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The fifth annual Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball was glitzier than ever on Wednesday night, aided by a location change — the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and some heavily gilded gowns from the event’s sponsor, Gucci.
The emphasis was on “heavy” for Lauren Remington Platt: “This is not some flimsy garment,” she said of her gold floor length beaded dress.
Anja Rubik, Lauren Santo Domingo, Kelly Ripa and Mark Conseulos were also on hand for the benefit, along with event co-chairs Jamie Tisch, Caryn Zucker, Tory Burch, Muffie Potter Aston and Annette Rickel. Inside the Temple of Dendur, Richard O’Reilly gave a brief, moving speech about his new initiative of targeted gene therapy for children and adults with resistant leukemia. Sotheby’s Jamie Niven followed by raising several hundreds of thousands of dollars via live donations from diners, auction-style.
“I’m really glad that Tory [Burch] thought of me, asked me to participate,” said Rob Thomas, the night’s post-dinner musical performer. Georgina Bloomberg was seated with the singer and his wife, Marisol Maldonado, and all three instantly fell into a conversation about charities, though of a more canine bent. Bloomberg, a professional equestrian, is a passionate animal lover.
“I have five dogs,” she explained, citing one’s adoption as a “life changing moment….I hadn’t grown up knowing about animal shelters, I adopted [this dog] and then really knew I had to become involved with this cause.” Thomas and Maldonado have recently opened a shelter in Puerto Rico, and have a few dogs themselves.
“It’s kind of sad, but our life revolves around these dogs,” Thomas shrugged.
“They’re like your kids,” Bloomberg suggested.
“I have a son from a previous…he lives with his mom. He’s turning 14,” Thomas laughed, “Everything about that is wrong. How old am I?”
Maldonado smiled: “My dogs are my kids.”
Thomas later took to the stage to croon a selection of his greatest hits. He beamed out over the crowd midway through his performance: “That was a downer, wasn’t it, these songs? Well, after I’m done here, they’ve got a DJ, and there’s gonna be some dancing. I want you all to remember: there are people taking pictures here. Keep that s–t locked down. Keep it under control. You don’t want to see those pictures.”