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Katie Couric's Star-Studded Benefit

November 14, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

Entertainment Industry Foundation's 42nd & Vine...Hollywood Hits Broadway benefit Waldorf=Astoria Tuesday, 11.12.02, 6 PM onward
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The colonoscopy jokes were flying at the Waldorf=Astoria, where Katie Couric brought together an outstanding lineup of stars for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's (EIF) 42nd & Vine...Hollywood Hits Broadway fund-raiser. Held to benefit the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the EIF's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, the event featured a who's who of film, Broadway and television performing selections from West Side Story for the evening's entertainment. (Monahan—Couric's late husband—died of colon cancer in 1998).

Among the stars Couric wrangled to participate in the performance were Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Kevin Spacey, Kelsey Grammer, Beyoncé Knowles, Bette Midler, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Klein, Heather Headley, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, four Sopranos, and hosts Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep. More celebs, including former mayor and prostate cancer survivor Rudy Giuliani, were in attendance with guests who shelled out at least $2,500 a ticket to experience the evening. The event was produced by EIF president and CEO Lisa Paulsen, and raised $5 million.

The second most-fabulous thing about the evening had to be the gifts. On 3 Productions put together two different bags: One for the celebrity talent and another for the benefit attendees. The talent bag contained Altec Lansing speakers, a W Hotel bathrobe, Ermenegildo Zegna ties, a Cynthia Steffe umbrella, and tons of gift certificates and cosmetic products packed into a Buzz by Jane Fox duffle bag. The attendee goodies were packed into a Kenneth Cole drawstring tote, and contained a scaled-back version of the talent bags. All bags contained a special bracelet created by Italargento especially for the event, and proceeds from public sales of the bracelet will go to the Monahan center.

Suzanne Ito

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