While Atlas was shrugging his shoulders down on Wall Street, a posse of lovely "Inish" gentlemen from the Irish Georgian Society made their way through New York and Palm Beach in search of greenbacks for their Emerald Isle. So even though portfolios were shrinking before glazed-over eyes, more than 225 guests drowned their sorrows and opened their wallets, as there still seems to be plenty enough to go around to assist in preserving and protecting the great edifices of Dublin and beyond- especially from those whose ancestors fled the potato famine for Ellis Island.
Beginning with the Founders' Ball honoring Desmond Guinness, who launched the Irish Georgian Society 50 years ago. Revelers gathered at the ever-so-swanky Rainbow Room to dine and dance with the still breathtakingly azure-eyed Guinness and Desmond Fitzgerald, the Knight of Glin. There: Carlton Varney, Charlene and James Nederlander, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Melissa Parker, M.A. and Chip Quinn, Kenneth Jay Lane, K.K. Auchincloss, Judy and Jack Hadlock, Joe and Sheila O'Malley Fuchs, Peter Cromarty, Phyllis Toohey, Claire McCrudden, Maribeth and Ellen Welsh and the ever-elegant Pamela Fiori and Colt Givner.
|The next evening, the whole shebang made their way to Palm Beach, where Irish style maker and author Robert O'Byrne was welcomed with a drinks party at Steven Stolman's seaside pad. On hand to chat and chew on tea sandwiches and L'il Smokies — Town & Country's Pamela Fiori and Colt Givner, Don Burns and Greg Connors, Liz Quinn, Jack Young, Mia Morrison, Nancy and Michael Peacock, Kae Jonsons, Stephen Mooney and Scott Velozo, Penny and Keith Williams, Bryan McDonald and sister Sharma Knisley, Alex Snyder, Rick Moeser, Ryan Meehan, Rene Caovilla's Blanche and Gordon McCoun.|
|More? We're talking Irish constitution here, so a very dressy crowd showed up at M.A. and Chip Quinn's north end manse for cocktails and a case for support by the Irish Georgian Society's executive director Donough (say Dunn-a) Cahill followed by a lecture and book signing by the still-standing Robert O'Byrne.
|And wouldn't you know ... checks were written by all ... proving that even when the American economy throws a curve ball, Irish eyes still smile. Among the guests: Cristina and Des Keogh, Michel Witmer and Dino Rivera, Maura Benjamin, Patrick Flynn, Blair Griffin and Stewart Kirwin, Megan and Ryan Quinn, and William and Paula Mikus.|
|Los Angeles -- The Ghetto Film School (GFS) held its first fundraiser in Los Angeles at the home of Ellen Goldsmith-Vein. Hosted by filmmakers David O.Russell and Spike Jonze, the star-studded evening helped to raise funds and awareness for New York’s only free non-profit film school among the Los Angeles Film Community. The benefit brought out some of Hollywood’s top directors, producers, and actors who showed their support for this dynamic non-profit organization that is training our country’s future filmmakers. Guests included: Orlando Bloom, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Johnny Knoxville, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ghetto Film School Founder and President Joe Hall, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Kristin Hahn, Rachael Horovitz, Evan Shapiro, Sandra Granzow, and filmmakers Spike Jonze, David O. Russell, Catherine Hardwicke, and Kim Peirce.
Based in the South Bronx, the Ghetto Film School is an award winning, youth media, non-profit organization that aims to connect talented young people to artistic career opportunities in the world of film and video. Since 2000, GFS has provided over 600 students with classic film school education at no cost.
|MFAH patrons and devoted arts philanthropists gathered at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s “The Silver Ball: Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence” Grand Gala, honoring the museum’s most recent board chairs and celebrating selected art highlights from the past 25 years of accessions. Ball chairmen Ann and John Bookout III greeted the black-tie crowd of 425 who enjoyed a lavish dinner from City Kitchen. Tying in the silver theme, John Friedman adorned the tables with beaded silver tablecloths topped with overflowing topiaries of white flowers. A highlight of the evening included a packed dance floor sashaying to Starlight Orchestra of New York City. Beyond the impressive turnout and exquisite décor, the Ball grossed $1.3 million that will benefit the operating budget of the MFAH, allowing the museum to further its mission of excellence.
Ann and John Bookout III served as Ball Chairs. The evening's Honorees were Ms. Isaac Arnold, Jr., Mr. Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. (Alfred Glassell III attending in his father’s honor), Mrs. Cornelia C. Long, Mrs. Isabel B. Wilson.
Other guests included: Peter Marzio, MFAH director and wife Frances Marzio, MFAH curator, The Glassell Collections, Nancy and Rich Kinder, The Honorable and Mrs. Robert C. Lanier, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniels, Lynn Wyatt, Rose and Harry Cullen, Carol and Mike Linn, Joe Jamail, Mr. and Mrs. H. Lee Godfrey, Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand, Courtney and Christopher Sarofim, Laura and John Arnold, Laurie and Reed Morian, Windi and David Grimes, Lester and Sue Smith.
Assembled guests included HBHC President Michael Cook, Hazel Barr, Barbara Kipper, Zaerada Gowenlock, Lynn McMahan, Candace Jordan, Helen Mclchior, Sherren Leigh, Peter Martino, Jenny Mack and Paul Fairchild of HBHC.
|The following day, Chicago’s most well-connected and philanthropic women joined Bunky Cushing to celebrate his 7th Annual Handbags & Halos Luncheon benefiting Howard Brown Health Center.
The exclusive event raised over $60,000 through its famous handbag raffle. Over 185 guests came to the Palmer House Hilton to enjoy an extravagant afternoon complete with the musical styling of Stanley Paul and a keynote address from Carmen Dell’Orefice, one of the fashion industry’s most enduring models. Beginning her extraordinary modeling career at the age of thirteen with a series of photographs in Vogue, she has worked with the greatest masters of the golden age of photography, including Cecil Beaton, Horst, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Victor Skrebneski, who was in attendance at the luncheon.
Carmen flew in from New York to serve as the featured speaker at the event. She indulged guests by sharing the beauty secrets that have allowed her to stay in the spotlight for so many years. Carmen’s passion and commitment to the organization was felt as she shared her admiration for Bunky’s continued support and donated her Honorarium back to Howard Brown. Twelve lucky guests walked away with one of the season’s most coveted accessories, all of which were donated to the luncheon.
|Handbag donors included Ralph Lauren, Escada, Bvlgari, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Kate Spade, Loro Piana, and Brian Atwood for Brian Atwood Designs. Howard Brown will continue to feel Bunky’s generosity on November 8th when the Brown Elephant Resale Shop hosts its handbag sale with all of the pieces donated by guests of the luncheon. President and Chief Executive Officer of Howard Brown Health Center Michael Cook spoke briefly about his gratitude to the host. “Without friends like Bunky, our work would not be possible. We are grateful for his kindness and dedication to our cause. The proceeds from this event allow us to provide service to thousands of people that would otherwise go without the attention and care they need.”
Howard Brown Health Center is one of the nation’s largest gay healthcare organizations. Through a wide array of health, wellness, social service and research programs, Howard Brown cares for more than 28,000 adult and youth clients annually. For more information about Howard Brown, please visit www.howardbrown.org.
|Photographs by George Ramirez and Tom DuBroc (Houston); Dan Rest and Joan Hackett (Chicago).|