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charity box: an l.e.s. venue hosts a night of giving


The philanthropic and the very, very flexible came together under one Vaudevillian roof last night at the Box, Simon Hammerstein’s dinner-theater hot spot on the Lower East Side, for a benefit celebrating the children’s charity Only Make Believe, founded by Hammerstein’s mother, Dena. “We’re bringing in a different set of people who have never known the kind of work that we’ve done, so it’s a wonderful opportunity,” she said. In the packed reception area, mingling guests included painter Damian Loeb and wife, Zoya; writer Jessica Joffe; film publicist Peggy Siegal; and the master of ceremonies, Mike Myers, who took off his comedic hat for the night. “It was one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever seen in my life and I cried like a baby,” he said, referring to the charity’s work with disabled children in hospitals. Meanwhile, just above his head, a smiling performer was contorting her body around a giant hoop. “Next year is our tenth annual gala,” said Simon Hammerstein about the charity. “So I thought the year before that we should do something different, out of the box—no pun intended.”

Photo: Billy Farrell/

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