Wednesday, December 5, 2007

San Francisco Social Diary

'Pawful of earth' groundbreaking by shelter dogs Marley and Quinn.

By Jeanne Lawrence

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF/SPCA) and pet lovers celebrated the groundbreaking of the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center. Located downtown on Alabama Street, adjacent to their Maddie’s Pet Adoption Center, the Roberts’ Center will replace the aging Community Veterinary Hospital built in 1932.

Assemblyman Mark Leno and Jan McHugh-Smith, President
The 64,000-square-foot, cutting edge world-class Center will have the largest medical area of any veterinary hospital and will be the second largest veterinary hospital in North America as well.

Funded by a $13 million foundation gift from Leanne Roberts, who was a member of the Board of Directors from 1998-2003, and added to by the Roberts Family, make it the largest donation in its history.

“She loved the SF/SPCA and supported its mission,” said Eric Roberts, a family representative. “Animals in need will now have the most up-to-date veterinary care possible. That is my mother’s lasting legacy.”

There was a private family and friends ceremony which included Leanne’s husband George Roberts, her son Eric and his wife Penelope and her father Len Baker (on Yale’s board), another son Mark and wife Kelley, Leanne’s mother Dorothy Bovet Howard, and friends such as Chuck and Helen Schwab.
Jan McHugh-Smith, Catherine Brown, Eric Roberts, Jim Ludwig, Craig Penedo, and Marie O'Gara Lipman
President Jan McHugh-Smith added “Leanne’s generosity and vision, and that of the Roberts family, is truly inspiring.”  There is a capital campaign to complete the $29 million center, SPCA Chair Catherine Brown added, so if you’re interesting in helping out contact or call 415-554-3025.

Over 200 SPCA supporters gathered with the entire staff, including Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services to watch two former shelter dogs, a lab/Dane mix named Marley andyellow lab/retriever mix, Quinn, outfitted in construction vests, turn the first symbolic ‘pawful’ of earth.

“The City is fortunate that Leanne loved animals so much and she is greatly missed,” said Board member Jim Ludwig.
Macy's holiday windows
So if, like Leanne, you’re a pet lover, there are several ways you too can support the cause. Macy’s annual “The Magic of Christmas” (November 16 – January 1) famous Holiday Windows will feature adorable, adoptable dogs and cats and a web camera there to capture it all, so that animal lovers everywhere can see by going to
Macy’s execs, CEO of Macy’s West Robert Mettler and President Dan Edelman stood proudly by as three-time Superbowl champ and former SF 49’er quarterback Steve Young and students from De Marillac Academy unveiled the windows to showcase homeless cats and dogs that are looking for a loving home.

But remember a pet is for life, not just for Christmas – so, maybe the March 8, 2008 Bark & Whine Ball is more for you or the June 5, 2008 Hat’s Off Luncheon & Fashion Show. Anyway you choose; you’ll be rewarded with lots of fun and the gratitude of man’s best friends.
Jan McHugh-Smith and Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director Veterinary Services
Happy Board members at Groundbreaking
Macy's Holiday Windows with 49er Steve Young and De Marrillac Academy students
Adoptable cat Clarence in Macy's window
Dan Edelman, Jan Mc-Hugh Smith, Steve Young, and Robert Mettler with Snowflake
Ice skater wearing Steve Young's jersey
Macy's holiday windows.
From last year's Bark and Whine Ball: Don Sanchez and Sharpei; a Loveable pooch; and a loving pup.
L. to r.: From Last year's Hat’s Off Luncheon & Fashion Show: Quita Cruciger and her dog Penny; Jan Wahl Mistress of Ceremonies holding Frank.

By Jeanne Lawrence

Broadway star Joel Grey and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade shined at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum’s 60th Anniversary. Event chair Michael Barcun can be proud.

Event co-chair Michael Barcun and Ronald Schwarz
The hit of the night was Mistress of Ceremonies, Tyne Daily, the Emmy and Tony Award winning actress. Easy to see why she won all those awards for Cagney and Lacy – four of them – and her multi–award winning ‘Mama Rose’ in the 1990 Broadway revival of Gypsy.   

