Home Nightlife Department Store Tragedies and Glitterati Comedy

Department Store Tragedies and Glitterati Comedy

Justin M. Baer and Steven Beltrani

Photography by Keith Lew. Amy Lico and model

Horace Walpole once said, “the world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” He failed to mention into which of those categories he himself fell, probably because, like most of us, he flitted between the two, weeping and laughing his way to the end of the day. At the end of the day on March 25th, the Cancer Research Institute Young Philanthropists, a group of people who feel everything, hosted a benefit at Saks Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor. Organized by Lauren Rae Levy, Steven Beltrani the commendable charity set out to honor a wonderful cause, that of raising funds and awareness of cancer and it certainly piques some interest. That said, one couldn’t help but notice in attendance were people who spend their days thinking, albeit chiefly about themselves. Life, to them, is most certainly a comedy but I doubt they are what Walpole had in mind when he uttered those almost-famous words.

At first I thought the dichotomy in the room was age-related since everyone was either over 50 or under 30. The DJ, celebrity darling DJ Josh Madden, started the evening by catering to the older generation of revelers. Soft rock, 80s standards, and gently remixed easy pop serenaded the guests as they drank sake and champagne and nibbled on top of the line hors d’oevres. An older gentleman wearing a blue ascot bobbed his head at the bar. An immaculately coiffed woman whose diamonds would fund years of research smiled coyly at a bartender 40 years her senior.

REagan Richards, Alexis Feldman and Lauren Rae Levy



  1. Alexis Feldman is the best thing ever for the Cancer Research Institute. Under her leadership, the fundraising department is headed in the right direction. Only Alexis Feldman can do this and without her guidance it will go back to where it used to be.

  2. It cost $50 to take part in this party, but as it appears by looking at these photos the majority of the ladies spent a whole lot more to look the way they did, I don’t entirely understand why the harsh critique directed at Sarah Hartshorne. Yes, the funds raised are for a good cause. However, those very organizers used the intention of the event for publicity for themselves. Look at the photos/poses …. some in the organizing team clearly think of themselves as movie stars. What a joke! I was there and saw everything. Without singling out any of them, it was nauseating how full of themselves some of them were. It doesn’t take a lot of work to get young people to attend a party for $50, especially if it’s an opportunity to dress glamorous.

  3. The event wasn’t organized by Lauren Rae Levy or Steven Beltrani. The Cancer Research Institute Young Philanthropists Council and CRI staff organized it. Lauren was a guest who donated her styling services as one of the VIP prizes. Steven is a member of the CRI Young Philanthropists Council.

    Congrats to everyone who attended for raising $20k for CRI. And since when is having a good time while doing good a sin?

  4. Your article is a tragedy.. What a joke. Not to mention making absolutely no sense. At least you commented and explained “what your meant.” I’m glad this website hires writers that have to write another 400 words explaining themselves.

    Sarah, I’m sorry if you don’t like the fact that it takes an Elton John concert to get people to donate $2000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Special events are charities’ most successful ways of fundraising. Welcome to earth.

    Kudos to the Cancer Research team.. $25K is amazing especially in a bad economy and from young people “under 30.”
    I can tell you that cancer patients really appreciate the funds, effort and time you guys put in, even if Sarah Hartshorne didn’t.

    See you at the next event!


  5. 1) It’s spelled sake, not saki.

    2) I agree that it was a great event for a really wonderful cause.

    3) The word “tragedy” was just building off the Horace Walpole quote about those who feel viewing life as a tragedy. I’m sorry, and I agree that was unclear. I in no way meant to imply that Saks was taking part in a tragedy or their actions were tragic.

    4) I don’t think the fundraising is tragic at all: I just think sometimes people attend events for a good cause without taking them to heart. It’s like the Jewish idea of kavannah (literally ‘direction’) in doing good deeds. The good that is done is undeniably worthwhile, but what of the intention behind it? If someone gives to a person in need without seeing or acknowledging the need, how can the giver become a better person? I don’t question the organization or the store, I just wonder about the intentions of some of the guests. But, as I said in the article, I’m not one to judge them.

    The Young Philanthropists and Saks Fifth Avenue were working to improve the lives of cancer victims and increase survival rates. Undeniably good kavannah. But I think the glitz and glamour of an event can sometimes obscure the cause in the eyes of those drinking and dancing. I just want to draw attention away from the models, the music and the bar and bring it back to where it belongs. I’m sorry if that came across as overly negative.

  6. Next time, put down the glass of saki and get your facts straight, Scallywag.

    The event raised over $20,000 for the Cancer Research Institute… how is that a tragedy?

    Poor journalism and poor attitude… was an INCREDIBLE event.

  7. what’s the department store tragedy? that saks donated 10% of all sales to CRI? this publication is total garbage and cannot be trusted.

  8. One of my dear friends is on the Young Philanthropists Council and told me that they raised over $20,000 for the Cancer Research Institute… How is that a “tragedy”?

    Next time, put down the glass of saki and get your facts straight, Scallywag.

    Poor journalism and a poor attitude.

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