Shawn Matthews, chief executive, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Inc., had dinner last night in the Temple of Dendur with U.S. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and the chairman of the Boston Red Sox, Tom Werner.
Matthews and Werner were honorees at “Lead Off for a Cure,” a fundraiser for Autism Speaks and the Gillen Brewer School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- which is featuring Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in advertisements -- raised $1.3 million.
Matthews, a board member of Autism Speaks, has four children, including an 11-year-old son with autism, Ryan, who prefers swimming to baseball. One in 54 boys in the U.S. is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I look at autism as something you just deal with,” Matthews said. “It’s easy for a child with autism to be isolated. It’s important we draw them out and include them in everything we do.”
Seeking donations for Autism Speaks from people in finance is “harder these days,” Matthews said, “but the money is certainly available. The trick is asking nicely.”
Like a lot of Mets fans, Matthews was glad for the 7-3 start of the season -- and cautiously pessimistic. “It’s not going to last,” he said. Moments later, Mets chairman, chief executive officer and co-owner Fred Wilpon arrived.
Was the chairman of the Red Sox worried that the team is alone in last place in the American League East division? “No,” Werner said. “It’s early yet.”
Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s chairman and CEO, Howard Lutnick, said he is rooting for the Yankees “because my kids all like the Yankees.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief administrative officer Frank Bisignano and another honoree, noted that the Arizona Diamondbacks play on Chase Field.
Warburg Pincus partner Fred Hassan, also honored, said he was more of an “innovation guy” than a baseball guy.
Other guests included Stephen Ross, chairman and chief executive of Related Cos. and owner of the Miami Dolphins, Paul Tagliabue, former commissioner of the National Football League, and Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
Former Major League Baseball player Jon Warden said he’s staying in town an extra night to see his son Karl dance in Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Today’s Muse highlights include an interview with E.O. Wilson by Zinta Lundborg, a review by James Pressley of “White House Burning,” Patrick Cole on Food Bank for New York City gala, Philip Boroff on Met Museum salaries.