On Nov. 17, 2011, at the 14th Annual Collaborating for a Cure gala, amid the packed room of more than 1,100 guests, one of the most popular lots of the night was a five-night stay aboard a luxury private yacht via private jet. The recently renovated yacht was auctioned off to three different bidders.
Indeed, for the past several years, the 136-foot custom-designed motor yacht has been auctioned off at the annual gala.
Who wouldn't want a chance to cruise the Caribbean on such a luxury liner with Italian hand-made interiors, six state rooms for up to 11 people, a six-person spa, 17 televisions, Wi-Fi internet, a Sea Tel satellite system and a seven-person crew?
The appeal of the finely crafted vessel isn't lost on the yacht's owner, Adam Katz, Esq. "When you're offering something as exquisitely beautiful as that with a service level that goes along with it and flying to the yacht, I would expect it," he said, adding that he's exclusively donated the yacht to the Waxman Foundation each year since 2008.
As the founder and CEO of Talon Air, Inc., a Long Island-based privately owned and operated jet company specializing in luxury air charter, Katz knows a thing or two about exceptional service and quality. He founded Talon Air in 2001 on that exact premise.
A longtime supporter of the Foundation, Katz recently lost his uncle to bile duct cancer, and said he feels even more passionate about finding a cure. "I'd like to do whatever I can do in my own small way to try to make sure no one suffers from the disease," he said.
That sense of giving back has always been an important part of his life; something Katz learned from his grandfather and father. "There is a long history of being charitable in my family and so it's a value that I inherited from them. I feel I need to do what I can to give back because I've been so blessed," he added.
Katz's philanthropy spans a local and international scale. He supports a number of different charities on Long Island and in New York as well as in Israel. For the past two years, he's also been involved with a patient airlift service in Farmingdale, N.Y., to provide transportation for people with cancer to shuttle them to medical appointments along the Northeast.
"There are so many organizations and people in the world who are less fortunate and so many need support and help," he said. "I feel it is incumbent upon me to be there and do what I can."
Through his generous support of the Waxman Foundation, Katz has helped raise nearly $1 million for cancer research. "I have great respect for Dr. Waxman and the other researchers who have an unwavering
commitment to find a cure so that people have better lives. Their dedication moves me to be as generous and as helpful as I can be."