Soirée Under the Stars has set an ambitious goal this year to raise $1 million. And it all starts Saturday, Sept. 23 at The Lannin — the newly renovated venue at East Meadow’s Eisenhower Park.
The annual fundraiser from Mount Sinai South Nassau will help benefit its new comprehensive stroke program, part of a $10 million upgrade intended to help save lives on the South Shore by providing enhanced round-the-clock coverage for interventional treatment of complex and life-threatening vascular diseases, such as stroke or aneurysm.
Mount Sinai plans to install a bi-plane 3D interventional radiology imaging suite for precise, rapid treatment of blood clots and vascular diseases. It also will apply for thrombectomy capable stroke center designation from The Joint Commission, which provides accreditation to medical centers like Mount Sinai, opening the door for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
“We are taking things to the next level,” said Joe Calderone, Mount Sinai South Nassau’s spokesman.
This year’s Soirée Under the Stars will honor Rockville Centre’s Anthony Cancellieri, who co-chairs the hospital’s board of directors. Cancellieri has been dedicated to the hospital’s for more than a decade, expanding services from the Rockaways to Massapequa.
“I’m honored,” Cancellieri said. “Our work at Mount Sinai South Nassau will make it one of the best — if not the best — caring facilities on Long Island for years to come.”
For the last 35 years, the hospital has held a special place in Cancellieri’s heart. It was where two of his three children — and five of his eight grandchildren — were born.
Cancellieri felt the need to do something more — volunteering his expertise in public service — after his daughter was injured in a car accident on Merrick Road. Although he was frightened for her well being, thanks to the attentive and dedicated response from hospital staff, Cancellieri said he was able to feel more at ease.
“The compassion and care that was showed to us at South Nassau was unbelievable,” he said. “They didn’t treat us like we were clinicians, they treated us like parents. I never forgot that.”
A few years later, Cancellieri was appointed to Mount Sinai South Nassau’s board of directors. He had been approached because of his years of experience in public service, primarily with the lobbying and development firm of Park Strategies. He had previously worked as a lieutenant with the New York Police Department, and while on leave from the NYPD, served as the deputy commissioner of the city’s finance department, and then as assistant commissioner for the city’s parks department.
When his tenure with the NYPD was over, Cancellieri became the village administrator for Rockville Centre, before becoming a deputy county executive under Tom Suozzi. There, Cancellieri helped lead one of the largest local government organizations in the state.
After joining Mount Sinai South Nassau, Cancellieri spent another four years on the board of trustees with the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. He also is an associate board member of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Cancellieri, as the co-chair of the hospital board, has worked to secure major donations from philanthropic organizations and individuals to support the hospital’s growth. He has also devoted countless hours to the success of the hospital’s annual golf outing and the Soirée Under the Stars gala.
He and his wife MaryLou co-founded RVC Blue Speaks, a grassroots nonprofit supporting those with autism spectrum disorder. In the five years since its founding, the group has raised more than $400,000 to support local autism charities and gifted scholarships to deserving local students.
Cancelllieri’s “leadership, support, and commitment to the hospital’s mission cannot be overestimated,” Dr. Adhi Sharma, president of Mount Sinai South Nassau, said in a release. “There is no one more deserving than Tony, who has helped shepherd our hospital through many milestones, including the affiliation with the Mount Sinai Health System, our $500 million capital campaign, and community support for the staff during and after Covid-19 — which was one of the biggest challenges our hospital and our community has ever faced.”
The annual gala also honors Dr. Matthew Rifkin, chair of South Nassau’s radiology department, as well as Dawn Keiley, senior director of nursing at the hospital.
In addition to the stroke program, funds raised at the soirée will support Mount Sinai South Nassau’s $500 million long-term strategic growth initiative designed to improve service for patients across the South Shore. This includes the recently opened $35 million Mount Sinai Doctors-Long Beach multispecialty medical arts pavilion, as well as the four-story $135 million Feil Family Pavilion and Fennessy Family Emergency Center expansion to the hospital, which will open next year. It will also support the new Wantagh medical arts building, which will begin serving patients in 2025.
This year’s event will feature a two-hour outdoor reception starting at 7 p.m., with food, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and an opportunity to mingle with the hospital’s key supporters, staff, board leadership, and administration.
To learn more about the soirée, purchase tickets, or support the event as a sponsor, call (516) 377-5360.