Monday, August 11, 2008

Newport and Chicago Social Diary

A welcoming line to Restoration Hall, an electric generating plant from the early 1900s restored as the IYRS workshop where students restore classic wooden boats.
More than 500 guests visited the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) for the Eleventh Annual Summer Gala, sponsored by Lexus in Newport.

It was an industrial building transformed for revelry with flickering lanterns, towering panels of black and citron fabric, and a classic Beetle Cat sailboat positioned center stage, complete with Hollywood-star lighting. People came to support two organizations that make Newport wholly unique -- tying this waterfront city to its maritime past and present. The theme of the evening, "A New Launch," celebrated the joining of IYRS and the Museum of Yachting. The event raised a record-breaking sum of $660,000.

World-class sailor and journalist Gary Jobson, who served as auctioneer, and Livia Colantonio auction off a holiday at Colantio's Castello delle Regine vineyard estate in Umbria.
IYRS trains people for careers in the marine industry, a business that is critical to the state's economy, and in turn preserves the craft of classic-boat restoration. The school and the Museum converged in 2007; this summer they have coordinated exhibitions and boat-building projects to create cultural attractions that are engaging the public in its maritime heritage.

Joe Dockery
and Carol O'Malley—who together surpassed the fund-raising record they achieved as chairs of last year's event—were joined at the gala by title sponsor Lexus; platinum sponsors Castello delle Regine, Condé Nast Publications, Prestige Lexus of Ramsey (N.J.), and Sentient Jet Membership; and a host of ardent supporters who together made the evening a great success.

World-class sailor and journalist Gary Jobson served as auctioneer for a series of items prized by those who value their time on the water and world travel. In addition to the live auction, platinum sponsor Sentient Jet Membership hosted a Collectors' Gallery, which included exotic vacation opportunities and art objects.

The gala crowned an entire weekend of festivity, including an opening reception for an exhibition and sale of American marine art to benefit IYRS and the Museum of Yachting at William Vareika Fine Arts, an auction preview party on Friday staged around the Museum's three new exhibitions, on-the-water activities aboard a fleet of classic and modern yachts, and a farewell brunch at the New York Yacht Club.

For more information about IYRS, visit For more about the Museum of Yachting,
World-class sailor Ken Read [in beige jacket], skipper of the 70-foot PUMA Ocean Racing that will race around the world in the grueling Volvo Ocean Race, shares a laugh with local sailors. From left: Pat Kennedy, Kathy Read, Ken Read, Liz Collins, and Brad Read.
Artist Stacie Krupa with "Lobster Mac Daddy," which she donated to the Collectors' Gallery for the Annual Summer Gala.
Tom Flynn, Event Co-Chair Carol O'Malley, and Nick Harry
Philip Bilden with Delia and James Russell
George "Dooie" Isdale and Terry Nathan, president of IYRS and the Museum of Yachting
[from left]Maritime artist and IYRS cofounder John Mecray, Martha Coolidge, Sam Rowse, Mary Jane Schotte, and Gary Jobson
Lisa Churchill, Lady Julia Hardinge, Kristen LaMotte of Sentient Jet Membership, and Rob West.
Usha and Joe Robillard, a member of the IYRS Board
IYRS Program Director Clark Poston shares a laugh with professional sailor Jerry Kirby
Jorge Menendez, Karen Migliaccio, and Terry Nathan
Jill Roosa, Richard Carbotti, and Patricia Carbotti
Bart Dunbar [right] with Peter and Diane Gonzalez
President Terry Nathan, IYRS Program Director Clark Poston, IYRS Co-founder John Mecray, IYRS Chair George "Dooie" Isdale, and Gala Co-Chair Joe Dockery
IYRS cofounder Elizabeth Meyer and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Michael Dominguez, Peter Sharp, Chris Cox, and boat-builder Steve White of Brooklin (Maine) Boat Yard
Event Co-Chairs Joe Dockery and Carol O'Malley
Chicago’s old guard and gilded youth gathered at The Casino for the Chicago Branch of the English-Speaking Union’s annual gala, The Ascot Ball.

The evening featured cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing to the music of Stanley Paul and his Orchestra.

Barret McFarland, Jason Klein, and Peter Menachem
Guests were led in to dinner by the strains of a bagpipe, and because the theme was The Arabian Nights, were entertained during the meal by a belly dancer.“The E-SU celebrates English as a global language—that’s why we wanted to do an Arabian Nights theme. Half of what we know about Arabia comes from Burton’s translation. And it makes for a great party!” said event chair Sean Eshaghy.

The House of Harry Winston was chief sponsor for the evening. A Harry Winston lacquer fountain pen with a palladium-plated diamond pave cap and clip was raffled off and won by Faye T. Pantazelos of gold-level sponsor the New Century Bank. The Lorelei Foundation and Citi Smith Barney also sponsored the evening.

Chicago Branch President Joan M. Templeton served as co-chair of the gala. The Ascot Ball raises funds for a variety of scholarships, particularly the annual Shakespeare Competition, which provides scholarship funds for Chicago-area high school students.
Carol Eshaghy and Ball Chairman Sean Eshaghy
Lisa and Cary Malkin
Doe Thornburg and Anita Watkins
Bunky Cushing and Mamie Walton
Alexis Khazzam, Barbara Leiter, Elizabeth Khazzam, and Meg and Tom Leiter
Janet and Roger Owen
Jennifer Arquilla and Liz Sharp
Bagpipe call for Dinner
John Gibbons, Jim Kinney, Carlette McMullan, and Brian White
Suzanne Hardy and Blair Robicheaux

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