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Save the Date April 7, 2017
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Black Tie International:
Third Annual Pink Pearl Gala

Third Annual Pink Pearl Gala Honors the DeGrasses,
Founders of the North Fork Breast Health Coalition 
Wading River – At the Third Annual Pink Pearl Gala on Friday, April 7, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition (NFBHC) will recognize Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband, Antonio DeGrasse, with the Pink Pearl Community Service AwardThe gala was named for the late Pearl Philindas, past president. The dinner and award ceremony, followed by dancing to music provided by DJ Phil, will be held from 6-10 PM in the elegant ballroom at East Wind, 5720 Route 25A, Wading River. 
Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and Antonio DeGrasse, who passed away early last year, founded NFBHC in 1998 because they saw a great need for such an organization on the North Fork, where there is an especially high rate of diagnosis of the disease. A retired teacher, Ann serves on the Riverhead School Board and was board president. Antonio also worked for the Riverhead Central School District, most recently as an assistant principal. He was also a past president of Riverhead Rotary, which was instrumental in providing financial support for the creation and legal foundations of the NFBHC.
NFBHC will also honor Flora Garsten and her husband Irwin, who just recently passed away, with the Pink Pearl Spirit Award. The couple is being recognized for their charitable contributions to the community. As the owners of Apple Honda, Riverhead, they established an annual breast cancer awareness campaign, which has been held every October at the car dealership for the last four years. Including participation at the annual NFBHC 5K Walk, Apple Honda has contributed $27,250 to local breast-cancer patients and survivors.
The first and second annual galas were very successful with hundreds of people attending each of them. Seating for this year’s gala is available for $125 per person. To reserve individual seating, reserve tables for a group or to inquire about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please leave a message at the coalition office in Riverhead at 631-208-8889, contact Event Chair Melanie McEvoy at or visit Tickets are also available through
The North Fork Breast Health Coalition is currently led by President Susan Ruffini. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization supports local breast-cancer patients with programs such as Helping Hand grants. Funds raised by the gala will also allow the group to continue to provide free services such as yoga, massage therapy, reflexology and support groups to breast-cancer patients and survivors.  

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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