Hot Pink Party Raises $5.5 Million for Breast Cancer Cure

Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Model Erin Heatherton in a Michael Kors dress and a scarf distributed to all benefit guests at the instructions of Leonard Lauder. "My first job, when I was 13, was to come to the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria and they had beautiful models walking around handing out Estee Lauder face powder," Lauder said. "The women loved it and I remember it very fondly. So every one of you is going to receive a scarf made with a photograph Evelyn took." Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire chairman of private-equity firm WL Ross & Co., pushed up his tuxedo sleeve to reveal a custom Van Cleef & Arpels timepiece.

“It’s a Magritte,” Ross said of the image on the watch’s pink face, depicting two petrified blue apples. “It’s our painting; it’s hanging in Palm Beach.”

Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane on “Mad Men,” wore less-expensive pink at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Hot Pink Party last night at the Waldorf Astoria.

“I bought my tie on the street for $4,” Sommer said. The actor, in town for a revival of the play “Harvey,” wore it with a Joseph Abboud suit.

At the same table in the ballroom, decorated with pink umbrellas and paper butterflies, was “Girls” star Allison Williams, in hot pink Donna Karan.

“I’m sure I’ve given him something pink,” Williams said of gifts to her dad, NBC’s Brian Williams, who sat across the room with musician Elton John and Estee Lauder chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder.

Leonard became acting chairman of the foundation after the death of his wife, Evelyn Lauder, in November.

“BCRF is what we call a pure play,” Leonard said.

Since Evelyn started the foundation in 1993, it has distributed more than $360 million to scientists to work on a cure.

Last night’s event, a tribute to “Evelyn’s Dream,” raised more than $5.5 million, including $50,000 for a four-day stay in the Lauder family Palm Beach home.

Bloomingdale’s Philanthropy

“Evelyn always wanted everyone to be involved, and she was never afraid of asking anybody for help,” said Anne Keating, who oversees philanthropy at Bloomingdale’s, which raised $1.3 million last year to fund four scientists.

Richard Perry, president of Perry Partners LLC, said he will take part in a Stand Up Paddle -- that’s standing on a surf board and rowing -- on Aug. 11 in the Hamptons to raise money for the foundation.

Perry and his designer wife, Lisa, in her own Jeff Koons- inspired Pink Panther cocktail dress, sat with John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital and Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holding Corp., which yesterday filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores.

Lampert’s wife, Kinga Lampert, is on the board of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and was an event co-chairman with others including Evelyn’s niece Jane Lauder, wife of Kevin Warsh, former member of the Federal Reserve board of governors.

Elton Sings

After dessert, Elton John performed hits “Tiny Dancer,” in honor of Evelyn, and “Rocket Man,” in honor of Leonard.

Asked how Evelyn would feel about the festivities, her son Gary, manager director of venture-capital firm Lauder Partners, LLC, replied, “Nachas,” invoking the Yiddish word for joy.

“I’d call her a saint,” said Jayne Jamison, publisher and chief revenue officer of Hearst’s Seventeen magazine.

“It’s one thing to sell lipsticks,” Evelyn once said in an interview. “It’s extraordinary to know you’re saving lives.”


(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: Mark Beech on music, Richard Vines on restaurants.

-- Editors: Mark Beech, Richard Vines.

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