|By Jeanne Lawrence
Global Green Usa Celebrates Third Annual Benefit
Global Green USA held their third Annual San Francisco Benefit Party at the LEED certified Bently Reserve. Formerly the old Federal Reserve Bank Building, it was recently renovated as a conference and special events venue.
Hundreds of supporters celebrated Global Green USA, founded in 1993 by Diane Meyer Simon, as the American affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachev's Green Cross International.
Of course, the eco-savvy crowd with lots of young celebrities included Mayor Gavin Newsom, actor Jason Lewis (Sex and the City), actress Josie Maran, singer Michelle Branch, Matt Petersen, CEO of Global Green USA, and Nadine Weil, founder of Green Heart.
Others among the crowd: Roger Barnett of Shaklee; actress Q’orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas in the film The New World; Nicholas Graham, who made the brand Joe Boxer popular; actors Kadee Strickland and Jason Behr, who are married in real life; green writer Zem Joaquin; and music artist Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind.
|The organization’s focus is on ‘green’ design solutions that combat climate change and other environmental issues. Praised for their efforts to rebuild a sustainable New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Global Green encourages environmentally safe schools and housing in California and throughout the US.
For decades, the Bay Area has been on the forefront of environmental issues and sustainability. In 1892, The Sierra Club was founded here by conservationist John Muir. Prince Charles insisted on a tour of the organic farms north of the city during his last visit to the U.S.
San Francisco, one of the first to ban smoking in public places, has recently banned plastic grocery bags (as did Ireland), plastic bottles are now verboten in government buildings, and the Mayor established green energy programs at City Hall.
Ah, but New York City, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the helm, beat San Francisco to the punch with a ban of trans fats in restaurants. So, if you want to know what Earth-friendly innovations are coming to a neighborhood near you, keep an eye on San Francisco. Other cities are bound to follow their lead.
|Ballet Committee Feted at Silks
Just as Hollywood holds a “Wrap Party” after filming is complete, the San Francisco Ballet’s 75th Diamond Gala Steering Committee celebrated their success with a post-production. According to ballet sustaining auxiliary member, Daru Kawalkowski, the committee raised $1.5M!
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, located in downtown with the most fabulous bay views, hosted the entire committee. Sal Abaunza, the hotel’s GM gave SF Ballet Auxiliary President Marie Lipman the most festive venue gratis.
|Of course, Veuve Clicquot champagne was free flowing in the newly refurbished MO Bar, making for a very ‘happy hour’ indeed. But that wasn’t all.
Chef Joel Huff served a five course ultra-gourmet dinner with wine pairings by connoisseur, Kim Beto, in The Gallery, an exclusive, elegantly appointed private room at Silks restaurant.
|The honorees of the day were Diamond Gala Chair Jean Larette and Dinner Chair Rosemary Baker who deserved the endless accolades for the smashing evening at City Hall. Certificates of Achievement were presented by Daru Kawalkowski — what, no diamonds?
”If all volunteer committees were honored this well we would have an overflow into the bay of willing participants,” concluded Daru. Don’t forget that the 75th anniversary is not over yet. The highly anticipated New Works Festival boasts 10 world-premieres choreographed by 10 renowned choreographers: Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli, Jorma Elo, Margaret Jenkins, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, Paul Taylor, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon. The Festival runs from April 22 through May 6 so mark your calendar now!
|Heroes & Hearts Luncheon
Catching up with Valentine’s Day: San Francisco showed true heart, just like the song implies, at the annual Heroes & Hearts luncheon, while showcasing the latest installations of heart artworks.
The luncheon was again held at Union Square, the heart of the downtown shopping district, and honored six local heroes: Alicia Boccellari, Robert Brody, Catherine Dukes, Sergeant Bob Guinan, and Fernando Hechavarria.
