Wrestler Hulk Hogan, Miss Long Island Teen 2018Alexa Cox and boxer Gerry Cooney were among the big names that came to PinkTie.org's fundraiser June 11, 2018. Photos by Joe Abate.

Knicks legend John Starks, wrestler Hulk Hogan and American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis were among more than 2,000 people that turned out for a must-attend PinkTie.org fundraiser Monday in East Meadow.

Benevolent local business leaders packed The Carltun in Eisenhower Park for the star-studded event, billed as LI’s largest business charity networking group and fastest-growing philanthropic movement. Proceeds were donated to the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

“I’m here to support my good friend Jim,” said Starks, referring to wrestler Jimmy Hart. “He’s been an incredible celebrity for getting guys to come out and support the PinkTie event year after year. He’s done so much for charities and I want to come out and lend a helping hand too.”

The event featured live music, a wine lounge, open bar, casino games, and plenty of food provided by the Carltun and supporting businesses. Celebrities and athletes mingled with the crowd of business owners and volunteers and voiced their reasons for donating.

“I think it’s important to donate to PinkTie because it all goes back to charity, the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and I think that’s a really great cause,” said Alexa Cox, Miss Long Island Teen 2018. “My mother used to work there so I love being here.”

PinkTie.org was founded more than five years ago by Mike Cave and Rich Cave as an effort to raise money for a family member battling breast cancer. Since then, the organization has raised millions of dollars for local Long Island charities such as the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation and the Carol M. Baldwin Research Fund.

“I’m a father myself and when I see what these young families go through it breaks my heart,” said Maroulis, who recently toured in Detroit and came to LI just for the event. “Anything we can do to lend support, I’m blessed to be in a position to help out and bring some excitement to a gala like this. I’m just happy to be here and to lend a little support to an awesome organization.”

The 2018 PinkTie gala was estimated to have raised nearly half a million dollars for charity, and the organization continues to get 1,000 professionals to commit to contributing $100 per quarter. For information on how to get involved, go to pinktie.org or call 516-986-PINK.

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