March 31, 1998 12:00 AM

Elton John, Bette Midler, and Liz Hurley helped honor noted oncologist Dr. Larry Norton in New York Wednesday night, at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s annual Spring Gala. Despite the serious nature of the affair — Norton is head of solid tumor oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center — Midler told PEOPLE, “I’m having a ball.” Hurley said, “It was my job to bring in Elton. It was the easiest job I’ve ever had. As soon as I asked him, he said ‘Yes!’ ” Indeed, after starting his set with “Your Song,” Sir Elton pledged his support for the fight against breast cancer from the stage. “I’ll be here every year for you,” he told the audience. “This is a great event.” John then went on to play hits like “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” “Daniel,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Philadelphia Freedom” — as the 650 members of the black-tie audience rocked in their seats.

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