Honoree Jean Shafiroff began her remarks at the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s 61st Annual Summer Party by calling for a moment of silence for the shooting victims in El Paso. Many of them were in local hospitals at that moment. Deeply sensitive to the needs of others, Jean understands the importance of raising money to provide top-notch healthcare to all who need it. “As humbled as I am to be honored with my husband, Martin,” Jean told us that night, “tonight we are here to honor the doctors, the nurses and the medical staff. Without the great work they do, there would be no hospital. And, in this community where we have many who live at or below the poverty level, I am also proud that the hospital never turns anyone away. We are a hospital for everyone. And we serve 25,000 members of this community a year.”
And so, the party of the season, raised more than $1.5 million – and counting – for the South Fork’s only emergency care facility, the Jenny & John Paulson Emergency Department.
“This is a vital resource of the East End,” Chuck Scarborough, who, as ever, emceed the high profile gala, said. “As you know, if you have any kind of life threatening issue, an accident, heart attack or something where time is critical, it’s essential to have care close by. To have this department here is a true life saver.”
The cause sold out. “There are more people here than are running for president,” Chuck quipped. The buffet groaned with gourmet fare that included truly terrific grilled shrimp, chicken, salads, and obscenely memorable deserts (also remembered on our scale), provided by Larry Scott of Lawrence Scott Events. Scott always does the hospital decor. This year, he outdid himself, with a color filled, dramatic floral decor, inspired, in part by the hues Jean Shafiroff favors in her signature ball gowns.
“The summer party, as you well know,” Scarborough continued, “is one of the grandest traditions of the summer season here and, actually, we have taken it up a notch this year. The floor is pretty spectacular, wouldn’t you say?” At that moment, we realized, instead of sinking into the grass, our high heels were clicking on wood flooring. “And we are drinking Bon Jovi wine and a Tequila called Montaukila!”
“The hospital is about to launch the biggest fund raising campaign in its history for a brand new community hospital state of the art facility on the Stony Brook Southampton campus,” Scarborough continued. “There will be naming opportunities,” Jean reminded later.
“This was a year that saw the reimagining of the entire health care landscape on the East End begin to take shape,” said Scarborough. “And this was, in no small measure, thanks to the vision and the extraordinary leadership of my friend Bob Chaloner.”
Chaloner does seem to have the ability and demeanor to motivate all to be their best selves. Gratitude plays a big part. He took the podium to thank as many supporters in the room as time would allow, among them: “The medical staff and hospital colleagues who do the real work night and day,” the Southampton Hospital Association, the Southampton Vascular Surgery Foundation Board members, Dr. Michael Alan Bernstein, Interim President of Stony Brook University; Ken Kaushansky, Dean of Renaissance School of Medicine, Sr. VP for Health Sciences; Stony Brook Hospital CEO Carol Gomes; Margaret McGovern, Dean for Clinical Affairs and Vice President Clinical Programs at Stony Brook Medicine.
He also thanked “the elected officials in attendance who continue to advocate for all of new programs and services”: NY State Senator Ken LaValle, NY State Assemblyman Greg Field; NY State Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright; The Honorable Wilbur Ross Secretary of Commerce; Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman; East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc; Ann Rolland, of Hudson River HealthCare; Julie Ratner, who created the Ellen Hermanson Foundation which donated the hospital’s Ellen Hermanson Breast Center, and “friends of the Brooklyn and Long Island Community Hospital which we hope will be next addition to the Stony Brook Hospital System.”
He went on to list “sponsors, movers and shakers”: Corporate Chair Douglas Elliman, Co-chairs Lauro Lofaro Freeman and Cindy Willis; Junior Chairs: Michael Lorber, Jackie Shafiroff, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Caitlin Diebold, and Vanessa Gordon and Medical Chairs Dr. Charles & Diane Guida and Dr. John & Alessandra Hubbell.
Nor did he forget the Fashion Chairs Sachin & Babi, Silent Auction Chair NancyJane Loewy, or the Media Chair Andrea Greeven Douzet CRO, The Purist.
And thank you, Bob Chaloner. Because, once upon a time, our hospital was not for the faint of heart, literally or figuratively. But, today, we can walk through its doors with confidence.