05/10/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
Katie Couric was playing cruise director April 24 when stars boarded the Manhattan-docked Queen Mary 2 for an evening of Richard Rodgers music to benefit colon cancer research and education. Hosting politicos, socialites and celebrities, Couric—who lost husband Jay Monahan to the disease in 1998—raised $4.8 million. "All these performers [did] this for not one penny," said Couric. "Clearly, it's extraordinarily gratifying for me."