Thursday, July 24, 2008

San Francisco Social Diary

The dinner scene at the The San Francisco Ballet's New Works Festival, capping off its 75th Anniversary Season.
New Works Festival Closes Anniversary Season for SF Ballet
by Jeanne Lawrence

The San Francisco Ballet, America’s oldest professional ballet company, ended their 75th Anniversary Season with a brilliant display of the company’s virtuosity, the New Works Festival. "The most ambitious commissioning project in the Company's history" called for an equally momentous celebration.

San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House was once again the scene of a glamorous black-tie gala, chaired by Ann Fisher, Mary Jo Kovacevich and Yurie Pascarella with dinner co-chair Kati Kadar Kynn. The cocktail reception segued to a lavish dinner in a swanky tent near the Opera House.

Artistic director Helgi Tomasson invited ten of the world’s top choreographers for the SF Ballet’s Diamond Anniversary centerpiece, the New Works Festival. Opening over three consecutive nights, the Festival premiered pieces by Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli, Jorma Elo, Margaret Jenkins, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, Paul Taylor, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon.
SF Ballet 75th Anniversary New Works Dinner
Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson with wife Marlene
Cecilia and Jim Herbert, Board co-chair
Dinner co-chair Ann Fisher with Bob Fisher
Fritz and Lucy Jewett, long time Ballet angels
Dinner co-chair Mary Jo with Dick Kovacevich
Dinner co-chair Kati Kadar Lynn with Doug Lynn
Dinner co-chair Yurie Pascarella with Carl Pascarella
Ton Flynn, President Lisa Grotts, and Glenn McCoy
Nob Hill Gazette's Lois Lehrman and Justtice Franklin Elia
OJ and Gary Shansby
Marissa Mayer
Tim Wu, Glenn McCoy, and Eric Hickok
Bob and Gail Smelick
Julie Begley, Rosemary Baker, and Lesley Koenig
Susan van Wagner, Pascal Molat, and Lola DeAvila
Bradley and Todd Kovacevich
Jan Zakin
Nicola Miner
Martin West, Christine Russell, and Mark Schlesinger
Kristen and Marissa Avansino
John Traina and Dede Wilsey
Philanthropist Richard Goldman and Helen Hilton Raiser
Laura and Daniel Diaz with Danielle Butros
OJ Shansby, Carl Pascarella, and Megan Barton
New Works, a fabulous finale to the Ballet 75th Anniversary
Raphael House Gala

“One Home, Many Hearts,” the annual Raphael House Benefit Gala, celebrated 36 years of service to at-risk families in the Bay Area. Four hundred supporters helped make the night a success, raising nearly $370,000.

TV News' Jessica Aguirre Emcees Auction
Chair Kate Smith along with co-chairs Anastasia Zaandam-DeSousa and Stephanie Rach-Wilson convinced local NBC News favorite, Jessica Aguirre, to emcee the evening as Honorary Chair.

“Morrocan Chic” was the chosen theme, replete with lush jewel tones of red, pink, orange and gold. Robert Fountain donated the décor from his fabulous design collection for the May 8 dinner at the lux Four Seasons Hotel.

Among the guests were designers fashion designer Julie Chaiken, Father David Lowell, Rebecca Beeson, nightclub impresario Harry Denton, local radio personality Hooman Khahlili, Claudia Castillo Ross, Kate Smith, interior designer Sophie and Nourredine Azouaou, Lee Duran and Norm Kown of Worldware who donated ‘goodie bags,’ entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal and Simon Thieriot.

Others seen in the crowd were Lisa Grotts, interior designer Kendall Wilkinson, Jessica Moment, Ann Ferrell Millham, Robin Paret, realtor Joel Goodrich, Chris and Tina McCutcheon, Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, Bella Farrow, Pat Murphy, Mark Calvano, and Jorge Castillo.
Dancers during the cocktail hour.
Glittering Girl Group performs during dinner.
A champagne cocktail reception started the evening with Moroccan inspired hors d’oeuvres, followed by a gourmet dinner of braised beef short ribs with Israeli couscous with almonds and raisins, all paired with wines from Rutz Cellars, Rosenblum and Bremer Family Winery.

