Friday, April 6, 2007

L.A., Palm Beach, Scottish Social Diary

A dinner honoring Sir Sean Connery and Lady Connery to benefit the Returning Veterans programs of Friends of Scotland charity.
FoundCare is the foundation that is building Palm Beach County’s newest community health center for the uninsured and underinsured (a staggering 225,000 children and adults).  Grace and Chris Meigher hosted what in PB is called a “town sweep” drinks party at Club Colette for it. The evening included a fashion presentation by the edgy Ports 1961 collection, in conjunction with Saks Fifth Avenue.

Among the hundreds of guests- Ports 1961’s Jacqui Wenzel and Tony Alcindor, Kate Gubelmann, Felix Mirando, Susan and Dom Telesco, Robbi and Bruce Toll who along with Lyn and Dan Lerner have made substantial gifts to the FoundCare Capital Campaign, Cynthia Boardman with her son Sam and her sister and brother-in-law Jane and Michael Horvitz, who have endowed the health center’s Wellness Garden (designed by Mario Nievera) in memory of Cynthia and Jane’s much loved parents Honey and Leighton Rosenthal, designer Steven Stolman (now also FoundCare’s Director of Development), Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter, Polly Onet, Lydia Crozier, Jean Tailer, Robert Janjigian and Tom Cahill, M.A. and Chip Quinn with daughter Liz, Talbott and Jack Maxey, Amb Edward and Susie Elson, Tommy Quick with his sister Mary, Betsy Turner, Brett Price, Jackie and Beau Breckenridge, Jack Young, Alex Snyder Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, Peggy and Rodney Dillard, Sandy Thompson, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Susan and John Wanamaker-Leas, Barnette and Ken Druskin, Jim Sugarman (FoundCare’s Chief Development Officer), Candy and Bill Hamm, Mai Harrison and her daughter Cornelia Ercklentz, Broadway press agent Peter Cromarty, Victoria and Minot Amory, Susan and Tim Malloy, Palm Beach restaurateur Michael McCarty and Nancy and Jeffery Smith. A town sweep if there ever was one.
Tim and Susan Malloy
Mary and Joe Webster
Sandy Thompson
Kate Gubelmann and Steven Stolman
Scott Kent and Liz Quinn
Polly Onet
Jacqui Wenzel, Marie Wenzel, and Debra Koch
Robin and Barbara Boylan with Beau Breckenridge
Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter
Leslie Ginn
Amb. Edward and Susie Elson
Chip and M.A. Quinn
Jackie Breckenridge and her mom Connie Shackleford
Susan and Dom Telesco
Lydia Crozier and Mark Weyner
Jack Young and Alex Snyder
Talbott and Jack Maxey
Mai Harrison and daughter Cornelia Ercklentz
Jeffery and Nancy Smith
John and Susan Wanamaker-Leas
Victoria and Minot Amory
Michael McCarty
Christopher Phillips and Betsy Turner
Jim Sugarman, Marie Wenzel, and Lyn and Dan Lerner
Wilbur and Hilary Ross
Michael and Jane Horvitz
Bill and Candy Hamm
Cynthia Boardman and son Sam
Ken and Barnette Druskin
Grace Meigher and Felix Mirando
Brett Price and Betsy Turner
Dan Ponton and Talbott Maxey
Jean Tailer and Charles Schmidt
Geoffrey Thomas
Models in Ports 1961 Spring Collection
Arnold Scaasi, Grace Meigher, and Parker Ladd
Dan Lerner with Robbi and Bruce Toll
Steven Stolman and Michael Carr
Grace Meigher and Jane Pontarelli
Tom Quick and Mary Pedersen

This past Tuesday night in New York, Hennessy Cognac hosted a dinner with Baroness Veronique Bich honoring Sir Sean Connery and Lady Connery to benefit the Returning Veterans programs of Friends of Scotland charity.  Earlier in the evening, Sir Sean cut the ribbon in a ceremony officially opening “Alba House”, the purpose of which is to house and showcase Scottish culture, art, fashion, and more.  Afterwards, invited guests left Alba House to convene at the Georgian Suite for the private seated dinner for 30.

The dinner celebrated the “Auld Alliance” between France and Scotland – and the modern alliance too, as Hennessy’s Laurent Boidevezi noted the French House of Hennessy’s support of this very Scottish evening to benefit Friends of Scotland’s returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Lady Connery and Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean also reminded guests with a chuckle, that “there is a strong bond between America and Scotland – pun unintended!”  Funds were raised not only by Hennessy’s generous donation, but also by a live auction of rare items from 3 black bearskins (3rd one not caught yet!) to signed bottles (of the Baron Bich’s own wine) to a Haggis Dirk (won by Stone Phillips) to a traditional Officer’s Baton, rounded by a Cairngorm Stone and set in a 1912 Sterling Silver Tiffany setting (won by Merrill Lynch’s COO, John Sievwright).

