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Pink bunnies

FAO Schwartz Brings Joy to Kids
And Money to Sloan Kettering

Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Cutty McGill

HE Associates Committee of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center held its Eleventh Annual Bunny Hop at FAO Schwarz, chaired by Stephanie Griswold and Alexis Waller. It was absolutely wonderful, raising $220,000 to benefit the centerís pediatrics department.

Florist DeJuan Stroud put everybody in a cheery mood with his twelve-foot tall welcoming arch of red tulips, narcissus, hyacinth, laurel leaf winking bunny ears and baskets of eggs, candies and stuffed animals.

Once inside the toy emporium, a magic spell of innocence, exuberance and joy took over. Ear to ear grins were everywhere, not just on the 500 children, because over 550 adults were having just as much fun.

Mark Bitter, Laurie Carson and

Radio City Rockettes Jenny Eakes and Lisa Lewis-Basi were doing high kicks, Magic Al did tricks, Mikey Mike played DJ, Leah Golde sang and Kevin Kruger the face painter achieved the impossible by making the kidsí faces even more adorable than they already were.

Guests and committee members included the chairmenís husbands Roger Griswold and John Waller; Laurie Carson, president of SMSKCC, with her husband Bill; Grace Hightower and son Elliott DeNiro; Debbie and Serena Bancroft; Patricia Duff and daughter Caleigh; Christopher, Tory, Henry and Nicholas Burch, Willow Hunt with mom Tama Janowitz and her godfather R. Couri Hay.

Also Leslie Coleman; Christina Coleman; Mary Darling; Mark Gilbertson, Susan Bodnar, Webb Egerton-Warburton; Leslie Heaney; Richard Torrenzano with Heidi Albertsen; Melanie Seymour Holland; Alexandra Mandis; Nicole and Derek Limbocker; Somers and Jonathon Farkas; and Helen and Storey Schifter.

Courtney Arnot, Kevin and Barbara McLaughlin, Claudia  Fleming, Jennifer Creel, Jill Brooke, Nina Tower, Suzie Fairchild, Rachel Hovnanian, and Mark and Wiggie Bitter were there too with their families.

Rockette Lisa Lewis-Basi,
Stephanie Griswold, Alexis Waller and
Rockette Jenny Eakes under
DeJuan Stroudís arch.

Journalists were represented by Jill Brooke, Mary Hilliard, David Patrick Columbia, Jeffrey Hirsch, Tom Gates, Alison Oneacre, Aaron Gell, Steve Eichner, Cutty McGill, Richard Corkery, CJ Satterwhite and Joanna Molloy who came with her son Eamon Rush.

The famous Bunny Hop goodie bags were waiting at the doors overflowing with gifts from the likes of Eleni's New York Cookies, Frederic Fekkai, Frette and Mattel.

A bag was also sent the next day to each one of the children in cancer care at the center along with pretty pieces of DeJuan Stroudís arch and his floral displays.

The funfest was generously sponsored by Scalamandri, who poured Veuve Clicquot at the kick-off party on February 28, Raggedy Ann and Andy, who were there in person, and Waller Capital who underwrote the invitations. Party Box did the catering.

Nicole Micco deserves a medal for putting it all together so seamlessly.

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