The setting was a tent behind the brand new gourmet market Salamander, a foodie’s dream market, very well located on North County Road.
Speaking of new, FoundCare is Palm Beach County’s newest non-profit non-governmental Community Health center, so everyone came to support this worthy cause. After a quick spin around the festive tent where we spotted newly svelte Steve Stolman, Sandra Thompson, Mona de Sayve, Pamela Fiori (who just bought a place in PB), Susie Elson, Tom Quick and Talbot Maxey, Susie, who was looking very glam, headed over to the ever popular Dan Ponton’s Club Colette for their 25th anniversary bash which also benefited The Daniel Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
|Danny asked 25 very sensational ladies representing each year of the club to go on the committee he formed to support his new foundation.
Cocktails were in a shirred red tent outside the club and you knew the party was going to be a blast the minute you walked in the dazzling dining room filled with vibrant flowers and soft lighting.
Right after we sat down to a scrumptious dinner, some fabulous tango dancers did their stuff followed by a surprise — the one and only En Vogue group who got everyone dancing the night away.
Amongst the gang were Fred and Cathy Adler, Jerome and Anne Fisher, Frank Chopin and Kate Ford, Llwyd and Diana Ecclestone, Hillie Mahoney, Pat Cook, Bob Nederlander, Howard and Michele Kessler, Robert Janjigan, John Loring, Jean Tailer and more.
— Hilary Geary Ross
|Next to Donald Trump and Stephen Schwarzman, no other Palm Beach mogul attracts as much attention and speculation as Sheila Johnson — not only because she is an African-American woman making mincemeat of what has traditionally been a restricted men’s club, that is the amassing of personal wealth and global influence — but also because the lady herself is just plain fascinating, not to mention lovely and approachable.
So when her name appeared at the top of the invitation as Honorary Chairman of “A Votre Sante!” to benefit FoundCare — the organization building Palm Beach County’s newest community health center for uninsured children and adults — the event immediately became a must go. And go they did, to the tune of over 350 people raising more than $250,000.
Billed as a “Block Party Deluxe” and openly crediting New York’s Fete de Famille and Fete de Swifty for inspiration, FoundCare’s Director of Development, Steven Stolman, created an event he knew would be a crowd pleaser. Mr. Stolman, a successful designer/turned fundraiser worked closely with the late Glenn Bernbaum for many years on the Fete de Famille of the early 80s.
In a massive tent pitched in the parking lot behind Sheila Johnson’s new Market Salamander (the Palm Beach outpost of her successful Middleburg, Virginia enterprise) were all the signature Fete features: stilt walkers dressed as flamingos, a tarot card reader, an old fashioned Coney Island photo booth.
|There was even a cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Rudolph Triana, doing virtual facelifts on his computer (now if you don’t think they loved that!), along with bars and buffets galore. Under a glittering silver coral chandelier by Tom Mathieu sat a glamorous BMW 328i hardtop convertible donated by Mark Brentlinger for a grand drawing-won by Robbi and Bruce Toll. And at the back of the tent, Town & Country’s new outdoor furniture company erected two chic canvas pavilions filled with lounge-y furniture.
Town & Country’s editor in chief Pamela Fiori joined Sheila Johnson as honorary co-chairman, along with Host Committee chairs Cynthia Boardman, Sandy Thompson, Mona de Sayve and Liz Sans. Lesly Smith and daughter Dani Moore served as Healthcare Angels leading a host of corporate and individual sponsors that included Midwestern Auto Group, US Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Town & Country, Market Salamander, Frank Crystal & Company, Bacardi International, Republic National Distributing Company, Town & Country Outdoor Furniture, Crystal Cruises, the Islands of Turks and Caicos, Neiman Marcus, Tommy Quick, Pauline Pitt and Marianne and John Castle.
|Susan and Dom Telesco, Chairman of the 51st International Red Cross Ball recently honored event chairs Nancy Ellison and Bill Rollnick with a champagne and cocktail reception at their home Casa Bellaria in Palm Beach.
Trumpeters announced the arrival of each of the 85 guests including Mr. and Mrs. Howard Kessler; Mr. and Mrs. James Keenan; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Cerone; Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Smith; Mrs. Vic Damone; Mr. and Mrs. Braddock Alexander; Mr. and Mrs. Lowry Bell; Daniella and Alfredo Ortiz; Sir Geoffrey and Lady Sylvia Leigh; Dr. Elizabeth Bowden and Scott Rehl; Gail Nessel; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pilotte; Veronica Atkins and Alexis Mersentes; Mr. and Mrs. Jay Rossbach; Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Koch; Mr. and Mrs. Cornacchia; Brenda Nestor Castellano; Dan Ponton; Anka Palitz; Dr. Maryann DuPont and Wallace DuPont; J.B. Hunt; Mrs. Mary Frances Smoak Walde and William Walde; Roy and Jane Brown; and Mary Fairbanks.
|The Red Cross International Ball in Palm Beach was started by Marjorie Merriweather Post. After serving at American Red Cross stations during World War I and donating thousands of dollars over the course of several years, she established the first International Red Cross Ball in 1957. And for the last 50 years, the Ball accomplished its powerful goal of underscoring the American Red Cross’ humanitarian efforts.
The 51st International Red Cross Ball will be held Saturday, January 26 at Mrs. Post’s former winter home, now the Mar-A-Lago Club.
|LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education) held its 14th annual “Lady in Red” gala on Friday November 30th at the Mar-A-Lago Club. The evening began with cocktails, a silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing with a performance by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Proceeds benefited the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial which is being built in Washington adjacent to the National Mall and within full view of the Capitol. The Memorial will honor the more than 3 million living disabled veterans and all those who have passed before them.
Lois Pope, Mary Montgomery, Elizabeth Bowden and Suzi Goldsmith served as chairwomen for the evening. Honorary Chairs were Melania and Donald Trump. Mrs. Pope is founder and president of LIFE. The posthumous Grand Honoree, Leo Albert was remembered for his extraordinary generosity and dedication to numerous charitable causes – most notably the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial to which he donated $2 million.
|The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League held its Christmas Ball at the Sailfish Club in Palm Beach. More than 300 attended the annual event which raises money for lost, stray, unwanted and medically impaired dogs and cats.|
|This much loved charity among the social set operates an adoption program, a spay/neuter clinic, performs pet rescue services and operates a shelter and the famous Petmobile. This event is a favorite for those of us who love our pets (sometimes more than anything or anyone else).|
|Arlette and Robert Gordon opened their lakefront Palm Beach home to host a cocktail reception for members of the Laureate Society of Palm Beach, established by the American Cancer Society in Palm Beach to celebrate those individuals who make leadership gifts on an annual basis.
Mrs. Gordon, who is past chairman of the Ball, encouraged everyone to attend the 50th annual Cancer Ball. This year’s Ball will be chaired by Patrick Park and Diana Ecclestone. It will also mark nearly 30 years that Dame Celia Lipton Farris has supported the organization and the Ball. Dame Ceilia will serve as honorary chairwoman and chairwoman emeritus.
|Photographs by Lucien Capehart|