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Save the Date May 5, 2023
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Black Tie International Magazine:
Pink Pearl Gala

Pink Pearl Gala


North Fork Breast Health Coalition Observes 25th Anniversary at
Pink Pearl Gala Wading River

Founded in 1998, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition is commemorating the non-profit organization’s 25th Anniversary while celebrating breast-cancer survivors and thrivers, providers and caregivers at the NFBHC Annual Pink Pearl Gala.

The cocktail reception, seated dinner, and dancing to music by Phil Schmidt of Make Some Noise DJs will be held Friday, May 5, from 6-10 PM at East Wind Long Island, 5720 Route 25A, Wading River.

During this year’s gala, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition will honor Dr. Alison Stopeck, Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research, Stony Brook Medicine Department of Hematology and Oncology; and Dr. Iris Zhi, a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and sees patients in the MSK Commack facility.

Both doctors treat Stage IV thrivers from the NFBHC service area. As leaders in metastatic cancer research, Stopeck and Zhi have previously been awarded “Keri Lynn Stromski Stage IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund” grants from NFBHC to help fund their Stage IV research laboratories.

The Pink Pearl Underwriter of this year’s gala will again be the Simmons Point Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. This is the third consecutive year that the company has sponsored the gala at the top level.

With an office in Riverhead, the Simmons Point Group is an experienced group of financial professionals at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC—one of the nation’s most prestigious investment firms.

Dr. David Mangiameli, Surgical Oncology & Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, has also shown his substantial individual support this year. For the first time, he is participating as a Pearl Sponsor, the third level of sponsorship.

Seating for the inspiring, wear-pink or -teal event will be available for $125 per person and $95 for breast-cancer survivors and thrivers through

To reserve individual seating or reserve tables for a group, please e-mail

 or leave a message at the coalition office in Riverhead at 631-208-8889. For information about sponsorship opportunities or contributing to a gift basket, e-mail the same address or call the event chair, Melanie McEvoy Zuhoski, at 917-699-5948.

Two years ago, a new tradition was started. Taking health concerns into consideration, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition held a Pink Pearl Raffle at the organization’s office, 185 Old Country Road, Riverhead, over several days.

This year, the gift baskets may be previewed, and raffle tickets purchased beforehand at the office from April 28-30 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as well as during the gala.

Individuals who cannot attend the gala can still participate in the raffle, which benefits the Keri Lynn Stromski Stage IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund.

The North Fork Breast Health Coalition is currently led by McEvoy Zuhoski. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization supports local breast-cancer patients with programs such as Helping Hand grants.

Beginning in 2021, NFBHC also funds Stage IV research at select laboratories (see above). Proceeds from this event will also allow the group to continue to provide free services such as gentle yoga, reflexology, massage therapy and “Strength for Life” exercise classes to breast-cancer patients and survivors.

They can also receive free hats, scarves, wigs and protheses from the Rita Duva Boutique at the organization’s office. Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband, Antonio, 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 has also served as president of the Riverhead School Board. The gala was named for the late Pearl Philindas, a past president of the coalition


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