Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Atlanta Social Diary with a touch of Palm Beach

The Gala Dinner Dance for the High Museum of Art Atlanta.
ATLANTA, G.A. — In its 15th year, the 2007 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction broke all past  records, including 2006’s Live Auction total of more than $1.5 million. Silent auctions on Friday and  Saturday, as well as a Paddle Raise during the Live Auction, brought in $300,000 for a grand total of over  $1.8 million in auction sales—a 20% increase from 2006. 
Celebrating the Museum's three-year partnership with the Musée du Louvre, “Louvre Atlanta,” the  auction theme was “Wine is King: A Highly Royal Benefit.” Organized by volunteer co-chairs, Robin  Howell and Katie Johnson, the auction events were held in festive big-top tents decorated with the royal  colors of purple and blue.  
Bidders were delighted with more than 250 live- and silent-auction lots offering exclusive opportunities to  taste, tour and visit with more than 80 vintners from California, France, California, Italy and South  Africa, as well as the chance to purchase cult wines, rare vintages and an unprecedented number of large-  format bottles. Legendary vintners Jim and Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena were the Auction’s Special  Guests of Honor. Veteran auctioneers Michael Davis of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. of Chicago, and Ursula  Hermacinski of California’s Screaming Eagle and Jonata Wineries again wielded the gavel for the Live  Auction on Saturday. 

In Atlanta, they held the 2nd annual Paddle Raise in support of youth education at the High, including programs such as the “I See Literacy/I See History” project and the Atlanta Public Schools After-School Project.
Merry McCleary with AVYVE guests
Jimmy Mann, Anne Morgan, and Marcia and John Donnell
They honored Wine Auction manager Woodie Wisebram for her 15 years of service. This year’s Paddle Raise  allowed bidders to contribute to the fund from $350 to $10,000 each, totaling $160,000. 
The highest single auction bid of the day was $90,000 for a wine adventure to Argentina for six, offered by winemaker Paul Hobbs of Paul Hobbs Wines and Vina Cobos. Another record-breaking sale came from Jim Clendenen, the Auction’s Special Friend-In-Wine, owner and winemaker of Au Bon Climat. Thrilling the crowd when he announced that he had named a section of his vineyard for auction founder  Dick Denny and his wife Marg, Jim offered a barrel of XV-anniversary Pinot Noir made from that section to four bidders for a total of $120,000. 
The highlights of the live auction were:

• $60,000 for a trip for eight with two nights at Blackberry Farm, hosted by Sam and Mary Celeste Beall, and two nights in Santa Barbara at Jonata Winery, hosted by Charles and Ali Banks
• $45,000 for a Royal Weekend at Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, including private jet transportation and ten vintages of big bottles of Montelena wines. 
• $38,000 for a wine dinner for ten hosted by French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte at the French residence in Washington, D.C.
Lisa McDavid with Joe Best and and Michael Browne
Aubrey Burleson (Middle) with his guests from Knoxville
L. to r.: Robin Howell (Auction Co-Chair), Hilary White (Special Guest Chef, Buckhead Life Group), Alice Medrich (Special Guest Chef, Cocolat), Paula Lambert (Special Guest Chef, The Mozzarella Company), Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Special Guest Chef, cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV host), Katie Johnson (Auction Co-Chair); Wine Auction XV gala volunteers.
Norvin Hagan (Geographics, Premier Sponsor) and Liz Warfford
Katie Johnson and Margaret Dozier
L. to r.: Lincoln Stevens (Executive Chef, A Legendary Event), Linda Harrell (Food 101 Concepts), Virginia Willis (Virginia Willis Culinary Productions), Hilary White (Special Guest Chef, Buckhead Life Group), Alice Medrich (Special Guest Chef, Cocolat), Paula Lambert (Special Guest Chef, The Mozzarella Company), Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Special Guest Chef, cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV host), Tony Conway (A Legendary Event), and Barbara Pires (Metrotainment Bakery); Dr. Revena of Revena Family Vineyard with Select Benefactor and Donor Thomas Arvid.
Jim Clendenen (owner/winemaker Au Bon Climat), Bob Amick (Concentrics Restaurants) with Sommeliers Chantelle Pabros and Herve Pennequin (Nikolai's Roof)
Cole and Shelley Sawyer, Gina Christman (Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Premier Sponsor) and guest Mark Harris
Lincoln Stevens (Executive Chef, A Legendary Event), Hilary White (Special Guest Chef, Buckhead Life Group), and Robin Howell
Ms. Margery Gildner and Dr. Richard Offutt with Carroll and George Griffin
Jeffrey Grove (High Museum Wieland Family Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art), Louise Sams (Top Bidder and Presenting Sponsor, Turner Broadcasting) with brother Coke Sams
Top Bidder Eliza Olander celebrating with fellow top bidder Greg Gregory
Tim and Dawn Severt with Michelle and David Crosland
Benefactors Nick Franz and Paul Thodeson with Todd Rushing of Concentrics Restaurants and Guest (celebrating their top bid for a trip to California wine country with the Concentrics chefs)
Vanessa Arvid with her gala guests
Street Nalley, Stephanie Simpson, and Katie and Slater Nalley
Auctioneers Michael Davis and Ursula Hermacinski
Auction Co-Chairs Robin Howell and Katie Johnson
Kristie Abney, Greg Gregory, and Jeff Murray
More from Atlanta — The Atlanta Heart Ball celebrated its 26th anniversary by raising $1 million for the American Heart Association’s Atlanta Division. It was the most successful Heart Ball to date and one of the association’s top 10 social event fundraisers in the country. 

