|For their biennial Gala, the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, presented their “Une Soirée de Gala, Un dîner Gastronomique,” on stage at the Chicago Civic Opera House. The event exceeded all previous galas in fundraising and attendance. Many international, national, and local business guests came to support the Alliance Française: His Excellency Pierre Vimont, Ambassador to the United States, Princesse Marie-Blanche de Broglie, The Honorable Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière and Madame Main de Boissière, Consul General of France in Chicago.|
|Mr. Rufus Williams, Mr. Hervé de la Vauvre, Princess Marie-Blanche de Broglie, Ms. Lili Gaubin, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, and Mr. Pierre Vimont|
|During the cocktail reception in the foyer of the Civic Opera House, guests sipped on Ritz Champagne and Signature drinks prepared by barman Colin Field of the famous Ritz Hemingway Bar. The Foyer awed guests with the breathtaking color and extraordinary floral décor of Djordje Varda from the L’Atelier floral du Ritz.
The highlight of the evening was the six-course Menu Rouge paired with the best of fine French wines! Dinner for 540 guests was served on the stage of the Civic Opera House, created by the chefs from the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, Paris’ world-class French cooking school. Cream linens and tall crystal floral arrangements decorated the tables with Red peonies and orchids flown in for the event from Paris. The glamorous evening has been the talk of the town in Chicago.
|The Live Auction, conducted by Auctioneer Leslie S. Hindman, featured a stay at the Ritz, Paris including all luxury amenities, a woman’s Alhambra Vintage Watch from Van Cleef & Arpels, and an exceptional museum quality lithograph by Raoul Dufy. The Silent Auction featured several items, among them a trip to Marrakech with a stay in a private home, a Best of Patagonia trip for two throughout Argentina and a cruise for two on the Queen Mary 2.
The benefit surpassed all previous fundraisers with a record of $700,000 and a sold out evening with 540 guests.
|Clockwise from top left: Table setting on stage, floral décor by Djordje Varda Ritz, Paris. Lobster marinated with aromatics and raspberry parfum; Floral Décor by Djordja Varda, Ritz (Paris) in the foyer of the Civic Opera House of Chicago; The famous desert of the Ritz, Paris "Pêche Melba."|
|Washington National Opera’s annual Opera Ball, one of Washington's premier social events and the company’s largest fundraiser, was hosted by His Excellency Pierre Vimont, the Ambassador of France, at his official residence. The event was co-chaired by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lehrman and Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Sonnenreich.
More than 500 opera supporters danced until the early morning hours. Proceeds support Washington National Opera. General Director Placidó Domingo and Executive Director Mark J. Weinstein’s vision for the company it to continue to fulfill its role as Washington’s premier performing arts institution.
|Home of the French Ambassador.|
|The evening began with the pre-Ball ambassadorial dinners sponsored by the diplomatic corps. Twenty-two ambassadors hosted dinners at their official residences. Following the dinner, opera patrons gathered for desserts and dancing at the French Ambassador’s residence.
French lighting designer Julien Pavillard, the Artistic Director of the Fêtes des Lumières, designed this year’s Ball.
|A dazzling display of French desserts.|
|Among the distinguished guests attending Wayne Brown, The Honorable Michael Chertoff and Mrs. Chertoff, H.E. Ambassador Graeme Clark and Mr. David Ireland, Congressman and Mrs. Joseph Crowley, Lisa Epifani, General and Mrs. Michael Hayden, His Excellency José Miguel Insulza and Mrs. Georgina Núñez, Ambassador and Mrs. Jim Jeffrey, The Honorable Joseph Kelliher and Mrs. Kelliher, Justice Kennedy and Mrs. Anthony Kennedy, The Honorable Dale Kildee and Mrs. Kildee, The Honorable Mark Steven Kirk and Mrs. Kim Vertolli Kirk, The Honorable Randall S. Kroszner and Mr. David Nelson, The Honorable Dennis J. Kucinich and Mrs. Kucinich, The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy and Mrs. Leahy, The Honorable David M. Mason and Mrs. Mason, The Hon. Jim Moran and Mrs. Moran, Mr. David Morris and Ms. Ulrike Reicherg, The Honorable Edward Royce and Mrs. Royce, Justice and Mrs. Scalia, Deputy Director Viktor Sidabras and Mr. Robert Nagys, Mr. Michael Sullivan, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Von Eschenbach, Senator Jim Webb and Mrs. Hong Le Webb, and The Honorable Michael W. Wynne.
