Bettina's Take: MSKCC Fifth Annual Spring Ball

The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball is one of the most highly anticipated evenings of the season. It has the right mix of people, venue and entertainment. It's a great cause, and the dynamic (and popular) chairmen work tirelessly to make it a flawless evening.

Last night the Fifth Annual Spring Ball was held at the Temple of Dendur, with tables interspersed throughout the mix of ancient Egypt and modern architecture. Gucci was the sponsor, and chairmen Tory Burch, Muffie Potter Aston, Caryn Zucker and Jamie Tisch were spectacularly swathed in Gucci confections.

"It's a milestone for Sloan Kettering to have such an incredible setting, a great sponsor, and all these people supporting it, raising money for a cause that is special to me and special to everyone in this room," said Burch, who is set to open a store in Beirut this summer.

The Spring Ball's initiative will raise money for a gene targeted cell therapy program for pediatric resistant leukemia, led by Dr. Richard O'Reilly, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at MSKCC.

"This evening raises the profile of the good work that's been done at MSKCC," said Aston. "It will highlight some of the groundbreaking research that Dr. O'Reilly is doing on behalf of children with leukemia. The hospital is one of the most important in the world, for both cancer research and patient care."

After cocktails in the entrance hall of the Metropolitan Museum, guests, including Lyor Cohen, Suzanne and Woody Johnson, Carol Mack, Dayssi and Paul Kanavos, Lauren Santo Domingo, Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner, and Marcia and Richard Mishaan, were asked to make their way to dinner.

After a few informative speeches, Rob Thomas enthralled the crowd with a short and heartfelt concert, followed by DJ D-Nice heating up the dance floor.

"Sloan-Kettering is always there to help people in their times of greatest need, and working on research that will ensure that others will never need their help. I can't think of anything more important," said Zucker.

So true.

Photo: Tory Burch and Caryn Zucker