Prostate Cancer Foundation Gala Takes Over the Hamptons

Dr. Jonathan Simons and Christine Jones. (Credit for all photos: Lieba Nesis)
Nick Bollettieri in tennis shorts

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking research programs, hosted its annual Hamptons shindig at The Parrish Art Museum on Saturday August 25, 2018 with cocktails beginning at 6:30 PM. PCF was started by Michael Milken in 1993 and has raised more than $660 million for the development of lifesaving drugs. The pricey $2,500 tickets did not deter Milken’s friends from attending the sold-out evening boasting upwards of 300 people.

The four days of festivities included a Thursday night dinner, weekend tennis matches which contained both professional and amateur tennis players and a Saturday evening happening. Anyone who has attended a Milken night knows the drill: he gives multiple quizzes to the audience; holds a five minute fundraising portion; and finishes with a lively performance. Milken and superstar doctor Dr. Jonathan Simons have studied the most efficient methods for curing cancer which include the utilization of The Young Investigative Program giving recent MD’s and PhD’s the opportunity to conduct critical research.

Ken and Maria Fishel

These 300 scientists have discovered more than ten miraculous drugs reducing the incidence of male mortality from prostate cancer by one million in the United States and four million worldwide. Milken received six contributions to sponsor these young investigators for $75,000 a year for up to three years eventually raising more than $4 million. He also asked for a moment of silence to honor John McCain who he noted had joined him more than 20 years ago to raise money for cancer research.

PCF is helping other heroic war veterans through its new program which provides veterans with precision oncology diagnostics giving them the same treatment as the CEO of a hedge fund serviced by Sloan Kettering. Simons remarked that at least 14,000 veterans would benefit from the funds raised this evening for the next 24 months with a total of $32 million raised to date during the past 19 years in the Hamptons. Milken estimated the value of the drugs discovered at a staggering $84 billion in today’s marketplace. To say that Milken and Simons have had a high rate of return on investment would be an understatement.

Senator Lindsey Graham and Mike Milken

Many of Milken’s powerful friends joined for the evening including: Steve Mnuchin and Louise Linton, Leon Wagner, Ken and Maria Fishel, Artie Rabin and family, Mitch Modell and dozens of others. Superstar tennis coach, Nick Bollettieri, who trained Venus and Serena Williams, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier-to name a few-was also in attendance and said that while a champion tennis player comes and goes making an impact on people’s lives is something that lasts forever. He recalled a young Anna Kournikova coming to his Academy and how he wishes he could have convinced her mother to change her forehand as she might have been a more successful player. While Bollettieri joked that he was on his eighth wife he said that giving boys and girls an opportunity to achieve was of utmost importance to him and his wife who adopted two Ethiopian sons.

Bollettieri recalled Agassi telling him “I can’t” with Bolletierri responding “you will” and Agassi going onto winning a world championship two weeks later. Bollettieri was similarly hopeful that a cure for cancer “will” be available in the very near future. After a healthy meal of salmon and vegetables was served guests were treated to the tunes of the legendary John Fogerty who at 73 years old has the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager. He wowed the crowd with hits “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Bad Moon Rising” in a high-energy 45-minute performance. At 10:45 PM guests began heading home anticipating another full day of activities in the ongoing fight to eradicate the scourge of cancer.

The room
Bonnie Pfeifer Evans
Julie and John Fogerty

By: Lieba Nesis

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