Without trying to sound terribly ungenteel, we’re calling this week Cancer Week. Tasteless as it may sound, The Observer has attended at least half a dozen cancer-related benefits or events in a span of five days. It just goes to show that the fight against cancer still very much endures for millions.
On Wednesday evening, Solving Kids’ Cancer hosted its third annual spring gala at Gotham Hall. A few things about the charity make it unique. Foremost is that it was created by two fathers who met in a pediatric cancer center and formed a unique and supportive bond for each other. Tragically, both families lost a child, but their experience and friendship influenced John London and Scott Kennedy to establish Solving Kids’ Cancer. Another interesting aspect of the gala is that the live auction offers no luxury escape to Cabo. Instead, heavyweights plunk down big loads of cash for no swag at all—how truly genuine. (Well, we lied; donors do get fairytale butterfly wands reminiscent of a LaGuardia student’s art project.) Last year’s fundraiser on Park Avenue brought in over $400,000 alone.
Full disclosure: The Observer’s schedule is so laden with shindigs, we arrived juste à la fin. We missed the speeches, the kids’ song and dance and Sandra Bernhard’s probably stellar emcee job. As we crept to table 27, booze and a plate of bread shamelessly in hand, we did get to witness the live auction. Attendees got the pleasure of being badgered and heckled by Amy Sacco and her saucy sidekick, Seth Herzog, into donating $1,000, $5,000, even $25,000. After a few Bombay and tonics it made for quite a few laughs. Mr. Herzog’s most memorable quote suggested that if you donated, you’d feel like you had “the biggest dick in the room.” Classy. But give they did, fast and furiously. Afterwards, guests were free to place final bids on the silent auction or schmooze. The Observer elected for the latter. We charged for Jude Law, the talented Brit, albeit aging, was still a hunk. “I’m sorry. I have to go!” was all we got out of him. Sheesh!
We approached the Barkers. “My husband Nigel was emceeing this evening. It is an amazing foundation. Many people have been touched by cancer between family and friends,” Cristen Barker said, explaining her attendance. She wore a nice Pamela Roland frock.
“What do you think about Jude Law?” The Observer asked.
“I know! I was very excited that Nigel got to introduce him,” Ms. Barker replied with a dreamy look before she rushed off to relieve a babysitter.
The nearby table was bubbling with notables. “It really touches the heart. One hundred percent goes to the doctors. It’s a very focused charity,” chirped Gabby Karan De Felice on why SKC is important to her. “In trying to focus on helping children it’s very important to treat a child like a child.”
“What do you think of the new space? Gotham Hall is a big upgrade, no?” The Observer wanted to know.
“They’re really growing after three years. I hope it gets larger and larger until we find a cure,” said Ms. Karan De Felice.
Next we asked her mother, Donna Karan, about why she supports SKC. “I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother—cancer has been my whole life,” said the designer. “All we want to do is solve kids’ cancer.”
Ready for a nightcap, we dragged our plus-one to the bar, where we encountered Ms. Sacco, Mr. Herzog and actor Paul Sparks.
“What have you been observing?” Ms. Sacco questioned after an introduction. “You guys are snarky!”
“I’m the least bitchy at The Observer,” we said defensively.
“You’re the least bitchy?” asked Mr. Herzog full of skepticism.
“I hope you like us,” one of them responded.
“Well, I might be the snottiest,” we confessed.
“You should be with that outfit,” cracked Ms. Sacco. She was right.
We then discussed afterparty plans. The group had agreed upon a nearby Australian bar. An invitation was extended.
“I dunno, we might go to Le Baron or Le Bain,” The Observer said uninterested.
“You should, I wouldn’t waste an outfit like that,” Ms. Sacco purred, touching our Mongolian lamb fur vest and Joseph Abboud tux combo.
“You seem even more tired of saying those places than going there. You’re falling asleep just saying it,” interrupted Mr. Herzog sharply. He too was right.
“Going to the Australian bar with us will be much better than anything else,” Ms. Sacco said. She was probably right.