Chaired by Julia Damasco and Dr. Judy Luce, three mayors arrived: current Mayor Gavin Newsom, and former Mayors Frank Jordan and Willie Brown.
|The event, inaugurated in 2004 by Nancy Bechtle and Ellen Magnin Newman, displayed the public arts installation Hearts in San Francisco and generated so much excitement and fundraising potential that it just had to be repeated.
Sponsored by SF General Hospital Foundation, Hearts raises money by auctioning the giant fiberglass heart-works created by local artists. By the way, the hospital is the Bay Area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, one of the nation’s first.
This year’s six new designs showcased artists Rob Cox, Sidnea D’Amico, Debra Nicols, Precita Eyes Muralists, Lewis Sykes, and Amanda Williams.
What a heartfelt way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
|Luncheons Celebrate Girl Power
Marketing guru Claudia Ross and philanthropist Elizabeth Thieriot joined forces to launch quarterly power lunches so their friends could share ideas, network and inspire one another.
“None of you are ‘going nowhere’ and doing nothing,” laughed Thieriot. “Let’s share our resources…there’s a boys club, now there’s a girls club, too.”
During lunch, each guest described her hopes and dreams for the organizations near and dear to her.
Co-host Claudia Ross, Chairperson of Raphael House and formerly with Conde Nast, started her own marketing company, donating 20% of her time and money to non-profit PR work.
Co-host Elizabeth Thieriot described her life’s mission to support as many charitable causes as she can, especially holistic medicine and wellness clinics.
Kris Anthony is devoted to the Junior League and the Ballet Auxiliary. Diana Kane Britt, global account executive at Salesforce.com, founded Care Through Action to help families of Darfur.
Tatiana Sorroko is donating the proceeds from her forthcoming book on fashion designer James Galanos to Russian orphanages.
Jewelry designer Rosalina Lydster is compiling a cookbook of jewelry designers’ favorite recipes with proceeds going to Vietnamese charities.
|Kristen Harper and Danielle Bourhis, founded The Wonder Women Foundation that deals with women’s issues from healthcare to the environment.
Managing Director of Martin Investment Management, Cary Martin Zellerbach, supports The Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University, and is on the advisory Board at Wellesley College.
Cheryl Baxter, who seems to have chaired every benefit in town, wants to become more involved with arts and education for children.
Julie Veronese backed her husband, Joe Alioto Veronese’s failed bid for the Democratic nomination for California State Senate while continuing to raise money for the Archdiocese and the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi Church in North Beach.
|And businesswoman Andrea Snitzer, a second time new mother, finds time for Child Abuse Prevention (CAPS) amongst the other children’s charities she has supported over the last twenty years.
Artist Ann Marie Bently, who founded Kamala Spa at Union Square and started her own jewelry line, donates her time to Point Reyes Natural Resources.
Interior designer, French native Sophie Azouaou and her firm, SophiSticate Interiors, decorates rooms for the homeless. She also supports the philanthropic magazine Benefit because “America is about giving back.”
By the lunch’s conclusion, so many ideas swirled around the group that another round of sweets was called for – sharing is sweet, indeed.
|Gilbert & George at the De Young Museum
Artists Gilbert & George debuted their first major American retrospective in more than 25 years at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in collaboration with Britain’s Tate Modern.
Known by almost one name — a bit like Golding’s Sam and Eric in Lord of the Flies, Gilbert & George met at London’s St. Martins School of Art in 1967. The dynamic duo wore identical suits with matching ties, one in yellow and the other in blue, to the opening.
|Right from their beginnings as performance artists, the duo has worked as one single artist. G & G’s work is instantly recognizable, often incorporating images of themselves, proving that you can take the artist out of the performance but not the performance out of the artist.
According to a de Young spokesperson, “More than 50 pictures, from 1971 to the present, tracing the stylistic and emotional development of the artists, the exhibition is the largest ever to be mounted of their art.”
So if you don’t want to be left out of the loop, better hurry over to the de Young before May 18, when Gilbert & George go home.
|Photographs by Drew Altizer & Tom Gibbons.|