New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) hosted a gala on Monday evening to celebrate the grand opening of its newest cancer treatment center in Port Jefferson Station, which featured a surprise performance by multi-platinum singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw.

When he spoke to the crowd, the CEO of NYCBS, Dr. Jeffery Vacirca, dedicated the new medical building to all of the patients he hoped they would help there in the years to come.

He stressed the importance of local cancer centers so patients wouldn’t have to travel far from home for treatment.

Doctors and staff from NYCBS were on hand along with special guests and local officials like Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Town Legislators Valerie Cartright, Jane Bonner, Kevin LaValle and Neil Foley, and Suffolk Country’s top Sheriff Errol Toulon, Jr., a two-time cancer survivor himself. 

Ricky Nelin, whose company built the 7,000-square-foot facility for NYCBS, was also there.

“I’m excited to finally got it done for Jeff and his team,” Nelin said inside the new building.

Dr. Vacirca praised his work on the building and other centers his company had built for NYCBS in Port Jefferson.

At the glass and stone facility on Route 347, the Brookhaven Town council members along with Sheriff Toulon helped Dr. Vacirca to cut the ribbon on what was the 15th NYCBS center in Suffolk County, the newest of 30 across Long Island and New York City.

Afterward, the crowd was treated to a concert by DeGraw. DeGraw performed his hit songs accompanied only by a guitarist while he played piano. He was in town for a performance at the Paramount in Huntington on Tuesday night.

DeGraw had lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in 2017.

During the ceremony, Supervisor Romaine spoke about the importance of NYCBS being located close to the people who will need it.

“There are so many people that need healing that come here, who find it, and can live a better life,” he said. 

The center officially opened on Monday, July 29.

Scroll down to see photos from the opening gala from reporter Lon Cohen.