Presentation of the Breakthrough Science Award to Dr. Kevan Shokat for discovering a method to inhibit a common cancer causing mutation, which led to the development of a new FDA medication for lung cancer.

The 24th Annual Collaborating for a Cure Gala, one of New York City’s much-anticipated Autumn charity events, made its grand return at downtown’s Cipriani Wall Street. Aptly themed Together Again, the 24th Annual fundraiser supported groundbreaking cancer research funded by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF). The Gala raised more than $4,000,000. Known for its history of top-notch live performances, this year’s gala featured a live concert by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit with very special guest artist Warren Haynes.

CBS News Legend Chris Wragge

Notable attendees included: Dr. Samuel Waxman, Marion Waxman, Dr. Kevan Shokat, Deborah Kamali, Mark Fedyk, Erica Feinberg, Matthew Waller, Michael Nierenberg, Elin Nierenberg, Jonny Nierenberg, Dr. Ethan Dmitrovsky, Tess Dmitrovsky, Chris Wragge, Allie Gorin, Jody Gorin, Matt Gorin, David Ronzenhole, Dena K. Weiner, William T. Sullivan, Dennis Loyola, Ruben Fajardo, Cesar Ricci, Howard Kurz, Nancy Kurz, Vinnie Cammarata, Spencer Waxman, Bettina Waxman, Scott Waxman, Randi Schatz, David Hinkelman, Nick Santoro. 

Mark Fedyk With Erica Feinberg And Matthew Waller

This year, SWCRF presented its Fashion Cares Award to Debra S. Waller, Chairman and CEO of Jockey International, Inc. and its first-ever Breakthrough Science Award to Dr. Kevan Shokat, from the University of San Francisco. Waller, who has been personally impacted by cancer in her family, was recognized for her commitment to eradicating cancer and decades of philanthropy. Jockey COO Mark Fedykand the Jockey team represented and accepted the award on behalf of Waller. 

Dr. Samuel Waxman With Marion Waxman

Dr. Shokat, an SWCRF-funded investigator, recently discovered a new compound that effectively shuts off one of the most common cancer-causing genetic mutations – the overactive KRAS protein - which is a driver in lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. This mutant protein was considered “undruggable” for decades, but after 15 years of research and significant investments from SWCRF, a new FDA-approved medication is now available that shrinks these tumors by up to 50 percent with remarkably low toxicity.  

After a cocktail reception across the street, guests made their way to the main dining room where host Michael Nierenberg and emcee Chris Wragge welcomed everyone back. SWCRF CEO & Founder Dr. Samuel Waxman gave a presentation which was followed by a video of the extraordinary work of Dr. Shokat, and then the awards ceremony. Dr. Shokat’s video presentation can be viewed above.

As in previous years, the Collaborating for a Cure Gala included both a silent and live auction during the night’s festivities. The main prize of the night was 7-day Caribbean cruise aboard a brand new, 80-foot, solar-powered, luxury catamaran. Other auction items included 4 tickets to Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Candy the dog, 7 day Tuscany vacation, dinner for 16 at Cipriani vault just to name a few. 

During the gala, SWCRF also announced a new collaboration with the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai to further expand the Foundation’s Aging and Cancer program which includes partnerships with the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Aging, and the Israel Cancer Research Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation is funding breakthrough research to combat breast and ovarian cancer. In the past 10 years, SWCRF has allocated $4 million to its Women’s Cancer Research Program and is currently investing $1,550,000 towards 15 prestigious scientists working on finding new treatments for breast and ovarian cancer.    

Funding for these projects is raised, in part, from the Foundation’s various events such as the Hamptons Happening summer event, their annual Ladies Luncheon, and of the Annual Collaborating for A Cure Gala. 

About Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF):

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research and its mission is to eradicate cancer by funding cutting-edge research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer and develops minimally toxic treatments for patients. Through the Foundation’s collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has awarded more than $100 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe. For more information about the SWCRF research, visit

 Photos Courtesy Of Lawlor Media Group / Patrick McMullan