Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization which remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and fund groundbreaking cancer research programs to save the lives of millions, hosted its annual New York Dinner at the The Pierre Hotel on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The event raised more than $6 million to support groundbreaking discoveries in cancer research.
The dinner honored the 20th Season the Prostate Cancer Foundation has partnered with Major League Baseball and its team owners for the PCF Homerun Challenge, with Baseball Hall of Fame Managers Joe Torre, Tommy Lasorda and Tony La Russa. PCF also presented David Cohen of Comcast an award recognizing his philanthropic endeavors on behalf of PCF’s Philadelphia partners, funding groundbreaking research.
Notable attendees included: Michael & Lori Milken (Founder, Prostate Cancer Foundation), Whoopi Goldberg (Event Host; Co-Host, The View), John O’Hurley (Event Host), David Cohen (Honoree; EVP, Comcast), Mark & Debbie Attanasio (Event Co-Chairs; Owner, Milwaukee Brewers), Seth Bernstein (Event Co-Chair; CEO, Stromberg LLC.),Todd Boehly (Event Co-Chair; Co-Owner, Los Angeles Dodgers), Dr. Richard Merkin (Event Co-Chair; CEO, Heritage Provider Network), Artie & Selma Rabin (Event Co-Chairs), Neal Rodin & Sharon Schutte-Rodin (Event Co-Chairs), Joe & Ali Torre (Event Co-Chairs; Chief Baseball Officer, MLB), John Fogerty (Performer), Forte (Performer), Isabel Leonard (Performer), Forte (Performer), Jerry Cohen (Co-Owner, New York Yankees), Tommy Lasorda (Special Advisor to The Chairman, Los Angeles Dodgers), Scott Minerd (C0-Owner, Los Angeles Dodgers), Tony La Russa (Chief Baseball Officer, Arizona Diamondbacks), Mark Walter (Co-Owner, Los Angeles Dodgers), Fred Wilpon (Owner, New York Mets), David and Sybil Yurman (Jeweler), Dr. Jonathan Simons (CEO, Prostate Cancer Foundation), John Paulson (President, Paulson & Co.), Edward Rendell (Former Governor, Pennsylvania), Bonnie Pfeifer Evans (Trustee, Charles Evans Foundation), Joel Paschow (Trustee, Charles Evans Foundation), Larry Leeds and Dr. James Allison.
Following a cocktail reception, dinner hosts Whoopi Goldberg and John O’Hurley welcomed attendees to the event before introducing PCF Chairman and Founder Michael Milken. Goldberg, who has hosted numerous PCF events over the years, quipped “I remind him that I do not have a prostate.” Milken opened the evening by discussing the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tour, a fundraiser hosted in conjunction with the Charles Evans Foundation where high-profile amateurs are paired with tennis professionals in four different tennis tournaments during peak seasons of each of the venues – Palm Beach, Fl., Indian Wells, CA, Westchester County, NY and the Hamptons. Joel Paschow and Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Trustees of the Charles Evans Foundation, then spoke of Charles Evans’s memory, and shared that they were honored to be a part of what PCF and Mike Milken do.
After the brief presentation of tennis, Milken introduced the baseball theme of the event by quizzing the audience’s knowledge of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” comedy sketch. Following the quiz, Milken invited MLB attendees including Mark Attanasio, Todd Boehly, Jerry Cohen, Tommy Lasorda, Scott Minerd, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Mark Walter and Fred Wilpon to the stage for a special rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” while wearing special Prostate Cancer Foundation baseball jerseys. “If you buy a baseball team next year, you could be up here,” said Milken at the performance’s conclusion. Immediately following the baseball players, opera group Forte from America’s Got Talent performed their version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” before singing the classic “Il Sole Mio.”
Once Forte finished their performance, Milken began detailing the work of the PCF Home Run Challenge, which invites MLB fans to pledge a donation for every home run hit from June 1st through Father’s Day, before inviting Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa to join him. All three have participated with the program, with Tommy Lasorda having traveled with Milken for over a decade. Since inception, Milken has attended 401 games and raised over $45 million.
Event host John O’Hurley then introduced Prostate Cancer Foundation CEO and President Dr. Jonathan Simons. PCF has been instrumental in funding extraordinary young scientists with multiple year grants. Their work has saved lives and provided better treatments for prostate cancer patients worldwide. Following the presentation, members of PCF brought up a mock baseball scoreboard with the number 173—the number of young investigators PCF has funded. Milken announced he wanted to increase that number to 200, and opened the floor for donors to pledge $75,000 for three years to support more young investigators. By the time everything was said and done, PCF put 202 new young investigators on the board. Following the pledges, the PCF opened the floor for three live auction packages that raised over $500,000.
Following the auction, Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell introduced the night’s honoree David Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast and Head of the Board of Trustees at University of Pennsylvania. Cohen served as Rendell’s Chief of Staff during his administration, where they collaborated to rebuild Philadelphia’s urban development. Rendell commended Cohen’s support of research to find ways to treat Prostate Cancer. Cohen, a prostate cancer survivor himself, thanked Milken and PCF for their efforts to stop prostate cancer and said he is, “one of tens of thousands of men who’ve benefitted from the funds raised the Prostate Cancer Foundation.”
After the award presentation, Nathan Gunn and Isabel Leonard performed, and were later joined by Forte for a special performance of “Somewhere” from West Side Story, the song the group performed during their Radio City audition on America’s Got Talent. To conclude, John Fogerty performed a special set alongside his son Shane where they performed some of his classic hits, including “Centerfield” which was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Event Co-Chairs Included: Mark & Debbie Attanasio, Seth & Marie Bernstein, Todd & Katie Boehly, Michael Lehrman, Ambassador Earle & Carol Mack, Dr. Richard Merkin, Mike & Lori Milken, Artie & Selma Rabin, Neal Rodin & Sharon Schutte-Rodin, Joe & Ali Torre, Eustace Wolfington.