“Tyne was incredible,” raved Roberta Sherman, who was on hand to see the performance. “She’s a great comic completely irreverent, makes fun of herself.”

Joel and Flicka, as von Stade is known to her fans and friends, sang a duet, Our Love Is Here to Stay and Tyne sang Comden and Green’s Some Other Time and the guests were enthralled.

The Michael Smuin Dance Company performed as well. Co-founder Smuin, who sadly passed away this year, was also co-director of the San Francisco Ballet from 1973-1985.

Guests included Ronald Schwartz, Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston, Ken and Dorothy Paige, Delia Ehrlich, Roberta Sherman and Gerald Grodsky, Pamela and Ted Deikel, Ruth Felt, and Benjamin and Toby Rose, founder of the SF Fall Antique Show.
William and Sakurako Fisher
Linda Zider
Ken and Dorothy Paige
Also attending were Marie Gallo of Gallo winery family, hi-tech exec Linda Zider, who recently threw a birthday bash for Ronald Schwartz, Emily Sano, director of the Asia Art Museum, Colin Murdoch, Barbara Brown, Giles Marsden, Barbara and Doug Engmann, and Dr. Cherie Mohrfeld, current Chairman of the Board.

As did Amy Tan, mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, who will perform next season in the SF Opera production of Tan’s The Bonesetter Daughter, fashion icon Wilkes Bashford, Bill and Sako Fisher, Bobby Abernathy, David Humphrey, Jamie Bowles, Bob Federighi and Toni Wolfson, Joy Venturini Bianci, Harry de Wildth, California Assemblyman Mark Leno, Alex Shapiro, and Raymond Berger.

The Performing Arts Library and Museum (SFPALM) was founded in 1947 when SF Ballet dancer and costume designer, Russell Hartley, established the SF Dance Archives with his own collection of dance artifacts.
Frederica von Stade, Zheng Cao, mezzo soprano, and author Amy Tan
Today, SFPALM occupies 6,000 feet of the Veterans Building in SF Civic Center, continuing its mission collecting and preserving the diverse cultural legacy of the performing arts.

The Library features a collection of more than 3 million items, from the Gold Rush to present day, including rare historic photographs, programs, press clippings, set and costume designs, videotapes, audio recordings and books .. and is free to the public.

By the end of 2007, SFPALM will transform itself into the Museum of Performance & Design – the first in the country dedicated to performing arts and theatrical design.

San Francisco’s cultural and museum life continues to boom. The Museum of African Diaspora opened in 2005, the de Young Museum opened in 2006, and The California Academy of Science will open in 2008, as will as the new Contemporary Jewish Museum. What next?
Wilkes Bashford, Tyne Daly, and Joel Gray
Barbara and Doug Engman with Cherie Mohrfeld, President of the Board of Trustees
Roberta Sherman and Gerald Grodsky
Marie Gallo of Gallo Vineyards
Teo and Pamela Deikel
Emily Sano
Bob Federighi and Toni Wolfson
Alex Shapiro and Raymond Berger
Joy Venturini Bianchi, Harry de Wildth, and Assemblyman Mark Leno
Barbara Brown and Giles Marsden
Benjamin and Toby Rose
Bobby Abernathy and David Humphrey
Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston
Jamie Bowles
Michael Barcun, Linda Zider, and Ron Schwarz at his birthday hosted by Linda.

By Jeanne Lawrence

The San Francisco Parks Trust’s third annual Fall Fundraiser
proudly displayed the recently restored Music Concourse in urbane Golden Gate Park.

Chairs Meg and Craig Bertero, Lucy Hume Koukopoulos and Nick Koukopoulos drew an attractive young set more than 600 strong. The mostly married 30-something movers and shakers arrived elegantly dressed in cocktail attire – de rigueur for the women were stiletto sandals and bare legs while the men enjoyed the view in traditional coats and ties. 

