Melanie McEvoy Zuhoski and NFBHC Board Member Colleen Pennica with one of the dozens of gift baskets that were raffled off at the 2022 gala to benefit the Keri Lynn Stromski Stage IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund. Photo: Jim Lennon, courtesy of North Fork Breast Health Coalition.

The North Fork Breast Health Coalition marks its 25th anniversary while celebrating breast-cancer survivors and thrivers, providers and caregivers at the NFBHC Annual Pink Pearl Gala Friday, May 5 at East Wind in Wading River.

The NFBHC 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.

Tickets are $125 per person and $95 for breast-cancer survivors and thrivers and include a cocktail reception, seated dinner, and dancing to music by Phil Schmidt of Make Some Noise DJs. The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m.

Tickets will be available for through To reserve individual seating or tables for a group, e-mail 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, at 917-699-5948.

Pink Pearl Raffle baskets may be previewed at the organization’s office, 185 Old Country Road, Riverhead April 28-30 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), where raffle tickets will also be offered for sale. Raffle ticket sales will continue during the gala, where the drawing will take place. The raffle benefits the Keri Lynn Stromski Stage IV Breast Cancer Research and Support Fund.

The North Fork Breast Health Coalition is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that supports local breast-cancer patients with programs such as Helping Hand grants. NFBHC also funds Stage IV research at select laboratories. 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.

NFBHC was founded in 1998 by Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and her late husband Antonio 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. The gala was named for the late Pearl Philindas, a past president of the coalition.

Disclosure: RiverheadLOCAL is a media sponsor of this event.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor and attorney. Her work has been recognized with numerous journalism awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She was also honored in 2020 with a NY State Senate Woman of Distinction Award for her trailblazing work in local online news. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.