Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Beach Social Diary

The gang at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County's opening celebration of the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum.
"March Madness" in Palm Beach has absolutely nothing to do with high powered basketball but it certainly has the same pace. It's all about the marathon of parties with the rigors of a professional athletic event!

Last weekend I was chairing for the first time the Palm Beach Preservation ball, so I was a little nervous to say the least. However, I only had one nightmare the night before when I dreamt I could not find the dress I was  meant to wear and the other ones I had did not fit. Yikes!

I really had nothing to worry about because I had a dream team to work with. US Trust, Cartier, UBS, The Printery, Estee Lauder, Wathne, Stubbs and Wooten, Polo, India Hicks and more, all joined in to help. John Mashek, President of the Preservation walked me through every step of the way and brilliant decorator Scott Snyder generously stepped up and volunteered to decorate the party with an Indian theme, having just returned from that magical country and fallen head over heels in love with Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur and Udaipur.
Kate Gubelman, Jerry Seay, and Pauline Pitt
Carol Mack with Billy and Kathy Rayner
He swooped up treasuries from the local artisans and brought back all kinds of bounty: brass lanterns, mogul paintings, saris in rich colors, silk in extraordinary textures,  hand blocked cottons, silvered cups and more from his trip. He used all these goodies to transform the Breakers ballroom into an Indian fantasy,  as if we all had flown Aladdin’s magic carpet and had arrived at the Taj Mahal.

To top this off he donated all the goodies to the Preservation Foundation and you can still buy the brass chargers, hurricane lamps, lanterns, four foot high moss covered elephants, printed umbrellas and loveseats etc. if you quickly call Scott’s office at 561 659 6255.
Princess Maria Pia di Savoia, HRH Michel de Bourbon and Rosita, the Duchess of Marlborough
Bob and Mia Matthews
Gotta mention to music as it was absolutely sensational! Valerie Romanoff and the Starlight Orchestra set the room “on fire” – nonstop dancing and fun. Among the dancers were Muffy and Stephen Murray, Wilbur Ross, Karen and Richard LeFrak, Rand and Jessie Araskog, Charles and Ann Johnson, Rosita, Duchess of Marlborough; Lord Charles Churchill, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Alfy and Raysa Fanjul, Kate Gubelmann, Brian and Mila Mulroney,  Bill Finneran, Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola, Tom Quick, Chris and Grace Meigher, Kathy and Bill Raynor, Gigi Arledge, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Carol Mack, Michele and Howard Kessler, Katherine Bryan and Bill Flaherty, Ed and Judy Ney, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Howard Cox, Kit and Bill Pannill, Talbot and Jack Maxey, Diana and LLywd Ecclestone, Bruce and Maria Bockmann, Cynthia Boardman, Jamie Figg, Mai Harrison, Don and Muffy Miller, Jim Mitchell and many more.
— Hilary Geary
Tricia Quick, Mario Nievera, and Talbott Maxey
Bob Leidy, Britty Cudlip, and John Damgard
It’s a rare and wonderful thing to witness the opening of a new cultural institution such as a museum or concert hall or library — and so it was as the Historical Society of Palm Beach County celebrated the opening of the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum — housed in the magnificently restored 1916 courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach.

Another exquisite institution, the Flagler Museum, served as the venue for “An Historical Evening”- a gala dinner dance. Cocktails were served in the museum’s great hall as guests were asked to contribute photos, business cards and personal notes to be sealed in a time capsule courtesy of Tiffany & Co., a company that knows a thing or two about time. The capsule will be opened in a decade.
Martin and Audrey Gruss
Cece Farris and Tommy Quick
Melanie and Chris Hill
Speeches, dinner and dancing to the Bob Hardwick Sound under the spectacular glass ceiling of the Kenan Flagler Pavilion, a new structure designed by Jeffery Smith to house the private railway car that was used to bring Henry Flagler to Florida.

Modeled after the grand train stations of Europe, it was the perfect setting to honor the past, the present and the future. Kathy Bleznak served as honorary chairman, assisted by chairmen Pat Johnson (who chaired the capital campaign committee and, with her husband Richard, made the lead gift of $1 million,) Ross Meltzer and Frannie Scaife. Dame Celia Lipton Farris was grand benefactor while major sponsors were the Private Client Group of National City Bank, the Cleveland Clinic and Tiffany & Co.