The ball’s theme was “Stars of the Heart.” More than 600 people attended at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead to honor the evening’s biggest star, Dr. Christopher Leggett, Director of Cardiology at Medical Associates of North Georgia and a Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta physician, for his outstanding contributions, dedication and service in the field of medicine.  Dr. Leggett became the first African American to serve as honoree for this event.

Dr. Keith Dockery, Ingrid Saunders Jones, and Marian Dockery
The evening was filled with moving testimonials and tributes to Dr. Leggett from patients who had been under his excellent care. These and other portions of the evening clearly illuminated the purpose of the event which is to raise funds to continue the fight against America’s number one killer-heart disease.

The 2007 Atlanta Heart Ball was chaired by Vicki R. Palmer, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration for Coca-Cola Enterprises. The ball’s Corporate Chair was Evern Cooper Epps, recently retired President of the UPS Foundation and Vice President of UPS Corporate Relations.  This year’s Atlanta Heart Ball included a special appeal for donors to help raise valuable dollars for children’s heart disease prevention and education.  In the past 26 years, the Atlanta Heart Ball has raised more than $12 million to support the American Heart Association.

This year’s Heart Ball guests included both corporate and individual patrons from not only the Atlanta area but from around the country. Among those in attendance were John Brock CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Ingrid Saunders Jones of  The Coca-Cola Company; world renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital; Mr. Earl Graves, Founder and President of the Board of Black Enterprise Magazine; the Honorable Harold Melton, Georgia Supreme Court; Lisa Borders, President Atlanta City Council; Mary Rose Taylor; Dr. John Maupin Jr., President of the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from diseases of the heart and stroke. These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005–06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit
2007 Heart Ball Honoree, Dr. Leggett with his mom Ethel Leggett
Bob and Holly Stevens
Al Byrd and Dr. Bill Early
Michael and Lovette Russell with Candy and Dr. Ben Carson
John Culhane, MJ Levine, Diane Culhane, and Howard Levine
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Tucker
Joe Washington and Lynne Scroggins
Dr. Christopher Leggett, 2007 Atlanta Heart Ball Honoree, with John Brock, President and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises
Millie Smith and Lisa Robinson
2007 Heart Ball Honoree, Dr. Leggett with his mom Ethel Leggett
Veronica Biggins, Gay Love, Franklin Biggins, and Debra Hulse
John and Vicki Palmer with Chris and Denise Leggett
Denise Leggett with Candy and Dr. Ben Carson and Lisa Borders
Dr. Joe and Missy Craver with Dr. Harold and Barbara Ramos
Mary and Carl Ware
Sheri and Steve Labovitz
Eileen and Dr John Maupin with Monica and John Pearson
Chris Womack with Earl Graves
John Brock and John Downs of Coca-Cola Enterprises
Dr. Averel Synder and John Palmer
Mary Rose Taylor and Randy Jones
L. to r.: George and Marlee Puskar with Pam and Micheal Gutt; Dr. Willie and Leteria Clemmons.
Tracy and Charles Joyner
2007 Heart Ball Emcees, Scott Slade and Monica Pearson
Evern and Elze Epps

And over in Palm Beach — Annie Falk, Marie Samuels and Tracy Stern planned another over-the-top Alice in Wonderland themed party, the Armory Art Center Mad Hatter’s Tea Party held at Club Colette in Palm Beach. Guests wore their wildest, yet stylish hats to bid on one-of-a-kind hand made teapots.      

The room was red and black and the tables were set with a playing card theme.  As guests sat down for lunch, some replaced their hats with the creative napkin rings – gemstone headband tiaras made by Marie Samuel of Everyday Tiaras.  The tea partiers sipped on signature teas courtesy of Tracy Stern SALONTEA, and the fabulous lunch kept in the party theme complete with “eat me” on the heart and diamond shaped desserts.

Ivana Trump
The luncheon was a sell-out success again. Therese Shehan, executive director for the Armory said: “This event has become all about the hat.  From feathers and ribbons to paint brushes and tea cups.  And the chairs did an outstanding job with every little detail.”

During the luncheon, fashion icon Iris Apfel took note of all the outrageous hats.  As hat judge for the luncheon, Apfel awarded “Most Wild and Wacky Hat” to Brian Somerville, “Most Creative Hat” to Lucinda PascaleStonestrom, “Most Unique Hat” to Natalie Barasch and “Best Themed Hat” to Betsy Meany.  Prizes were courtesy of Eric Javits and Tiffany & Co. 

The funds raised during the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party benefit the Armory’s artists-in-residence programs in ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and painting.

Sponsors for the event included Annie Falk, Mary and Robert Montgomery, Regina Porten, Everyday Tiaras, Tracy Stern SALONTEA and Wachovia Wealth Management.  Mia Matthews was a Tea Pot sponsor and Tea Cup sponsors included Catherine Adler, Kara Ross, Linda Silpe, Lori Stoll, Jim Swope and Moira Wolofsky-Fiore.  

Celebrating 20 years of artistic excellence, the Armory Art Center is a not-for-profit community-based visual arts center providing opportunities for individual growth, self-expression, increased awareness and appreciation of the arts through participation in studio, exhibition, lecture and other educational programs. The Center seeks to educate, enrich and engage a diverse population through the "experience of art."

For more information on the Armory Art Center, please call 561.832.1776 or visit the Armory’s website at
Particia Yunghanns and Suzette Morris
Lucinda Stonestrom, Brian Somerville, Natalie Barasch, and Betsy Meany
Luiza Nasielewska, Tiffany Spadafora, and Joanna Ballarini
Petra Levin, Mia Matthews, and Daniela di Lorenzo
Tracy Stern, Iris Apfel, Annie Falk, and Marie Samuels
Jasmine Horowitz and Elizabeth Scokin

Photographs by © Ross Henderson Photography (High Museum)