’s brand ambassador, wine expert Chantelle Pabros, led the pouring of champagne into a tower of 200 glasses passed to the audience by Chris Wragge, the Waxmans, Fernanda Capobianco and Francois Payard, among others. 

Chris Wragge then presided over an exciting live auction that included exclusive items such as an exciting package for two to see the Tony Award-nominated hit show “Hamilton” that included dinner with two cast members and more; a Dominican Republic Getaway package; an Ultimate Spa Package at Canyon Ranch; a Cloud Catering & Events packet, featuring a dinner for 8 prepared by a Michelin-starred chef; and a Dinner for 10 By the World Renowned Chef at Rao’s in New York. 

Francois Payard and Pascal Riffaud

This year’s A Hamptons Happening was chaired by event Co-Founders Marion Waxman and Laurie Schaffran and Co-Chair Karen Amster-Young.  Additional chairpersons included Erin Jennifer Woudsma as Auction Chair and Erica Linden-Fineberg as Journal Chair. LDV Hospitality was the featured restaurant group at the event. The Honorary Lead Chef Couple was Fernanda Capobianco, founder of Vegan Divas, journalist and cookbook author; and Francois Payard, pastry chef, restaurateur and author. The event once again featured beautiful cabanas for guests to lounge in and silent and live auctions

The annual A Hamptons Happening is among the most eagerly anticipated events of the Hamptons social calendar. Drawing on average 500 guests, the event is held under a 15,000-sq-ft. floored, carpeted and air-conditioned tent on the stunning 15-acre Bridgehampton property of Maria and Kenneth Fishel. The benefit is a scrumptious celebration of New York’s finest cuisine, personally presented by the top chefs of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City and the Hamptons. Guests indulge their appetites for the savory and the sweet, mix and mingle, bid on exciting auction items and dance to today’s hottest tunes, all the while collaborating to fund science’s quest for a cure for cancer

Chris Wragge and Sarah Siciliano

The A Hamptons Happening Committee included Chris Arlotta and Mario Pecoraro, Tammy Caress, Diana Chudnoff, Becca Goldberg, Marcia Lavipour, Jessica Mackin, Pamela Morgan and Michael Trokel, Edward Sadovnik, Sarah Sarpolis, and Bettina and Spencer Waxman. Linda Shapiro of LBS Productions was the event coordinator. Party Up Productions did production design and music was provided by The Surf Lodge’s resident DJ, David Katz. 

Event Sponsors included AmTrust Title formerly First Nationwide Title, Art Hamptons, Bespoke Real Estate, Champagne Taittinger, Hamptons Magazine, Jaguar Land Rover Southampton, Palm Bay International and The Independent. A Hamptons Happening had a presence at the recent Art Hamptons when Dr. Waxman and Mrs. Waxman served on the event’s host committee, which included A Hamptons Happening hosts Maria and Kenneth Fishel as co-chairs. Williams-Sonoma Bridgehampton was the event’s retail partner. 

Chefs from LDV Hospitality restaurants Scarpetta, American Cut and Lugo Cucina

Participating restaurants, chefs and spirits brands include: The Savory: 230 Elm and Back Bar Grille, Carol Ann Daly; 251 Lex, 273 Kitchen & 8 North Broadway, Constantine Kalandranis; Antico Noe; Arlotta Food Studio, Mario Pecoraro and Chris Arlotta; Bareburger, Misha Levin; Hamptons Jam, Joe Cipro; Creative Edge Parties, Carla Ruben; Culinaria Group, Greg Grossman; Delicatessen, Michael Ferraro; The East Hampton Grill, Endless Summer Group, Peter Ambrose; Esca, Dave Pasternack; Hurricane Grill & Wings, Lobster Grille, Randy Reiss; My Sister’s Chef, Emily Costa; NewPop; Noah’s, Noah Schwartz; Old Stove Pub, George Gounelas; Union League Club, Russell Rosenberg; Saaz Indian Restaurant, Sameer Mohan; Seafood Shop, Paul Labue; Surf Lodge, Chef Chris Rendell; Tully’s Seafood Market, Gary Lattanzio.

The Sweet: Nounos Creamery, John Belesis and Steven Ioannou; Edible Encores, Alissa Cohen; Erica’s Rugelach, Erica Kalick. Potable: Champagne Taittinger, Chopin Vodka, Hampton Coffee Company, Liqsshot, Mezcal Dona Sarita, Montauk Brewery Co., Montauk Hard Label Whiskey, Muddling Memories, Palm Bay International, Plain T Boutique Tea Company, Saratoga Water, Shannon Stiggins, Stroh Rum and Ubons Bloody Mary Mix.

Click here to view a gallery of photos from the event.

Photos by Rob Rich/SocietyAlllure.com