Reality TV stars, celebrities and philanthropists joined together Friday to help raise awareness and more than $760,000 for breast cancer research.
“Awareness is so important,” said Theresa Caputo, star of TLC’s “Long Island Medium.” “Even if they come here and then they decide to get tested, it can save a life.”
Caputo was among the nearly 700 guests who attended the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Pink Promises event at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
“It’s just an amazing organization,” said Kelly Killoren Bensimon, former star of “The Real Housewives of New York City.” “It touches a lot of people’s lives.”
Bensimon who attended the event with her 14-year-old daughter, Sea Louise Bensimon, became a last-minute replacement as host for the Pink Promises event after Giuliana Rancic canceled. The “E! News” anchor told the crowd in a video message that she had to take an immediate flight home to take care of a family emergency regarding her newborn son.
“It’s a good way for her to get an idea of what charity is,” Bensimon said of her daughter. “I want her to be raised in an environment where that’s important.”
Event organizers Stephanie and Ian Ginsberg started the Pink Promises event in 2010.
“Breast cancer is so prevalent on Long Island that we decided we should have an event here to help the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” said Stephanie Ginsberg of Brooklyn.
After her sister Betsy Swersky was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was prompted into action.
“I went back to my husband and told him we had to do something,” Ginsberg said.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 12 percent of women in the United States are at risk of developing an invasive type of breast cancer.
“I’ve always been a supporter of breast cancer awareness,” said Erin Wilhelmi, actress in the newly released movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Her grandmother recently celebrated 10 years of being in remission.
“It’s such a special night,” Wilhelmi said. “Where everyone comes together for one night, for one cause.”