The private dining suite was decorated with Tartan fabrics from various clans draping the sconces, the piano, and one contiguous banquet table.  The evening started off with a Ruinart champagne and Hennessy Pillow Talk cocktail reception and lots of Hennessy X.O on a Rock. 

Guests were treated to a private concert by world renowned Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti who is currently touring the United States.  Meanwhile, there was a real Scottish surprise – as the young Scotsman Andrew Weir “Addressed the Haggis” in a suitably dramatic fashion.  Everyone clearly was a Scotophile – not one person asked what the haggis was and everyone ate it heartily, even the French, or in Susan Shin’s case, the Korean!  Matthew Modine saluted Dr. Geoffrey Scott Carroll, Executive Director of Friends of Scotland, for putting him “back in touch with [his] Scottish roots”. 

Animated by Sir Sean’s exuberant laughter, energy and charming conversation, excited guests spontaneously toasted and roasted each other.  There also  were tributes to the returning war veterans to Scotland and to Sir Sean, hailed most eloquently by Matthew Modine and an equally moving return tribute from Sir Sean to Mr. Modine.

Sir Sean enthralled the guests with insights into his favorite films and directors and behind the scene anecdotes from his own films including the James Bond movies. Baroness Bich gifted tartan and jeweled bracelets to the guests.  Not to be outdone, Hennessy Cognac presented each guest with a gift bag containing a crystal snifter and mini X.O bottles, and a precious bottle of rare PARADIS cognac, aged 130 years.
Teri Baron and Henry McLeish
Laurent and Berangere Boidevezi
Stone Philipps and Baroness Veronique Bich
Sir Sean Connery, Ruby Modine, Matthew Modine, and Susan Shin
Nigel McDonald on the bagpipes
Dr. Geoffrey Carroll, Sir Sean Connery, Peter Morris, and James Baron
Nick Bich and Andrew Weir
Sir Sean Connery with Ruby and Matthew Modine
Andrew Weir and the cutting of Haggis
Last Thursday night in Los Angeles, Daniel Peres, editor-in-chief and Chris Mitchell, VP/Publisher of Details Magazine hosted a party at the Brentwood home of Mary Parent to celebrate the second annual Details “Mavericks” issue. “Mavericks” is a list of the 27 most innovative thinkers in the worlds of media, entertainment, politics and technology. The idea is that unconventional thinking meets daring enterprise – “Mavericks bending the future to their will, unafraid of criticism or ruffling a few feathers – shaping aspects of our lives that we didn’t even know existed.” A tall order, wouldn’t you say.

Molly Sims and Caridee English
The Details “Mavericks” this year are Ben Silverman, Reveille; Charlie Walk, Epic Records; Damon Dash; Eric Sapp, Common Good Strategies; George Stephanopoulos, ABC News; Ken Stern, NPR; Lauren Zalaznick, Bravo; Mara Vanderslice, Common Good Strategies; Jacob Hacker, ISPS; Janus Friis, Joost; Jay Reiff, Former Campaign Manager; John Weaver, Professor of Material Science and Engineering; Kristen Silverberg, International Organization Affairs, Asst. Secretary of State; Mark Burnett; Nikkole Denson, Starbucks Entertainment; Niklas Zennstrom, Joost; Peter Traugott, Brillstein-Grey; Reed Hastings, Netflix; Ryan Seacrest; Seth Haberman, Visible World; Stephen McPherson, ABC Entertainment; Timbaland; Tim Westergren, Pandora; Tom Ford; Tom Scott, Plum TV.

Among the guests at the Parent residence were Ben Silverman, Bill Paxton, Brett Ratner, Chris Klein, Damon Dash, Danny Masterson, David Spade, Debi Mazar, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kristin Cavallari, Luke Wilson, Maria Menounos, Michael Vartan, Milo Ventimiglia, Nick Cannon, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Sarah Wynter, Stacy Keibler, and Thom Filicia.
Debi Mazar
Emily Deschanel
Michelle Trachtenberg
Ryan Seacrest
Chris Mitchell and Damon Dash
Matt White and Charlie Walk
Ben Silverman and Peter Traugott
Chris Klein, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Adam Brody
Dan Peres, Sarah Wynter, Chris Klein, and Ginnifer Goodwin

Photographs by Lucien Capehart (Ports 1961); ©Patrick McMullan (Hennessy).