On a perfect summer day Play for P.I.N.K. Millbrook, which raises money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K., held its 7th Annual benefit on Friday, July 8 under a white tent decorated with spring green and pale pink flowers to a standing room only audience. The co-chairs were Cathy Franklin, Karen Klopp, Beth Ledy, and Alexandra Traber McNamara.
Myra Biblowit, the longtime President, and CEO of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation told a rapt audience that “Evelyn Lauder’s vision of an organization has stood the test of time and its impact is irrefutable. Evelyn would be overjoyed to see you all here today.”
Then she read the following letter from Leonard Lauder:
Evelyn would have been so proud of each and every one of you for making the 7th Annual PLAY for P.I.N.K. Millbrook such a success. I am so grateful to Dr. Larry Norton and his colleagues for making huge progress. Larry, your leadership and dedication to finding a cure are spurring action throughout the world.
Dr. Susan Boolbol, thank you for recognizing the importance of quality care. You and your staff are making a difference in the lives of patients throughout the Hudson Valley.
Myra Biblowit, you have changed the world through your work. Since you took the helm of BCRF 21 years ago, the organization has fueled breakthroughs in breast cancer research with hundreds of scientists working together worldwide. Myra, you have earned your retirement, though I have a feeling you will always be working for this great cause. Evelyn loved you, and I love you, too.
My wonderful friend Lorna Graev has the honor of presenting the inaugural Millbrook Humanitarian Award to a very special person. How I wish I could be among you to celebrate a gem, a jewel, a star, a maverick. My dear darling friend, Barbara Tober, you are all those things. I happen to know a thing or two about beauty, and Barbara, dear, you are the embodiment of beauty inside and out. You have helped so many people through your impactful philanthropy. Where there is art and design, there is you, Barbara. Where there is fashion, there is you, Barbara. Where there is a zest for life, there is you, Barbara. Where there is Barbara, there is hope for a better world. I can think of no individual more deserving of this award. Barbara dear, you are a true humanitarian, and I am humbled by your friendship.
Thank you to the dozens of committee members, including the Mashomack Preserve staff; PLAYDATE for P.I.N.K. volunteers and kids; my dear friend Deborah Krulewitch, who does so much for the Millbrook BCRF community; and, of course, today’s extraordinary co-chairs: Cathy Franklin, Karen Klopp, Beth Ledy, and Alexandra Traber McNamara.
Lorna Graev presented the inaugural Millbrook Humanitarian Award to Mrs. Tober saying, “She and her beloved husband Donald have lived a life of philanthropy that have impacted so many people. As a dear friend of Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, they have been long-time donors to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Before introducing this extraordinary woman, I’d like to read Barbara’s own THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY …
Find the Joy in everyday
Surround yourself with Beauty
Laugh first, Problems are meant to be solved
Open your eyes, then your Heart to new ideas
Stay with the Happy People
Help those who aren’t
Nurture your inner child; Fun is healthy
Inspire those around you
Do something Constructive every day
Accept that Challenges are “growing pains”
Take charge of your own Health
Be responsible for Yourself
There was a long warm standing ovation as Mrs. Tober came to the podium, helped by actress Vera Farmiga.
Barbara’s speech began, “I’VE ALWAYS HAD A PREDILECTION FOR PINK — When I was a little girl I wanted pink dresses, and a birthday cake with pink icing — BEING ‘In the Pink’ has always meant ‘Feeling’ GOOD! And then I met ‘Mr. Pink Packet’ otherwise known in those days as Donald Tober of Sweet ’n Low.
“Later on, when Donald and I were early married, somewhere in the ’70s, we met Evelyn and Leonard Lauder with their two children in St. John on vacation and they gave us a ride back to the Hotel in their little boat.
“THAT was when PINK really came to my attention in a BRAND-NEW WAY! When I visited Evelyn at her offices and learned more about their business, their ethics, and their philanthropy I discovered a deeply committed couple whose organization not only stood for beauty but for RESEARCH into curing that most heinous disease attacking women of all ages: BREAST CANCER.
“Our friendship deepened over the years as the Lauder Family and the Tober Family businesses grew and we saw each other more often. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation I discovered became a superhuman effort medically, philosophically, and philanthropically as more people became aware of how to detect, treat, and cure this disease through new medical procedures and sophisticated chemistry…”
Barbara’s remarks closed with this, “There are thousands of women proudly walking forward because of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. YOU are all Philanthropists and should be proud of YOUR efforts to make this disease disappear! You can wear your PINK RIBBONS with pride.”
Photographs by ©Patrick McMullan