Washington National Opera is recognized as one of the world’s premier opera companies. Under the leadership of General Director Plácido Domingo since 2003. Since the company’s founding in 1956, more than five decades andcountless artistic leaps later, the Opera has achieved the stature of a world class company and plays to standing-room-only audiences at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
|Suzanne Rheinstein of Hollyhock House in West Hollywood held a booksigning for her friend, New York’s international interior designer (and now retailer) Charlotte Moss and her new book “A Flair For Living,” done with photographer Pieter Estersohn (who is coincidentally the interview on today’s NYSD HOUSE).
|The scene at Hollyhock House for Charlotte Moss's book party.|
|Hollyhock House is located in a building that has rare Hollywood history. Built in the late nineteen-teens or early 1920s, for years it was said to be originally the Norma Talmadge silent film studio. Years later it was acquired by the now legendary set and film designer Tony Duquette.|
|Late May, Hotel De Paris, Monte-Carlo, Monaco. It was a Rock and Royal line up when High Society met Music and Sport Royalty at the Better World Awards when 400 Fabuleux guests called Les Fabuleux 400 Monte - Carlo danced to a concert by Bryan Ferry.
The evening honored Julian Lennon and Renault F1 boss, Flavio Briatore. Lennon was presented with the Innaugaural Global Environmental Protection Award while H.S.H. Prince Albert II de Monaco, Bryan Ferry, Princess Clotilde Courau (a favorite French actress married to Prince Emmanuelle Filiberto De Savoie), Tennis Giant Boris Becker, fashion Royalty, Elie Saab, World Motorcylce Champ Troy Bayliss and Tour De France Winner, Baden Cooke, Supermodel Ana Cunya, applauded the honorees.
|Two charities benefitted from the night: The Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation (Boris Becker donated a private tennis lesson which fetched $24,000) and the White Feather Foundation (Lennon's Foundation wherein proceeds are donated to The Amazon Conservation Team.) Renault Formula 1 Boss Flavio Briatore was honored with the Top Sportsman for Philanthropy for his work with The Nelson Mandela foundation.
First Annual Better World Awards received top marks from Prince Albert II de Monaco, who noted that some of the most prestigious and affluent families were present including the Ambassador of Iran, the Al Rashid family, the Mogahdam family, Austrian Honorary Consul to Monaco, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Konig of Austria, Irish honorary Chair, Bryan Long with fiance Olivia Gaynor (undoubtedly they have the second best views of the Cote d'azur to the Prince with their larger then life terraces hanging over the mountain and sea) to Princess Clotilde Courau and husband Prince Emmanuell Filiberto De Savoir to sports hero Boris Becker to the Greek, Pappadamitrou family.
|At the end of last month in Houston, ther was a magic night for the annual Promise Ball benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held at the Hilton Americas Hotel. Over 800 guests attended. The evening that was led by Chairmen Rosemary Schatzman and Jeff Smith and brought in more than $1.2 million to the coffers of JDRF -- an all-time record for the event. The guests began the evening bidding on silent auction items, then moved into the beautifully decorated ballroom created by Darryl Murchison Design, for the luscious dinner and to bid on live auction items.
The big ticket items included a week at the exclusive Villas del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, a Hawaiian Holiday at the Four Seasons Resort at Wailea in Maui, and a dinner for 40 at Fleming’s Steak House. This year’s auction chairs were Kimberly Miller, Kathryn Smith and Elizabeth Vail. Honorees this year were Alana Spiwak and Sam Stolbun, whose daughter Ariel has type 1 diabetes, and who have been long-time supporters of JDRF. The corporate honoree was Halliburton, represented by Halliburton executive Jeff Miller and his wife, Rhonda.
The Sam Smith Most Valuable Volunteer Award went to this year’s Invitation Chairman, Vanessa Sendukas, for her tireless efforts on behalf of the gala.
|Notables seen in the crowd included, JDRF Director Molly Naylor and husband Skip, Patty and Fred Hagans, Matt Schatzman, Tim Vail, Luba and Alan Bigman, DeDe and Connie Weil, Frann Lichenstein and Aileen Gordon, Denise and Phillip Bahr, Sofia Adrogue and Sten Gustafson, Lauran and John Spalding, Glenna and Steve Smith, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, Olga and Yaron Chao, JDRF Boad President Joycelyn Marek and husband, Andrew, and Greggory and Pat Burk.
JDRF, the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide, was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes – a disease which strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries a constant threat of devastating complications. Since its inception, JDRF has provided more than $900 million in direct funding to diabetes research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF’s mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through support of research.
For more information, please visit the JDRF web site at www.jdrf.org/houston.
|Photographs by Stefanie Keenan (Moss).|