NEW YORK — Call it a million-dollar lunch.
Actually, make that several million. Evelyn Lauder, senior corporate vice president of The Estée Lauder Cos. and founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), raised close to $4 million for breast cancer research at her seventh annual symposium and awards luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria here on Thursday.
More than 850 attendees helped raise $1.35 million in funds, while the family of the late philanthropist Lillian Schuman Goldman contributed an additional $1 million, and General Mills gave $1.4 million to the cause. And Lauder — who noted that more than 85 cents out of every dollar raised goes directly to research — didn’t waste any time in sharing the wealth: more than $11.2 million in grants were presented to 63 breast cancer researchers at the lunch.
The event, whose underwriters included GE Medical Systems, the Condé Nast Media Group, Ann and Herb Siegel and Estée Lauder, also recognized others integral to the fight against breast cancer. Designer Ralph Lauren presented the Jill Rose Award —?named for the late philanthropist and BCRF board member — to Harold P. Freeman, associate director of the National Cancer Institute and director of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, while the Humanitarian Award was given to the family of tennis star Andre Agassi, whose sister Tami and mother Elizabeth are both breast cancer survivors.
Since 1990, Lauder’s efforts through the BCRF —?which she founded in 1993 — and other charity efforts, including the fund drive to build and equip the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, has helped to raise more than $65 million toward breast cancer treatment and research initiatives.