But the highlight of the evening were the live and silent auctions featuring a myriad temptations: two VIP tickets to Oprah - wildly popular, an all-inclusive 5-night stay at a totally eco-friendly resort in Patagonia, Chile and dinners from celebrity chefs like Clyde Serda, Paul Curley and Ian Morrison. Lufthansa donated a trip for two the benefit drawing.
Claudia Ross and Kate Smith
Mkulima and Diana Britt
Sophie and Nourredine Azouaou
Board member Kevin Brennan and Shaunna Brennan
Alan Morrell and Lisa Grotts
Kendall Wilkinson, Jessica Moment, and Ann Ferrell Millham
Alyssa Everett and Andrew McCormick
Bill and Caroline Lee
Robin Paret and Joel Goodrich
Chris and Tina McCutcheon
Elizabeth Sparks and Todd Marinchak
Lizette Angel and Mohammed Qayyum check out the auction
Craig Lipton, Julia Allen, and Glenn McCoy
Sergey and Clara Shayevich
Pat Murphy gets a good view
Laurel May and Jessica Gurskis
Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, Joy Venturini Bianchi, Martin Lydster, and Jorge Castillo
John Rosin and Bella Farrow
Julie Trell, Jennie Moeller, Nancy Kamerer, and Marissa Snapp
Kristen Harper, DJ Hooman, and Julie Chaiken
Harry Denton, Mark Calvano, and Kimberly Givsan
Mary Wolfe, Reese Isbel, and Father David Lowell
Urban Forest Benefits From Friends

A fabulous fundraiser was held at eco-elegant Greens Restaurant for the Friends of the Urban Forest. Chris and Amber Marie Bently, you may remember them from their funky pajama party recently, were the co-chairs so you know it had to be first class fun.

A special performance by local music fave Chris Clouse rocked the house while everyone enjoyed LIVE, the highly praised green tea energy drink. ‘Live’ not only donated the goodie bags but also gives 50 per cent of all of their profits to benefit global warming initiatives.
View from Greens Restaurant of Marina and Golden Gate Bridge.
Back in the days when vegetarian cafes were few and off the beaten path, Greens Restaurant pioneered a sophisticated, artisanal vegetarian cuisine on a par with mainstream fine dining. Built by SF Zen Center carpenters, Green’s serene art filled dinning space overlooks the Marina, the Marin headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Greens’ highly acclaimed chef and two-time cookbook author, Annie Somerville created a special menu of vegetarian palate pleasers - potato pancakes with arugula pesto, mini pizzas with mushrooms and pine nuts, peanut spring rolls, to name a few - all organic, local and sustainable.

“It was one of the warmest, loveliest events I’ve attended,” remarked FUF Board member Mireille Schwartz.
The restaurant, behind massive walnut doors, opened in 1979 in a converted warehouse at Fort Mason, itself a converted military base which is now home to more than 50 not-for-profit organizations, covering cultural, educational and environmental organization.

For more than 25 years, Friends of the Urban Forest and Greens Restaurant have partnered in their dedication to encouraging healthier values in the Bay Area. From promoting sustainable local organic produce and wines to planting more than 42,000 trees citywide, Friends of the Urban Forest endeavors to raise San Francisco’s green consciousness.

They both remind us all that taking care of our planet is taking care of ourselves, which is important, now and Zen.
Christopher and Amber Marie Bently
Barbara Lancaster and Ronald Vance
Entertainer Chris Clouse
Christina Cruz and Cassidy Wollenberg
Craig Lipton, Mireille Schwartz, Amanda Inocencio, Damion Matthews, and Glenn McCoy
Lots of young supporters
Elizabeth Westover (past FUF Board Presdient) receives bonsai from new President Mike Marshall
Sergey Sharapov, Clara Shayevich, and Cameron Noble
Kelly Quirke and Chef Annie Somerville

Photographs by DREW ALTIZER & JEANNE LAWRENCE
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