Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Palm Beach Social Diary

The Flagler Memorial Bridge opens. Photo: JH.
Another supercharged Palm Beach weekend kicked off with Friday night’s FoundCare benefit, a cocktail party/street fair modeled on the very successful Fete de Swifty in New York.

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.
The tango dancers at Dan Ponton’s Club Colette's 25th anniversary bash.
Danny asked 25 very sensational ladies representing each year of the club to go on the committee he formed to support his new foundation.

My dinner partner Kate Ford
They all said yes immediately because they all adore Danny and know how much this meant to him having triumphed over a big health issue last year.

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
Flamingos greet Carol Worth at FoundCare's “Block Party Deluxe.”
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.

Sheila Johnson and Pamela Fiori
Her passions are varied —  the equestrian world, professional sports (she owns the Washington Mystics — a women’s basketball team), gourmet food, fashion design (she has endowed the Parsons School of Design with a new building), the hospitality industry, and filmmaking. She is also dedicated to far more serious pursuits-such as solving the vastly overlooked HIV/AIDS crisis in Vietnam, the American healthcare conundrum, and shepherding of women and children in need through the challenges of today’s complex world.

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.
Scott Velozo and friends
Connie Frankino and Steven Stolman
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.
Mark Freitas with Ashlyn and Mark Montgomery
Jeffery and Nancy Smith
Beau and Jackie Breckenridge
Jim and Susan Collins
Stephen Mooney, Scott Velozo, and Keith Williams
Polly and David Ober
Bill Diamond and Regine Traulsen
Ria Taormina and Tricia Callahan Burt
Craig and Michelle Millard
Bob and Mia Matthews
BMW 328i hardtop convertible donated by Mark Brentlinger for a grand drawing ... won by Robbi and Bruce Toll
Flash the Monkey and Pamela Fiori
Mia Morrison and Steven Stolman
Ann Downey and Mona de Sayve
Neiman Marcus’s Beth Pine
Sandy and Buddy Thompson
Abe and Lin Gosman
Sean Brevek, Jamie Meier, and Jack Young
Herb Schmertz and Kay Gilman
Pauline Pitt and daughter Julia Nye with Jerry Seay
Sheila Johnson, Pamela Fiori, and Cynthia Boardman
Tom Shaffer and Lucy Musso
Spinning the drum
Jazz diva Raquel Williams
Clockwise from above: Liz and Stephen Sans with a fab flamingo; Hillie Mahoney and George Stamas greeted by Sandy Thompson; Event Chairs Sandy Thompson, Sheila Johnson, Pamela Fiori, Cynthia Boardman, Liz Sans, and Mona de Sayve.
Yolette Bonnet, Greg Connors, and Talbott Maxey
Bill and Ali Hanley
Hilary and Wilbur Ross
Tommy Quick and Cynthia Boardman
Donna Mulholland, Hayden Hosford, and Melissa Parker
Pauline Pitt and Talbott Maxey
Bryan McDonald, Carly Seymour, and Csaba Cserep
Michael and Lisa Perry with Bryan McDonald
Eileen McGratha and Patrick Killian
Ethel Isaacs Williams, Sheila Johnson, and Lydia crozier
Colt Givner and Pamela Fiori
Donald and Nancy Messing with son Ryan
Mona de sayve, Kenn Karakul, Susie Elson, and Sandy Thompson
Trent Steele, Sheila Johnson, and Robert Janjigian
Robbi and Bruce Toll with Sandy Thompson
Trent steele, Sheila Johnson, Steven Stolman, and Bryan McDonald
Maribeth Welsh, Steven Stolman, and Ellen Welsh
Chip and M.A.Quinn with Steven Stolman
Liz Quinn, Meg Cunningham, Ryan Quinn, and Colette Landers
Frannie Scaife and Steven Stolman
Jay and Linda Rossbach
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.
Bill and Nancy Rollnick
Susan and Dom Telesco
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.
Paulette Koch with Sir Geoffrey and Lady Sylvia Leigh
Bill and Mary Frances Walde
Elizabeth Bowden and Chris Rehl
Gail Nessel and Beth Pine
Susan and James Keenan
Nancy and Jeff Smith
Rena Damone with Howard and Michele Kessler
Dom Telesco, Stephane Castoriano, Mary Fairbanks, and James Meany
Cindy and Vince Cerone
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.
Rhoda and David Chase
Michael and Michele Ritter with Sy Ziv
Jeff and Elizabeth Bateman
Laura Munder and Eric Gantwarg
Frankie Valli and Dick Robinson
Suzi Goldsmith and Elizabeth Bowden
Michele and Craig Millard
Bob and Nancy Amato with Matt Kutcher
Donald Trump and Lois Pope
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.
Staff of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
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).
Vicky Hunt and Gilbert Kahn
Jack and Cathy Flagg
Paul and Paulette Noble
David Ober, Wylene Comander, Leigh Failing, Joanne Paull, and Charlie
Clark Grabner, Kathryn Bohannon, Nellie Benoit, and David Ober
Cathy and Leigh Duemler
Ann and Peter Summers
Dotti and Jay Alban
Jane Williams, Jane Grace, and Joanie Van der Grift
Lou Auslander, Nellie Benoit, Leigh Failing, and Michael McCarty
Kathy and Bill Wallace
Ellen Hamilton and Felix Mirando
Jimmy and Meredith Marshall
Joan Radabaugh with Charlie and Lou Auslander
Frank Maguire, Patti Grabner, Tony Bohannon, and Molly Maguire
Laurie Raber and Dr. Steven Gotlieb
Vicky and Sam Hunt
Joe and Carol Flanagan
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.
Rob Reveley with Arlette and Bob Gordon
Julie Reveley, Dr. Demetrios Braddock, and Rhoda Chase
Don Webster with Norma and Simon Fireman
John and Carol Anne Stiglmeier with Tom Quick
Kathryn and Leo Vecellio
Lynda and Bill Foster with Nanci Gabay
Photographs by Lucien Capehart

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