On Friday, April 7, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition (NFBHC) will celebrate its founders, Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband, Antonio DeGrasse, during NFBHC’s Third Annual Pink Pearl Gala. The couple will be honored with the Pink Pearl Community Service Award.
News12 Long Island reporter Shari Einhorn will emcee the evening, which will take place at East Wind in Wading River from 6 to 10 p.m. The Pink Pearl Gala will feature dinner and an award ceremony, followed by dancing to music provided by DJ Phil.
Cotten-DeGrasse and DeGrasse founded the North Fork Breast Health Coalition in 1998 after noticing that the North Fork, where there is an especially high rate of breast cancer, was lacking an organization that provided support to those who were diagnosed with the disease. Cotten-DeGrasse, who is a retired teacher, serves on the Riverhead School Board and was board president. DeGrasse also worked for the Riverhead Central School District and was a past president of Riverhead Rotary, an organization that played an instrumental role in financing the start of NFBHC and aiding in the organization’s legal foundations.
“Our sole mission is to provide assistance and funds for those in the North Fork area diagnosed with breast cancer,” shared NFBHC Gala Chair Melanie McEvoy. “The gala is a great way for us to raise critical funds and awareness in our community, while we celebrate the progress that has been made and the women who have survived.”
The evening will also recognize the incredible charitable contributions to the community of Flora Garsten and her husband Irwin, who recently passed away. The Garstens will be awarded the Pink Pearl Spirit Award. As the owners of Apple Honda, Riverhead, they founded an October breast cancer awareness campaign that is held every year at the dealership. In addition to that campaign, which they established four years ago, they also support the annual NFBHC 5K Walk. Overall, through its charitable endeavors, Apple Honda has donated $27,250 to local breast-cancer patients and survivors.
“By attending the Pink Pearl Gala you will enjoy an elegant evening of delicious food, beautiful surroundings, dancing and honoring of generous people in our community who make a difference in the world,” said NFBHC President Susan Ruffini. “At the same time, you are helping our neighbors who are diagnosed with breast cancer! We invite you to share this amazing experience.”
Led by Ruffini, The North Fork Breast Health Coalition, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, supports local breast-cancer patients, and raises awareness for prevention, early intervention, and cure of breast cancer through advocacy, awareness, networking, and research. Proceeds from the Pink Pearl Gala will support NFBHC’s efforts to provide free services like yoga, massage therapy, reflexology and support groups to breast-cancer patients and survivors.
Gala tickets are $125.
East Wind is located at 5720 Route 25A in Wading River. For more information, visit www.northforkbreasthealth.org.