Chairs Meg Bertero and Lucy Hume Koukopoulos
Explaining the youthfulness of the crowd, young mother Christine Dunning noted, “We support the park because my two boys really use the park everyday.” Leigh Matthes, who once lived in Manhattan concurred, “Just like NYC, the parks here are the backyards for our children and this space belongs to all of us.”

“We’re so lucky to have so many parks in the city and renovating so many of them is fantastic,” exclaimed chair Lucy Hume Koukopoulos. Patrons Trish and Don Stephens said this was their “pet project” because the Trust is restoring so many neighborhood parks close to their home.

The 36-year-old non-profit Parks Trust is dedicated to improving recreation centers and open spaces with a specific focus on “making over” neighborhood parks.

In fact, the group is instrumental in the revitalization of landmarked Golden Gate Park – planting maple trees, developing a pedestrian promenade, and restoring fountains. The largest man-made park in the world, Golden Gate Park covers more than 1,000 acres and is the third most visited park in the U.S.
Junipero Serra, founder of California, welcomes all to Golden Gate Park.
Literary giants Goethe and Schiller.
de Young Museum's glorious tower and music concourse.
Flanking the concourse are two new museums: the M.H. de Young that opened in 2006, designed by the Swiss architects de Meuron and Herzog; and the California Academy of Sciences, designed by Renzo Piano due to open in 2008.

To commemorate the restoration Mayor Gavin Newsom was on hand as was Gretchen deWitt, all the way from her new home in Puerto Vallarta, accompanied by her daughter Cairo Gregor, a new mother herself after the birth of her second child.
Before: California Academy of Science, view from de Young tower.
During: View of Academy and concourse.
There was Frank and Susan Dunlevy, who became pals with NYer Sommers Farkas, pediatric counselor Beatrice Lazard Seidenberg, pregnant with her second child, Kathryn Lassater expecting her third, Zoe and David Bonnette, Helene de Baubigny, and Sandra and Gary Schnitzer.

Others supporters: Connie Goodyear-Baron and husband Dr. Barry Baron, Angelique and Troy Griepp, Emily and Roth Martin, Kendall and Gardner Robinson, Astrid and Jim Flood, Bloomingdale’s GM Alan Svensen, Staci and Jamie Slaughter, Jacques Pantezes, Lisa and Jim Zanze, and Amber Marie and Chris Bently, who just returned from their third Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert Nevada.
Now: California Academy of Science.
The partiers stayed late (after all the kids were tucked in bed), with DJ Spider supplying the energy and Dan McCall’s lavish buffet providing a non-stop sushi bar, lamb chops stations, wine tasting stations, and a dessert buffet where the chocolate pot de crème disappeared in a flash.

“It feels like we’re in LA – outside under the stars,” exclaimed  Meg Bertero. “It’s a beautiful night – we’re so lucky!”

My homebound taxi driver remarked, “I think the de Young Museum is the best in the world. I love the strong architecture and that Vivien Westwood show was sensational. I was bowled over – never heard of her, but her clothes were works of art.” He played classical music and even opened the doors for me.  See ... even the taxi drivers are sophisticated in San Francisco.
Barry and Connie Baron
Lisa Alexander and Kathryn King
Trish and Don Stephens
Gary and Sandra Schnitzer with Meg Bertero
Gretchen de Witt and daughter Cairo Gregor
Suzanne Levit, Jacques Pantazes, Melissa Barber, Lindsey Bolton, and Quincy Quinton
John and Lana Adair
Lindsay Bolton and Angelique Griepp
Everything freshly made by hand
Stephen and Erin Hawthornthwaite, Hilary Bates, and Jerome Simon
Zoe and David Bonnette with David Anderson
David Laudon and Randy Laroche
Lorre Erlick and Keith Rutz
Catherine Bigelow of Nob Hill Gazette interviews Meg Bertero
Christopher Mondini, Martin Skea, and Jocelyn and David Sandler
Arianna Hellebucky, Thomas Butler, and Jenifer Botch
Franco Salvetti and Oceana Rain
Into the night

Photographs by Tom Gibbons and Jeanne Lawrence.
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