Monday, September 19, 2022. Nice, sunny weather, yesterday in New York with temps in the mid-70s. There’s a touch of autumn in the air now. It was just a little cooler from the night temps.
Last night the Cancer Research Institute welcomed back its annual “Through the Kitchen” fundraiser at the THE GRILL + THE POOL. This has been an annual dinner — always on Sunday nights — for years, except for the past two. The CRI was founded in 1953 by visionaries Helen Coley Nauts and Oliver Grace Sr. “It is a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to advancing immunotherapy to treat, control and cure all cancers.”
Lauren Veronis came upon the organization back in the ’80s which to some people seems like five minutes ago. She was interested in devoting her energies to an organization working for cures for cancer and other diseases.
It was a much smaller group back then and has grown measurably and influentially over the years. Somehow she got the idea that an excellent device for fundraising was a good meal, a pleasant environment in a top restaurant and all you can eat (my words, not theirs). And it was born in the kitchen of the original Four Seasons restaurant, on a Sunday night.
A brief cocktail hour and then the opportunity to go through the vast and spotless, top of the line kitchen and choose (as much of) anything your little heart desires. And even more. And lots of the restaurant’s varieties of salads and meals and vegetables, and then there were the desserts, and the wines and liquors. And all served up efficiently at the tables in the pool room overlooking the Bronfman Plaza and Park Avenue. And how’s the food in the new restaurant’s kitchen? The top!
There were fewer tables in THE POOL because Lauren was concerned that people would still be nervous about “crowds” and therefore limited the evening to 200 guests. The tables are the entertainment every year. This year’s theme was famous singers and their music. I was at the Chubby Checker table jammed full with Chubby Checker memories and memorabilia. I didn’t see all the tables but there was an Elvis table and even one for Britney Spears.
After the main course was finished, there was a brief auction. Lot 2 was a “10-week paid internship in Summer 2023 at Bloomberg.” (a gift of Bloomberg Philanthropies).
After the main course, Lauren came to the microphone to thank all the supporters in the room and to review the progress of the CSI. The lure of the evening to its supporters is exactly what the dinner delivers to those providing financial support to a progressing non-profit doing God’s work. Yes.