There among the hundreds of history buffs- Gillian Miniter and Ross Meltzer’s stunning mom Anita, Tom Samet, Kit and Bill Pannill, Diana and Llwyd Ecclestone, Dan Ponton, Jean Tailer, Tommy Quick,  Patt and Bill Sned, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Tom McCarter, Phyllis and Richard Krock and fashion designer Jackie Rogers.

— Snookums
John Mashek, Helen Abell, Kit Pannill, and John Ripley
Tom McCarter and Jennie Scaife
Bob Matthews and Gillian Miniter
Kathy Bleznak, Ross Meltzer, and Frances Scaife
Penny and Keith Williams with Susie Dwinell
Wally and Betsy Turner
Jack Young and Blair Griffin
Laura Evans, Brett Price, and Kae Jonsons
Phyllis Krock and Tommy Quick
Steven Stolman and Gillian Miniter
Llwyd and Diana Ecclestone
Harvey Oyer and Gwendolyn Beck
Anita Meltzer, Ross Meltzer, and Gillian Miniter
Sonja Abrahamsen and Mark Stevens
Jean Tailer and Charles Schmidt
Dan Ponton and Audrey Gruss
Thursday a  week ago at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Lighthouse International held a benefit dinner dance, Posh Palm Beach 2008 and made a big splash. Raindrops were falling but more than170 guests braved the inclement weather to celebrate the inaugural posh Palm Beach sale to benefit Lighthouse International.

You would have thought that the howling winds and monsoon-like rain would have dampened spirits but no, in spite of some slightly wet Manolos and a few flattened coifs, the crowd was ready to dance up a storm to the music of Alex Donner.

As part of the cocktail hour silent auction, Sacha Newley exhibited his extraordinary pastel portraits of the ten chairwomen: Catherine Adler, Annette Tapert Allen, Kathy Bleznak, Trica Quick De Visscher, Linda Donahue, Diana Ecclestone, Ellen Jaffe, Talbott Maxey, Grace Meigher, and Nancy Paul. Needless to say, the husbands of said ladies made the highest bids. Arlene Dahl, served as honorary chair.

The decor was created by William Eubanks and Bruce Sutka. The students of education gallery group eg2 designed and created mini Couture gowns which formed the centerpieces.
Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen
Nancy Paul and Fred Adler
Drs. Luis and Tara Cortes
Attending the evening event were: Dr. Tara A. Cortes, President and CEO of Lighthouse International, and her husband Dr. Luis Cortes; Lighthouse Board members: Roger Goldman, Barbara Saltzman, Mady Schuman, Grace and Chris Meigher, Ellen and Robert Jaffe, Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen, Fred Adler, Linda Donahue, Annette Tapert Allen and Joseph Allen, Nancy Paul and Stephan Lindsey, Tricia Quick De Visscher and Bret Price, Talbott Maxey, Kathy and Alan Bleznak, Norma and Bill Tiefel, Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seay, Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, Lucy Musso, Gladys Cole and Albert Levine, Bruce Sutka, William Eubanks, Angela and Sacha Newley, Andrea Stark, Ashley Stark, Cynthia Boardman, Polly and David Ober, Debra and Peter Tornaben, Sharon and Tom Weintz, Lesly Smith and Tom Walsh Tom Quick, Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas, Fern Tailer and Jerry Tishman, Melinda Porter, Somers Farkas, Audrey and Stuart Peckner, Iris and Carl Apfel, Lore Dodge, Tim Byrd, Lars Bolander, Eileen and Joe Cornacchia, Michelle and Craig Mallard, Beth DeWoody, Audrey and Enrique Del Rosario, Ellen Liman, Hope and Ed Gropper, Kate Gubelmann, Mai Hallingby and Jaime Figg, Isabelle Leeds, Stephen Stempler, Joan Chorney, Bruce Bent, Lee Havens, Charles Churchill, Britty Cudlip and many more.

The sale consisted of donations from local socialites, retailers, designers and celebrities. Yes, that was the actual dress worn by Joan Collins on Dynasty (with an autographed picture attached) and Susan Lucci’s "little" Gucci.
Talbott Maxey, Geoffrey Thomas, and Lady Sharon Sondes
Kate Gubelmann, Lord Charles Spencer Churchill, and Britty Cudlip
Sacha and Angela Newley with Ellen and Robert Jaffee
Lore Dodge and Linda Hamilton
John and Myrna Daniels
Carl and Iris Apfel
Annette Tapert Allen and Grace Meigher
Somers Farkas with Alan and Kathy Bleznak
Tricia Quick De Visscher, Tom Quick, and Melinda Porter
Photographs by Lucien Capehart.

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