The Ellen Hermanson Foundation is bringing a lighter side to cancer with a night of comedy. In celebrating 25 years of changing and saving lives, the foundation welcomes comedian Jessica Kirson — who has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “The View,” and “Kevin Can Wait” —and special guest Andrina Wekontash Smith, on Saturday, February 8, from 6:30 to 10 PM at the LTV Media Center in Wainscott.
“I admire Julie Ratner so much. She’s given back to the community and taken her personal family tragedy and turned it into something so giving and generous,” said Charlotte Klein Sasso, owner of Stuart’s Seafood Market with her husband Bruce, and one of the night’s honorees. Ratner is the co-founder and chairwoman of the organization, which helps breast cancer patients and their families cope with the physical and emotional aspects of the disease. Ellen Hermanson, Julie’s sister, succumbed to breast cancer.
“It’s necessary for our community to have such an inspiration,” added Sasso. Her aunt passed away of breast cancer at 47. “Breast cancer used to be something private. As a child, no one really talked about it. It had a stigma. Now there is much more room to stand up for ourselves and demand services. Organizations like the Ellen Hermanson Foundation have been the leaders of this movement for women to really stand up,” Sasso said.
Aiming to continue empowering the movement, Sasso admits that she goes to the breast center to get checked regularly and encourages other women, “Don’t be afraid, act on it as quickly as you can, and get as much help and information as you can.”
Another honoree of the evening is Chris Robbins, who co-founded Robbins Wolfe with Paula and Ken Wolfe in 1987, now the exclusive caterer of Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club. “The idea of being involved and find a cure in any way possible is something that is important to me,” Robbins said. Although having no connection to the disease, fortunately, he has two daughters, ages 22 and 27, whose futures fuel his commitment to the cause.
Cheryl Babinski, chair of the Southampton Golf Club’s charity event for the EHF, has raised $30,000 for the foundation over the course of four years through golf tournaments. Now an eight-year cancer survivor, when she was diagnosed she recalls pink flowers showing up on her doorstep from one of the women at the foundation.
Babinski said, “I call them angels that appeared in my life. It changed my life. From that point on, I wanted to give back and help others.”
The “Tickled Pink” evening will feature food and drinks, live and silent auctions, and tickets are $100. The LTV Media Center is located at 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott. For more info, visit www.ellenhermanson.org.