Monday, July 9, 2007

Washington and Chicago Social Diary

Chocolate replica of Macchu Pichu by Eric Michael of Occasions Caterers at Washington National Opera's Ball.
One of Washington’s premier social events, the Washington National Opera’s annual Opera Ball, took place on Friday, June 1 hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador of Peru Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos at his official residence, and chaired by Betty Knight Scripps, philanthropist and newspaper heiress.

More than 500 opera supporters danced until the early morning hours at the historic property Battery Terrill to benefit Washington National Opera. Mrs. Scripps who is an Opera Trustee and Executive Committee Member served her 8th year as General Chairman of the Ball (How you go Betty!) where she has raised record-breaking proceeds for the company. They’re quite fond of Mrs. Scripps, as you might guess; she produces results.

General Director Plácido Domingo said in a statement that Betty Knight Scripps is “extraordinary,” and he meant it: adding that he is “so grateful for her continuing dedication to Washington National Opera. He’s not the only one.

The Opera Ball is Washington National Opera’s largest annual fundraiser. Proceeds from this event allows them to continue to fulfill the role of Washington’s premier performing arts institution.
Dodge Thompson and Lucky Roosevelt
Emeline Haney, Ambassador of Peru Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos, and Franklin L. Haney, Jr.
The evening began with the much anticipated pre-Ball dinner parties graciously sponsored by the diplomatic corps of the nation’s capital. This year 21 ambassadors hosted dinners at their official residences, including ambassadors from Afghanistan, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Following the dinner parties, opera patrons gathered for desserts and dancing at the ambassador’s official residence. Among the distinguished guests were Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Justice Breyer and Mrs. Joanna Breyer, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Mrs. Meryl Chertoff, Congressman Joseph Crowley and Mrs. Crowley (D- NY), Mayor Adrian Fenty and Mrs. Fenty, Ambassador Antero Flores-Araoz and Mrs. Araoz, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani and Mrs. Giambastiani, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Professor Martin Ginsberg, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Cynthia Glassman and Mr. Glassman, Acting Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan and Mrs. Emily Hargan, NBC Channel 4’s Ms. Barbara Harrison and Mr. John Pyles, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa and Mrs. Hinojosa (D-TX), Justice and Mrs. Anthony Kennedy, Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics Ms. Mary Beth Long, Assistant United States Trade Representative forIntergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison Tiffany M. Moore, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs Andrew B. Steinberg and Mrs. Roxanne Steinberg, NPR’s Ms. Nina Totenberg and Dr. David Reines, Deputy United States Trade Representative John K. Veroneau and Mrs. Veroneau.

As guests arrived at the gates of the beautiful 25 acre grounds they boarded a trolley and sipped a traditional Peruvian cocktail as they traveled the winding drive to the estate and were greeted at the front door by musicians playing traditional Peruvian wind instruments.
Eli Whitney and Heidi Herrington Debevoise
Jacqueline and Marc Leland
The clear 50’ x 100’ tented ballroom, designed by Phillip Baloun, (who passed away one month later (see NYSD The List in Memoriam) was lined with 49’ x 17’ architectural murals of the Main Square of Lima, and the huge lit trees of Rock Creek Park were seen through the clear tent ceiling. Lively music by Bob Harwick and his Orchestra and RAYMI, an Andean Latin fusion band, filled the night air as guests danced into the early morning hours.

Singers from Zarzuela Di Si and folk singer/guitarist Myriam Avalos serenaded guests in the Pachamama coffee cabaret. Dancers from La Casa de Felipe performed a Marinera, the graceful national dance of Peru, and the Festejo a high energy number that delighted crowds of onlookers in the courtyard tent. 

Decadent desserts ended the festivities on a sweet note with a chocolate replica of Machu Picchu, passion fruit “merengue,” alfajores and other mouth watering deserts by Eric Michael of Occasions Caterers.
Vibrant images of Lima's Main Square in the Ambassador's residence created and designed by Philip Baloun
About the Washington National Opera

As the official "National Opera" of the United States, Washington National Opera is dedicated to broadening public awareness and understanding of opera. The company reaches a wide ranging audience not only in the Washington, D.C. metro community but also across the nation and abroad through its programs, Center for Education and Training and other Opera Outreach initiatives, and Generation O, a program for young patrons between the ages of 18 and 35. For more information about membership, programs, and how you can experience the opera, visit www.dcopera.org. American Airlines is the Official Airline for Washington National Opera.
Curtin Winsor, Ambassador Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos, Jim Abdo, and Stuart Holliday
David Mercer, Leah Pisar, and Shayne Doty
Nina Totenberg, H. David Reines, and Dottie and Kenneth Woodcock
Martin Ginsburg, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ambassador Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos, and Ken Feinberg
Ann and William A. Nitze
Richard Ford, Marcia Mayo, and Bothwell Lee
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter with Nash and Aniko Gaal Schott
Mae Haney Grennan
Bob Craft, Ambassador Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos, and Jamie Craft
Ricardo and Isabel Ernst
Harold and Nancy Zirkin with Ambassador Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos
Julie and Michael Connors with Marlene Malek
Lady Catherine Manning and His Excellency David Manning
Patrick and Kim Nettles
Joanna Breyer and Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Parkways Foundation held its 5th Garden Party – now known as the Hat Luncheon - on June 21 at Northerly Island. In just a few years, the Luncheon has achieved a tradition in Chicago.

