Cigar Aficionado

Night to Remember 2008

Memorable. I should write it in capital letters because Cigar Aficionado’s annual fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation was that, and a whole lot more. The black tie affair is my favorite cigar dinner every year, and last night just added to the event’s lore and history.

Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Cigar Aficionado, announced that the original co-hosts couldn’t make it, so he had gone out and found a tribute act to replace the Blues Brothers. But the crowd figured out what was happening pretty quickly as the first throbbing beats of "Sweet Home Chicago" echoed across the pool room of the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. The Blues Brothers, Brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) and the blood brother, Brother Zee (Jim Belushi) strutted down the stairs in their trademark black suits, black hats and black sunglasses. The co-hosts for this year’s dinner proceeded to play five songs. There was nowhere to dance, but the crowd was moving with the music.

After the performance, Mr. Shanken began the auction of mystery wines; people bid on the wines without knowing what they are because they are in brown paper bags. Some of the wines included a 1928 Chateau d'Yquem, a 1945 Latour, and a 1945 Gruaud Larose in magnum. The deal is that every purchaser of the wines must open them that evening for their table. So, the lucky five tables got some great wines for the night.

The total proceeds for the night reached $1 million. Prostate Cancer Foundation founder Michael Milken told the crowd that the dinner had helped save tens of thousands of lives since its inception because the research that had been made possible by the contributions was reducing the mortality rates among men in the United States and around the world. I’ll let Dave Savona give you all the details in his news story about the event.

Yes, there were cigars too, both during the cocktail hour and then after the final plate of food had been served at the dinner portion of the evening. People sat around enjoying a glass of 1977 Taylor Fladgate Port, and puffing away on their cigars.

There really aren’t words to describe the wonderful feeling of camaraderie, and now history, that permeates the Night to Remember. I only wish you all could experience it once. You’d understand once again how the fellowship of the cigar can produce truly extraordinary gatherings, and contribute to our greater well-being. I know we’ve all felt it. And, I consider myself very fortunate to be reminded of it every year at this dinner.

"So what cigar did you partake with the TF port? How was it?" —April 17, 2008 17:35 PM
"Gordon, Before the event I was happy to support a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer, after hearing Michael Milken speak, I was honored to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to nexts year event.Alan Rubin" —April 22, 2008 18:32 PM
"I actually lit up a Cuaba Salamones that was given to me by one of the gentlemen who attended the dinner. I didn't have a cigar carrier with me, so I figured it was only right that I smoke it right there, and not run the risk of damaging it on the way home. I know you all understand." —April 18, 2008 13:27 PM
"Hey! Did you see me there?! I was the frumpy guy standing outside shaking a dirty Burger King cup in front of you. Greg Mottola took pity on me and poured some Yquem in my cup. sure tasted good with those filthy coins rattling 'round in there. ;)" —April 18, 2008 16:56 PM