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Starwood CEO Is Benefit's Honoree

June 26, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Man of the Year benefit Sheraton New York Tuesday, 06.19.01, 6 PM to 10 PM
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The Sheraton New York was an apt venue to honor Barry Sternlicht, the CEO of Starwood Hotels, the company that owns (you guessed it) the Sheraton. So, as expected, the hotel put on its best for the New York chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Man of the Year award benefit.

The cocktail hour was a good start. The hotel's Royal Ballroom was arranged with two U-shaped tables of fresh and delicious pastas, and the center table had a large ice sculpture, cold cuts, veggies and an excellent assortment of hors d'oeuvres. At one end of the room another table served salmon. But the piece de resistance was the huge sushi table with a sushi chef--it was the clear winner, and even with 700 people, there was no crowding.

A tightly run cocktail hour led to the dinner at 7 PM in the Grand Ballroom. A band from Hank Lane, with Mike Herman as musical director, featured four great-looking and swinging vocalists who kept things hopping with oldies, although the volume was a little intrusive into dinner conversation. Unlike many events these days, the program did not start after the appetizer; instead, some people event got out on the dance floor during the meal, which is also rare.

The hotel's shrimp, avocado and pineapple salad was refreshing, though the main course of steak and mashed potatoes was a little mundane. The program began as scheduled at 8:45 with a very moving video narrated by Mary Tyler Moore and featuring children who beautifully illustrated the need for fighting juvenile diabetes. The $2 million raised at the event was the largest amount raised by the chapter.

NBC's Dr. Max Gomez served as a last-minute replacement M.C. for the network's Chuck Scarborough, and founding member of the chapter Dina Merrill (wearing rather Palm Beach-looking pedal pushers and a blouse to the black-tie event) gave the award to Sternlicht, who has a child with juvenile diabetes and is a member of the group's board of directors. Singer Gloria Loring, who also has a child with the illness, was the evening's featured entertainment.

--Susan Silver

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