For those keeping up with us at AVENUEinsider, gala season is well underway, which means for us attending a slew of kick-off parties that help raise awareness for the charity.  On Tuesday night, Shafi Roepers hosted a fashionable crowd at her gorgeous uptown apartment for the 2011 Silver Hill Gala, being held at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 3rd. Silver Hill is a non-for-profit psychiatric hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut that provides both acute crisis control and longer term residential treatment for psychiatric disorders including addiction and depression.

In attendance at the cocktail fete were this year’s Gala honorary co-chairs Michael Cominotto and designer Dennis Basso, who inspired the first gala event in 2010. Through their dedication and generous efforts, they raised $1.3 million for scholarships for adolescents and young adults needing financial aid to fund residential care at the hospital, something that is not covered by insurance.

Once again, net proceeds from this year will be directed to scholarship support for residential treatment at Silver Hill; this year, however, the focus will expand to include patients of all ages.

Among the fashionable and charitable-minded who turned out to show their support were: Gala Chairs Dr. Sigurd Ackerman and Cecilia McCarton, Pamela Fiori, Janine and Lawrence Haynes, Dr. Amiya Prasad, Jill Roosevelt, Christian Leone, Jamie Gleicher and Rachel Heller.  Mr. Basso gave a speech that was simultaneously witty and heartfelt, saying that “The Silver Hill hospital is very near and dear to us,” and elaborated that “Silver Hill is a rehabilitaton hospital, but it is not JUST that.” He then dryly concluded: “if I forgot anything, I did my best, so…have another drink.” Well, only some of us did.

Speaking of those known for their quick wit, Carrie Fisher—esteemed author, award winning actress, and former patient of Silver Hill – will be honored at the November 3rd Gala for her advocacy work on behalf of mental illness.  While she was not present on Tuesday night, she will be front and center at the Gala celebration, and will undoubtedly entertain and inspire all those who attend.  Definitely an evening we will mark on our ever-busy social calendar.

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