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On November 14, all bets were on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as investors gathered for the 17th annual Taste of New York, affording Wall Street the opportunity to invest in their brightest futures yet – those of the children of St. Jude.
Since its inception in 1990, Taste of New York has faithfully supported the mission of St. Jude by hosting the annual affair, uniting investors and gourmands in an effort to raise funds for the hospital. This year’s event raised more than $1.4 million.
Featuring cuisine from the finest local restaurants, the sumptuous occasion delighted attendees’ taste buds as it kicked off a three-year commitment to raise $7.5 million to fund a research floor in the Chili’s Care Center, slated for completion in August 2007. The funding commitment will culminate at the 20th annual Taste of New York benefit in 2009.
The city’s top restaurants and dessert specialists provided the gourmet sampling, including Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, Bull Run, Campagnola, AJ Maxwell’s, Butter, Pier 60, Dawat, Il Postino, Paola’s, Water’s Edge, Hawaiian Tropic Zone, Serafina, STK, Junior’s Cheesecakes, and One if By Land, Two if by Sea. The headline sponsor was SAC Capital.
In addition to the culinary display, a host of auction items was available. Items ran the gamut from tickets to a taping of Saturday Night Live and dinner with the Sopranos to a trip to Monaco and an on-field experience at Spring Training with the New York Mets. The premiere auction of the evening was an original, game-used baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, valued at $20K. A Lexus G5 Coupe was also raffled. The live auction raised more than $120,000.
Jim Cramer of MSNBC’s Mad Money, was the emcee and live auctioneer. But the evening was punctuated by special visits from St. Jude patients, Claudia and Jake.
"This year's event showcased the deep commitment that Wall Street holds for the mission of St. Jude. We are proud to be part of a community that is willing to give so generously to support the critical work being done at the hospital," said Michael Lynch, co-chair of the Wall Street Committee.