ziggy marley is guest musical performer 


Six-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley rocked the house at Cipriani Wall Street.


SWCRF Chairman Michael Nierenberg 

Spirits were high at the 17th annual "Collaborating for a Cure" Benefit Dinner and Auction on December 4, which raised $2.5 million for cancer research programs funded by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF). Hosted by SWCRF Chairman Michael Nierenberg and his wife Elin Nierenberg at Cipriani Wall Street, the glamorous affair feted Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, founders and designers of the fashion label Cushnie et Ochs and featured an exciting performance by six-time Grammy award winner Ziggy Marley

The event was attended by more than 750 corporate executives, board members, and their guests. The money raised will support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer by reprogramming cancer cells and to deliver tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. The scientists funded by the SWCRF have made significant breakthroughs in cancer research, including identifying pathways to deliver novel therapies to treat cancer.

Michael Nierenberg opened the ceremony by welcoming guests to the Dinner & Auction and thanking the SWCRF’s many supporters for their continued efforts to raise funds for cancer research. He introduced a video tribute to the valiant spirit of the late Michael Burkhardt, whose fight against brain cancer was documented in past Gala videos and ended last January. The video was followed by a symbolic lighting of candles by the guests at their tables.


SWCRF founder and CEO Dr. Samuel Waxman

The evening’s Master of Ceremonies Chris Wragge then took the stage to introduce SWCRF founder and CEO Samuel Waxman, M.D. whose remarks highlighted the importance of investing in cancer research and developing less toxic therapies for cancer patients of all ages, particularly senior citizens who are unable to tolerate the intensity of chemotherapy. After dinner, Wragge presented the SWCRF Fashion Cares Award to honorees Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. Carly Cushnie said she and Michelle were “thankful to support a cause close to so many hearts.” She described the privilege they had of visiting Dr. Waxman’s laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and gaining a better understanding of his work, which she described as “mind-blowing.”

The evening’s exciting live auction, led by Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House, offered guests the opportunity to bid on exclusive items such as two black Labrador puppies which received winning bids of $9,000 and $8,000. Guests were able to bid on an exclusive opportunity to meet Ziggy Marley and receive a guitar autographed by the reggae superstar, which sold to the highest bidder for $23,000. The highest bid of the night, $100,000, went to a luxurious five-night cruise in the Bahamas aboard an M/Y Serque private yacht.


Honorees Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs 

Other packages included an Official F1 Opus Champions Grand Prix Experience, which sold for $40,000; an America’s Cup Yacht Race experience captained by former America’s Cup Team Members, sold three times for $11,000 each; a Golf Outing at Hamptons Hills Country Club in Westhampton Beach for 24 People including lunch, 18-holes and a post-golf cocktail party, sold for $13,000; a painting by Peter Lik sold for $15,000; and a one-of-a-kind abstract painting by Harold Garde titled “Drimmed” sold for $20,000.

Online auction items – including a 5-night stay in a 3-bedroom residence in Aspen next to The Little Nell and Aspen mountain; a 4-night stay in an ocean view room at Hilton Los Cabos & Golf Resort with airfare for 2; and a 5-night Rome Getaway at St. Regis Grand Hotel with airfare for two – will be available for bidding online at until December 10, 2014. After the auction, guests were treated to an exclusive, live performance by Ziggy Marley.

Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” the yearly fête is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City. In recent years, “The Waxman” has raised several million dollars to support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer. Past celebrity supporters have included the Warren Hayes Band, Kid Rock, Chevy Chase, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, John Fogerty, and Counting Crows.

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation extends its thanks to the generous donors, honorees and event committee members whose support made the evening a huge success.

The Event Chairs were: Dale and Peter Claman, Lynn and Wes Edens, Katie and Scott Eichel, Kristen and Johan Eveland, Maria and Kenneth Fishel, Alyssa and Clifford Greenberg, Mary Henry and Howard Rubin, Gary Jacob, Diane and Adam Katz, Nancy and Howard Kurz, Randal Nardone, Elin and Michael Nierenberg, Nancy and Craig Overlander, Mara and Baron Silverstein, Linda Taub and Amy and Jeff Verschleiser.

The Dinner Committee included: Eve and Brant Brooks, Sarah and Brian Chin, Tracy and Frank Collins, Stephanie and Sergio Esposito, Staci and Andrew Friedwald, Phyllis and Gary Gladstein, Erin and Jim Keller, Mildred Levine, Thomas Marano, Melissa and Matthew McQueen, Julie and Martin Migliara, Dana and Michael Miller, Sue and Perry Porricelli, Sal Puliafico, Tammy and Mike Reisman, Samantha Santiago and Steve Jones, Laurie and Charles Schaffran, Erin and Andrew Sloves, Nicholas Smith, Laurie and Joseph Steffa, Alison and Charles Sorrentino, Bettina and Spencer Waxman, Marion and Samuel Waxman, M.D., Dena K. Weiner and David Rozenholc, Amy and Matt Zisette, Laura Zwak and James DeMare.

The Auction Committee included: Nancy Loving and David Hinkelman, Katie Song and Mike Joo, Deborah and Howard Shlafmitz, and Sandy and Marc Taub.

To view a gallery of photos from the event, click here.