Parkways seeks private investment to enrich the physical and cultural landscape of Chicago’s neighborhood parks and is the philanthropic partner of the Chicago Park District. When the group became a partner of the Park in 2003 and mounted its first Garden Party, 300 guests attended. In 2007, over 700 guests attended. Profit in 2003 was $100,000 and in 2007, over $200,000. A raffle and auction added additional revenue to the event.

The theme of the day was Italian Gardens. Overlooking Lake Michigan, the large white tent was decorated to resemble an Italian Garden with topiary trees and citrus toned floral arrangements in Italian terra cotta containers. The menu was also Italian and included Salmon tile with Salmoriglio and a citrus panacotta dessert. However, the highlight of the party were the hats.

Table décor
At this luncheon, the Jens Jensen Award is presented annually to a person or corporation whose efforts have significantly improved and enhanced life in Chicago. Jens Jensen was one of America’s greatest landscape designers and Chicago is fortunate that several of its parks were designed by him. This year, the corporation that fit the intent of the award was Kraft Foods, headquartered in Northfield, Illinois. The company has donated more than $1.6 million to the park system.

Of interest to its friends are the following projects Parkways has funded:

Columbus Park -The first Boundless Playground in Chicago

Humboldt Park Boathouse restoration

Ailey Camp – A Parkways collaboration with Urban Gateways and Chicago Public Schools
• The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden at Garfield Park Conservatory

• Parkways is a donor to the Agora Sculptures at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue

• Sent the Peewees, a local baseball team, to the play-offs on the White House Lawn

• Improvements to the Therapeutic Recreation facility and weight and locker rooms in Independence Park – a Parkways Foundation Young Professionals Organization’s initiative


Ongoing or Future Projects on the Drawing Board:

• A Boundless Playground for children of all abilities in Washington Park

• Reflecting pool restoration at Washington Park’s Fountain of Time Sculpture- joint venture

• Raise funds for new youth initiatives in the parks

• A new $1 million artificial soccer field turf and lighting in McKinley Park

• Replant trees in the City’s parks that were destroyed in the October, 2006 storm

• A new committee, special activities for Children withDisabilities (CCD)


Laura Barnett of Chicago is the group’s president and Co-Chairmen of the Garden Party were Diane Kelley and Dona Scott of Chicago and Gail Hodges of Evanston.

Some of the guests included the Park District’s Cindy Mitchell and CEO, Timothy Mitchell, Kraft Foods’ Amina Dickerson, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Romana Malinowski and Chicagoans Nora Daley Conroy, Karen Goodyear, Helen Melchior and Alice Sabl, recipient of Parkways’ 2007 outstanding Volunteer Award. From the north shore were Kim White of Lake Forest, Christine Robb, Bobbie Vender and Marilyn Bartter of Winnetka.
Marti Higgins, Kim White, and Annette Freyman
Timothy Mitchell, CEO of the Chicago Park District, Amanda Dickerson receipient of Kraft Food awards, and Laura Barnett, president of Parkways
Romana Malinowski of Van Cleef & Arpels and Sherrill Bodine
Laura Barnett and Sherren Leigh, publisher of Today’s Chicago Woman
Karen Goodyear
Janet Owen
Chicago columnist Ann Gerber
Ethel Gofen
The Women’s Association and The Governing Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra held their 3rd Bi-Annual Auction Party on Saturday, June 23. This party is an important fund raiser for the Orchestra. Its proceeds benefit the Symphony and its many musical, outreach and educational programs.

This year it was held at an architecturally significant home (with a significant art collection) with magnificent gardens in Winnetka. Although the day started out with rain, by evening the clouds had cleared for it a perfect night for outside festivities.

There was a tent in the gardens looking very summery draped in magenta, citrus and tangerine silk. The centerpieces mango roses, orchids and ginger that complemented the collectors’ 20th century paintings and sculpture.
Garden of Home
Ramona Malinowski with auctioneer Sean Susanin
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres preceded the auction. The dinner menu included lamb chops and a berry shortcake. Background music was provided by the Jared Rabin trio.   

And what fabulous auction items! A trip to New York that included tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, a private tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, tickets to the CSO concert at Carnegie Hall and lodging at the Parker Meridien; condos in the Turks and Caicos, Mexico, Hawaii and Sanibel; a Danube River Cruise; diamond earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels - plus many more items.

Among the auction winners were Pam Phillips Weston of Winnetka who won the Van Cleef earrings, Anne and Bill Fraumann of Deerfield won the Turks and Caicos condo vacation, Sandra and Earl Rusnak of Chicago will be playing golf on some of the famous courses n Scotland and Deborah Card, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, won the party package of a dinner for twelve.

Chairing the Auction Party were Susan Heisler of Chicago and Dora Aalbregtse of Winnetka. Chicago guests included Joseph and Women’s Association president, Judy Konen, Van Cleef & Arpel’s Romana Malinowski, Mitzi and Cyrus Freidheim, Shelley and Chester Gougis, Nancy and Don Kempf and Gloria and Robert Turner. From the north shore were Susan Stein and Ellen and David Abell of Winnetka, Willie and Bill Dooley of Glencoe and Audrey and Ted Spiegel of Northfield.
Kelley and Heather Robb with Margaret Heisler
Brendan Donoghue and Margaret Heisler
Pam Phillips Weston and Ramona Malinowski
Deborah Card, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with co-chairs Dora Aalbregtse and Susan Heisler
Amy Pope Bruck and Debbie Berghorst
Nancy and Donald Kempf
Shelley and Chester Gougis
Eric and Tammy Steele
Susan Heisler with daughter Margaret
Dr.William Robb with Anne and William Fraumann

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