Food, Wine and Fundraising

| December 10, 2012

lavo restaurantLast week had the pleasure of attending the first Leukemia Fighters and NY Presbyterian Fundraising event at the amazing Lavo Restaurant and Nightclub in Midtown Manhattan.

Hosted by Dr. Gail Roboz, founder of Leukemia Fighters and the Director of The Leukemia Program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, this was by far the finest fundraiser I have ever attended for a number of reasons. It was a night of great food, music and fun, and they raised money for a great cause, one that often gets overlooked.

Over 200 generous donors gathered in support of Leukemia Fighters, a fund started by Dr Roboz (more recently known for treating Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts). All donations to Leukemia Fighters go directly to the research and treatment of patients at NY Presbyterian Hospital, suffering from rare bone marrow disorders including, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic myeloid leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms.

leukemia fightersUpon arrival at the restaurant, we were greeted outside and led downstairs to a swanky nightclub space on the lower level where the music played and a crowd had already formed. This felt more like a night on the town than a fundraising event. The cocktail hour was already in full motion and the friendly staff was eager to please the hungry crowd with passed hors d’oeuvres including: Whipped Spiced Ricotta & Spinach Crostini, Tuna Tartar Crostini with Avocado Lemon Vinaigrette, Mini Margherita Pizza, and Grilled Steak Crostini, among others.

We mingled a bit and then landed at the bar for a glass of Pinot Noir. There was a short program by Dr Roboz and before we knew it they were serving dinner. They offered a gorgeous buffet dinner with a choice of seating at the tables arranged on the club dance floor, or some more intimate tables around the outside walls. The food selection was just perfect. We started with an Organic Mixed Green Salad and tasted a bit of each of the other dishes presented including: Rigatoni Melenzana, Chicken Marsala, Salmon Oreganato and Italian Herb Crusted Sirloin.

Lavo is a personal favorite so the expectation for outstanding food and service was already there, but it was remarkably impressive to see how they served over 200 people flawlessly.

As the night wound down I couldn’t help but wonder how Leukemia Fighters managed to put together such a great event at one of the hottest clubs in Manhattan and still raise money at the same time. We later found out the space was generously donated.

Kudos to Leukemia Fighters and Lavo for pulling off such a special evening!

For more information about Leukemia Fighters:

If you would like to make a contribution, please make checks payable to “Leukemia Fighters/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital”, c/o Dr. Gail J. Roboz, 520 East 70th Street, Box 403, New York, NY 10021.