Roslyn Goldstein, part of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation advisory board, threw her signature red hat in the ring for the U.S. presidential election at a luncheon Thursday.
“I have to make an announcement, something that you haven’t heard before, is there anybody here from CNN? Well I guess I’ll make it anyway,” Goldstein said. “I am going to run for president. I am running on the ticket we are the greatest country in the world.”
She joined former “Good Morning America” anchor Joan Lunden on stage at the Waldorf Astoria to raise funds at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Symposium and Awards Luncheon. Guests included former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Leonard and Judy Lauder, William Lauder, Amy Robach, former “Real Housewives of New York City” participant Aviva Drescher and survivors, scientists and guests at the event.
“A woman is newly diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in the U.S. alone,” said Lunden, a breast cancer survivor. Attendees were then able to text their donations in, matched by Goldstein up to $75,000.
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“We’ve raised over $2 million so far today,” said Myra J. Biblowit, president of the BCRF. “For the year that ended June 30, we raised $66 million. And we’re presently funding with grants of $57 million 250 researchers across 14 countries.”
“Hope is in sight,” said Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of The Estée Lauder Cos. and honorary BCRF chairman. “With what we’re doing, we’re going to win this war.”
At the luncheon, Charles M. Perou received the Jill Rose Award for Distinguished Scientific Achievement and Deborah Krulewitch won the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award. Scientists who have received awards from the foundation were also welcomed onto the stage. The BCRF, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993, has raised more than $650 million.
Lauder as a corporation has been focused on mergers and acquisitions lately, unveiling its acquisition of Becca Cosmetics on Friday.
“We’re in a consumer business where by nature we’re running up the down escalator, so if we stop for a moment we’re going backward,” said William Lauder. “Secondly, we’ve got tremendous competitors and we’re in an industry now where the barriers to entry are zero, so you never know where the next competition or competitor is going to come from and so we have a gigantic target painted on our back because of the size of our company. We have to constantly find new ways to reinvent ourselves, to find what’s new and exciting for the consumer, where does she want to shop, how does she want to shop.”
“We’re constantly looking at the field,” William continued, discussing the company’s M&A strategy specifically. “This is something we’ve talked about, is how do you fill the white spaces rather than crowding into the other areas? How do you fill the white spaces within your own portfolio and where you think the consumer may be going and I would say that our most recent acquisitions both fit a strategic imperative for us as well in filling those white spaces for the opportunities we see to round out our portfolio. I don’t think we’ll ever stop.…You feel like the sorcerer’s apprentice. You look at something, you say ‘hey this is pretty great,’ OK fine, then somebody knocks on the door, saying, ‘well if you like this, how about that?’”
Asked about the state of the beauty business, Leonard Lauder said it’s an increasingly confusing space. “Up with confusion. Why up with confusion? When you look at how brands only had 40, 50, 60, 80 percent, that’s up. Look at confusion. Where’s it coming from? Is it coming from mass trading up? Is it coming from department stores trading down? Or is it coming from, we used to be very dependent on the Japanese and Chinese trade. Now it’s coming from all over. It’s new and it’s not so new. So if you ask anyone to explain it they will all hesitate and say how much time do I have to think about my answer?”