“I don’t know how we became friends, but we did,” began Whoopi Goldberg of her dear comrade and Law & Order star S. Epatha Merkerson.
Last night, Ms. Goldberg presented Ms. Merkerson with a Help and Hope Award at CancerCare’s annual spring gala for her considerable efforts as an advocate of the fight against cancer.
“I don’t have anyone like her in my life,” said Ms. Goldberg to the audience filling Mandarin Oriental’s ballroom. “She has never made me feel bad for the things I do.”
“Smoking!” chided Ms. Merkerson to the dismay of the undoubtedly anti-smoking, anti-cancer philanthropists.
“Yes—the legal stuff,” Ms. Goldberg confessed.
“Cigarettes!” Ms. Merkerson hissed for all to hear. Everyone chuckled.
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.