North Fork Breast
Health Coalition Observes 25th Anniversary at
Pink Pearl Gala Wading River
Founded in 1998, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition is
commemorating the non-profit organization’s 25th Anniversary
while celebrating breast-cancer survivors and thrivers,
providers and caregivers at the NFBHC Annual Pink Pearl
The cocktail reception, seated dinner, and dancing to music
by Phil Schmidt of Make Some Noise DJs will be held Friday,
May 5, from 6-10 PM at East Wind Long Island, 5720 Route
25A, Wading River.
During this year’s gala, the North Fork Breast Health
Coalition will honor Dr. Alison Stopeck, Associate Director
for Clinical and Translational Research, Stony Brook
Medicine Department of Hematology and Oncology; and Dr. Iris
Zhi, a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer
at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and sees patients
in the MSK Commack facility.
Both doctors treat Stage IV thrivers from the NFBHC service
area. As leaders in metastatic cancer research, Stopeck and
Zhi have previously been awarded “Keri Lynn Stromski Stage
IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund” grants from
NFBHC to help fund their Stage IV research laboratories.
The Pink Pearl Underwriter of this year’s gala will again be
the Simmons Point Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. This
is the third consecutive year that the company has sponsored
the gala at the top level.
With an office in Riverhead, the Simmons Point Group is an
experienced group of financial professionals at Janney
Montgomery Scott LLC—one of the nation’s most prestigious
Dr. David Mangiameli, Surgical Oncology & Oncoplastic Breast
Surgery, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, has also shown
his substantial individual support this year. For the first
time, he is participating as a Pearl Sponsor, the third
level of sponsorship.
Seating for the inspiring, wear-pink or -teal event will be
available for $125 per person and $95 for breast-cancer
survivors and thrivers through
individual seating or reserve tables for a group, please
or leave a
message at the coalition office in Riverhead at
631-208-8889. For information about sponsorship
opportunities or contributing to a gift basket, e-mail the
same address or call the event chair, Melanie McEvoy Zuhoski,
Two years ago, a new tradition was started. Taking health
concerns into consideration, the North Fork Breast Health
Coalition held a Pink Pearl Raffle at the organization’s
office, 185 Old Country Road, Riverhead, over several days.
This year, the gift baskets may be previewed, and raffle
tickets purchased beforehand at the office from April 28-30
(Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as well as during the gala.
Individuals who cannot attend the gala can still participate
in the raffle, which benefits the Keri Lynn Stromski Stage
IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund.
The North Fork Breast Health Coalition is currently led by
McEvoy Zuhoski. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization
supports local breast-cancer patients with programs such as
Helping Hand grants.
Beginning in 2021, NFBHC also funds Stage IV research at
select laboratories (see above). Proceeds from this event
will also allow the group to continue to provide free
services such as gentle yoga, reflexology, massage therapy
and “Strength for Life” exercise classes to breast-cancer
patients and survivors.
They can also receive free hats, scarves, wigs and protheses
from the Rita Duva Boutique at the organization’s office.
Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband, Antonio, founded
NFBHC in 1998 because they saw a great need for such an
organization on the North Fork, where there is an especially
high rate of diagnosis of the disease.
A retired teacher, Ann has also served as president of the
Riverhead School Board. The gala was named for the late
Pearl Philindas, a past president of the coalition