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Lauder Jewelry Auction Raises $22.2M at Sotheby’s

The net proceeds from the collections will benefit the BCRF.

A year after Breast Cancer Research Foundation founder Evelyn H. Lauder passed away, her contribution continues to be felt.

A Sotheby’s auction of a selection of jewels from the collections of Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder on Wednesday raised $22.2 million, well above the presale estimate of $18 million. The net proceeds from the collections will benefit the BCRF. Evelyn Lauder’s Oscar Heyman & Brothers pink diamond ring led the day’s results, selling for $8.6 million.

The previous week, the BCRF paid tribute to Lauder by presenting the first research grant given in her name at the organization’s annual luncheon and symposium, emceed by Deborah Norville.

The Evelyn H. Lauder Founders Fund was created by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and its acting chairman, Leonard A. Lauder, who is also chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “I am here to keep [Evelyn]’s dream alive — to find a cure for breast cancer,” an emotional Leonard Lauder told the crowd of about 800.

The $8 million grant will support a multi-institutional and multiyear research project which is expected to have implications for the management of more than just breast cancer, noted Larry Norton, scientific director of the BCRF.

About $2.1 million was raised by the event itself. During the luncheon, Play for P.I.N.K., a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to raising money for BCRF, presented the BCRF with a record-breaking $4 million donation, which will be used to support 15 research projects led by BCRF grantees. A spirited Text-to-Pledge competition led by longtime BCRF supporter Roz Goldstein garnered nearly $200,000 after Goldstein made a $50,000 match donation for the initiative. Not to be outdone, audience member Meyer Grodetsky also made a $50,000 donation.