Wall Streeters dish up $2 million for St. Jude

(New York - November 18, 2003)

Chefs at the Taste of New York dinner

Some of New York City’s finest restaurants are
represented at the Taste of New York event.

On Nov. 18, the single-largest gathering of Wall Street investors took place at The Regent Wall Street in New York … and it was for the benefit of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

More than 700 financiers representing Wall Street’s top financial firms joined together at the 14th annual Taste of New York benefiting St. Jude. The event was sponsored by the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation. More than $2 million was raised for St. Jude.

Participants sampled cuisine from some of the area’s finest establishments including Bobby Van’s, Tse Yang and Bayard’s. A live auction featured one-of-a-kind items such as a golf foursome with Michael Jordan in the Bahamas, a chance to attend the Vanity Fair Post Oscars Party, a diamond ring valued at $75,000, golf with all-time favorite Lee Trevino, a Hollywood package including a walk-on part in producer Tom Shadyac’s (Bruce Almighty) next movie and a script from Friends

“For the past 13 years, the Wall Street community has been a steadfast friend to the children of the world suffering from catastrophic diseases, and their 14th year was no exception,” said Richard C. Shadyac, national executive director of ALSAC. “The people of New York and Wall Street have once again reaffirmed their commitment to helping eliminate the scourges of cancer, genetic disease, pediatric AIDS, cholera and other illnesses that plague our children. Their support has been unwavering and has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families.”

The Taste of New York event originally came about when hospital founder Danny Thomas and Wall Street investor John Lattanzio met in 1989 to find a way to bring the Wall Street community into the St. Jude family. The result was a small cocktail reception in 1990 that raised $90,000. From that, Taste of New York was born, becoming the largest single gala event in St. Jude history. This year’s event brings the Wall Street community’s total giving to more than $20 million.

Taste of New York is organized by a volunteer committee of more than 40 investment professionals representing nearly every major stock and investment firm in the industry.

“We participate in this event every year because we know the money we raise will help children in our area and around the country,” said Committee Co-chair Geoffrey Jones of Highlander Asset Management.  “Wall Street is an amazing group of individuals who come together as a family during times of need. And every year, during this time, we come together because the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital need us.”

Proceeds from the event have supported various programs at St. Jude including gene therapy, bone marrow transplantation, immunology and AIDS vaccine research. This year’s proceeds will once again support the bone marrow transplantation program at St. Jude, where more than 150 bone marrow transplant procedures are performed each year.

In addition to the Nov. 18 event, several firms are holding special trading days during which designated commissions will be donated to St. Jude. East Shore Partners will donate commissions from trading during the week of Dec. 8-12; McNamara Trading (PHLX) will donate designated commission from Nov. 19 to St. Jude and Tradition Financial Services held its trading day on Nov. 17.