Chairing the 16th annual event were Greenwich residents Aundrea Amine, Sabrina Forsythe and Anne Juge, who thanked gala committee members, guests and all others who contributed to the event for their support. The black-tie affair at the Greenwich Country Club drew more than 520 guests, many donning festive attire in honor of the Moroccan theme created by Renny and Reed of New York.
Gretchen Carlson, co-anchor of the Fox News Channel show "Fox & Friends" who resides in Greenwich, was the master of ceremonies and Dickerman Hollister, Jr., MD, chief of hematology and oncology at Greenwich Hospital, received the 2011 President's Award for his 30 years of dedicated service. (Hollister was born at Greenwich Hospital and was one of the hospital's first male candy stripers as a teen.)
The evening included belly dancers performing as guests entered a Bedouin tent of brilliant vermillion fabric accented with giant golden hoops dangling from the ceiling. Tall metal vases with large palm fronds sat atop tables adorned with gold-etched glass votives and colorful linens. Intimate corner seating areas with festive poofs and day beds accentuated the Moroccan decor.
Among the highlights was a cameo performance by Broadway singer and Greenwich resident Meg Tolin Piper, who asked the pianist to "Play it again, Sam" as she delighted the audience by singing "As Time Goes By" from the movie "Casablanca."
Christie's veteran auctioneer, Guy Bennett, led the live action of eclectic items and experiences from a 24K gold baseball signed by New York Yankees Derek Jeter to commemorate his 3,000th hit to a dazzling diamond, platinum and black onyx bracelet. Keeping with the Moroccan theme was a stay at the five-star Le Royal Mansour Meridien in Casablanca, including dinner at Rick's Cafe, which recreates the club made famous in the movie "Casablanca." Other selections included dinner for 12 in Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali's private wine cellar at Babbo; tickets to cross-town rival games Rangers vs. Islanders, Jets vs. Giants and Mets vs. Yankees; a Plume leather bag from Hermès; a golfer's dream trip to Bears Club and Trump International in West Palm Beach; a weekend getaway to Newport in a Ferrari; and a trip to Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa Valley with VIP tours of three of the best vineyards and wineries.
The silent auction featured 140 selections for people of all ages from fine wines, sports memorabilia, theater tickets, dining excursions, fashion, jewelry and beauty items to home and design creations, shopping extravaganzas, trips and internships. Many supporters also donated to the Wish List of equipment and other items to enhance care.
Special thanks goes to Betteridge Jewelers, Richards, Greenwich Furs, Miller Motorcars, Nestle Waters North America, Babbo/B&B, Starwoods, Macy's, Horseneck Wines and Liquors, Eder Brothers Distributors and the many personal donors to the auction.
All gala proceeds benefit Greenwich Hospital's Cancer Institute, which is closely aligned with the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The Cancer Institute's comprehensive services include the newest generation of radiation therapy, medical oncology treatments, minimally invasive surgical techniques and genetic screenings. The Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital is ranked among the best community hospitals in the nation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
For information about the 2012 Gala, contact the Greenwich Hospital Foundation at GHFoundation@greenwichhospital.org or 203-863-3863.