Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Schmoozing At Slate For A Good Cause

Last night, I headed down to Slate, an upscale bar and billiards venue in Gramercy, for a low-key fundraiser for The New York AIR Society. AIR supports research, clinical and educational programs at National Jewish Health, the #1 respiratory hospital in the U.S.

About 25 people showed up for the event, including my friend and fellow PR gal Lauren and many of her pals, who showed up to support guest bartender Steve in his charitable efforts.

Slate: Upscale billiards in NYC’s Gramercy district

At the bar, I bonded with effervescent nutrition consultant Francie about the merits of Ann Taylor trousers and a good cocktail. Steve mixed a mean fuzzy navel, and I enjoyed two of them as Francie endearingly attempted to play matchmaker between me and Barry, a tall, friendly Merrill Lynch guy and fellow Upper East Side resident.

The sparks weren’t there, but the conversation flowed as Barry told us about his recent date with a woman newly converted to Judaism. Having grown up in an interfaith family – and converted in the other direction (to Christianity, though I still consider Judaism a big part of my heritage) – I asked what led to his date’s spiritual transition.

He quipped that it must have been peer pressure in college, and I wondered aloud why he hadn’t asked the obvious follow up question. Then again, as a former reporter, I guess I’m a bit more curious than the average Joe.

Speaking of curiosity, I was eager to learn more about Lauren’s adorable friend Michael – especially when he mentioned a recent weekend jaunt to London for a fundraising dinner in memory of his friend Jason Boas. Jason died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34 and established The No Surrender Charitable Trust. No Surrender supports cancer research and serves as a networking site for young adults suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

I love it when an event for one worthy cause leads to learning about another. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of happy hour.

No comments: