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New York Gala Featuring Rosie O'Donnell Raises $2 Million

January 15, 2009

Times are tough on Wall Street these days, but you’d never know it by the generosity displayed by the more than 500 guests at the Greater New York Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala in November. By the time the night’s last “thank you” was said, the event had raised a staggering $2 million to support the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Details That Made a Difference

Television icon and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell befriends Stephanie Shafir, daughter of gala honorees Donna and Rob. Stephanie, who has CF, spoke of her battle with the disease in her Bid for a Cure. 
Television icon and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell befriends Stephanie Shafir, daughter of gala honorees Donna and Rob. Stephanie, who has CF, spoke of her battle with the disease in her Bid for a Cure.

Beneath the 65 foot ceilings and glittering chandeliers at Cipriani 42nd Street, it was an unprecedented evening of fine dining, good cheer and fund-raising. Emcee Scott Pelley, from CBS’ 60 minutes, welcomed guests and invited heartfelt toasts on behalf of longtime CF Foundation volunteers.

Special tribute was paid to the night’s honorees, Donna and Rob Shafir, who have served the CF Foundation through their extraordinary volunteer work and longtime leadership within the Greater New York area. 

Television icon and comedienne Rosie O’Donnell united the audience with an uplifting account of her family struggles with CF and then paid homage to the Shafir Family and the CF Foundation for their commitment to advancing research toward a cure. 

Stephanie Shafir, daughter of the honorees, warmed hearts with an inspirational description of how her family has consistently demonstrated their support of her in her personal battle with CF. “Some may say that I was handed a tough deck of cards,” she noted.  “But I believe that I was granted a winning hand of four aces: my Mom, my Dad, my brother and my sister.” The event’s Bid for a Cure raised more than $460,000.

Thanks a Million!

It truly takes a village to plan an event of this magnitude. An enormous vote of thanks goes to the “village” of gala co-chairs:

  • Jeffrey Altman
  • Lisa and Dick Cashin
  • Cosby and Timothy George
  • Virginia and Thomas Hughes
  • Kate and Robert Niehaus
  • Eileen and Gary Negrycz
  • Ciaran O’Kelly

The Greater New York Chapter is especially grateful to the following corporate sponsors:

  •  Abrams Capital
  • American Express
  • Caxton Associates L.L.C.
  • Credit Suisse Alternative
  • Credit Suisse Group
  • Greenhill & Company, L.L.C.
  • Highbridge Capital Management
  • Oak Hill Capital Management
  • Owl Creek Asset Management
  • Reservoir Capital
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Westwood Partners

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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.