2012 November 29

Silver Hill Hospital's Humanitarian Gala

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Michael Cominotto, Neil Sedaka, Coco Rocha, and Dennis Basso Michael Cominotto, Neil Sedaka, Coco Rocha, and Dennis Basso
Patrick McMullan
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(NEW YORK) "Martha Stewart had a personal emergency, so I'm pitching in [as emcee]. I do like to cook, and I do like to garden," announced Dennis Basso on the podium at the 2012 Silver Hill Hospital gala last night at Cipriani 42nd Street. The designer was on hand—along with his partner, style director Michael Cominotto—as board members and honorary co-chairs of the feel-good soiree, which drew a full house and sat the likes of Coco Rocha, Joan Collins, Tamara Mellon, Brian Atwood, Colin Cowie, Debbie Bancroft, Amy Fine Collins, Alexandra Lebenthal, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, and former Rich Girls' reality star (and special speaker) Jaime Gleicher

"Silver Hill has saved lives numerous times over, and we're so proud to be a part of this evening," Basso added. "Most importantly, so many of our friends have had difficult times and trying situations, and they've been able to turn to Silver Hill for unbelievable guidance." That expert guidance, which involves long-term residential treatment programs for psychiatric and addictive disorders, is the numero uno reason for the fête accompli's fundraiser, along with honoring Ward F. Cleary, the co-chair of the Silver Hill board, with the Founder's Award, former co-chair Steve Stillerman (in memoriam) with the Visionary's Award, and singing sensation Neil Sedaka with the first President's Award. Lydia Fenet, senior VP and international director of strategic partnerships at Christie's, charged up the paddle-raise and raked in $900,000 for patients without adequate resources to cover the costs.

Mid-party, Cominotto took to the stage to intro longtime friend Sedaka with a brief history of his career, including the mention of five Grammy noms. "Michael, your introduction was stupendous, but I did win one Grammy!" smiled the legendary songster. Then, Sedaka segued from speech into song: "I had always heard about the wonderful work Silver Hill does, even before Michael's rewarding experience there. For me, music can be very therapeutic both physically and emotionally. If you'll permit me, I've written a little song for this evening's event." Sedaka proceeded to bring the house down with a montage of rousing ditties from "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" to "Laughter In The Rain." Afterward, the live auction commenced with covetable goodies, like a performance by DJ Cassidy at your next party. (Quel régal!) One lucky bidder won the prize for a cool $5,000—a bargain compared to his typical asking price of $50,000. Last item du nuit? A luxe Dennis Basso sable that sold for $10,000. "If you wear the sable," said the auctioneer. "You automatically become as tall, thin, and young [as the model]. It's the magic of Dennis Basso's work!" Indeed.

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