Of the unique cadre of philanthropic women who are “hands on” at the entities they support is Jean Shafiroff, an honoree at the June 21 Ellen Hermanson Foundation Summer Solstice Gala, hosted by Ellen and Chuck Scarborough at their stunning Southampton home.
Shafiroff — whom I have dubbed “the lady who never repeats a gown,”— arrived wearing a blue dress and then appeared in pink (!). During our post event chat she explained: “I was asked to go home and change into pink — the color of the Cancer Care logo.”
Jean Shafiroff, Chuck Scarborough and Sharon Bush // Photo by: Patrick McMullan
Commenting on the evening’s weather as “magical…with gorgeous white tents set up in case of rain — no floor,” Shafiroff said she was thrilled to be honored along with Robert Chaldoner, president and CEO of Southampton Hospital.
“I helped them raise a lot of money…chaired their galas…have been involved for the past 7-8 years,” she told me. “I so believe in health care for all…. Hospitals just don’t do well without fundraising…they can’t provide the same services.” Touting the hospital’s “heavy summer traffic, which was vital for the community,” Shafiroff added: “Without the hospital, who would want to live out there?”
Focusing on the Summer Solstice theme at the heart of his commentary, Scarborough — whom I first met at a book party his publisher hosted for his first book “Stryker” at the 1978 American Booksellers Association Convention —expounded on how different communities engaged with that planetary phenomenon from ancient times to present day. He spoke movingly about his sister who lost her battle with breast cancer and invited the foundation’s co-founders, Dr. Julie Ratner, and Emily Levin to speak. Both also recalled a sister who lost the battle with cancer.
In her closing remarks, Shafiroff highlighted the importance of the foundation’s work…from pain management to the debilitating effect of breast cancer on the entire family.
The Ellen Hermanson Foundation was established in 1997 in honor of Ellen Hermanson, an activist and forceful voice for breast cancer patients and their families. Among the 400 guests: Martin Shafiroff, Sharon Bush, Nancy Stone and Ike Ude.