Thursday, March 19, 2009

Palm Beach, Houston, and Chicago Social Diary

Hashem and Kate Khosrovani, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Winston and Luce Churchill, Audrey and Martin Gruss outside Chez Jean Pierre.
It is Spring break in Palm Beach so the town is overflowing with kids of all ages. They are all over the place havin’ fun in the sun. The weather is hot, hot for the first time this winter and there has really not been a drop of rain in months. The roads are all filled with convertibles, bikers, joggers etc.

The beaches are overflowing with bikini clad young beauties, surfers with flowered knee length jams on, sun worshippers and more. Worth Avenue was packed. I spotted Danny Marentette in Trillion and Ashley Schiff Ramos with her pooch at Michael Kors.
Ashley Schiff and her pooch at Michael Kors on Worth Ave
Danny Marentette in Trillion on Worth Ave
Of course there are parties galore! This past weekend, we went to Kim and Payson Coleman’s for drinks as they were celebrating their son Reed’s engagement to Lindsey Burnett. Reed and Lindsey will be wed April 18th at Bethesda-by- the-Sea, followed by a black tie dinner dance at a nearby club.

What will the gals wear? The beautiful bride will be dressed by Monique Lhuillier. The groom’s mother will shine in a long Carolina Herrera and Janet Burnett -- mother of the bride -- will wear Missoni.
Clockwise from above: Lindsey Burnett and Reed Coleman; Kim Coleman with Jack and Talbott Maxey; John Sullivan; Mai Harrison.
Kate Gubelmann and Tom Quick
Muffy Miller
Tina Fanjul, Peggy Mejia, and Tommy Quick
Gail and Harry Theodoracopulos
Pam and Willie Surtess
Speaking of marriages, Wilbur and I danced the night away at Sunny Marlborough’s small dinner dance celebrating his new beautiful bride Lily’s birthday last Friday.

Saturday, we headed to Ambassador Earle Mack and his beautiful wife Carol’s dazzling house for a seated dinner of about twenty-four at the ocean front abode. Have to say it was a perfect night from start to finish.
The seating chart for a dinner of about twenty four at the ocean front abode of Ambassador Earle Mack and his beautiful wife, Carol.
As we walked up the steps and saw the water view with the moon shining down and heard the music in the background -- the whole romantic scenery really took my breath away. We stepped out onto the terrace for cocktails then into the blue and white dining room where three round tables were set.

After a scrumptious meal; we sipped champagne, coffee and tea under the stars.
My place setting at the Mack's dinner
Among the guests were Sunny and Lily Marlborough, Bill and Donna Acquavella, Dixon and Arriana Boardman, Douglas and Jessie Brown, Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Kate and Hashem Khosrovani, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Tom Lee, Roberto and Joanne de Guardiola, Chris and Grace Meigher, Wilbur Ross, Scott Synder, Peggy Siegal and more.
Clockwise from above: Carol Mack on her loggia; The Mack's patio view; Musicians serenade the guests.
Lily amd Sunny Marlborough with Chris Meigher
Grace Meigher
Roberto de Guardiola and Dixon Boardman
Arriana Boardman, Earle Mack, and Peggy Siegal
Jessica Brown and Lily, the Duchess of Marlborough
Evelyn Lauder and Peggy Siegal
Scott Synder and Henrietta Spencer Churchill
Evelyn Lauder, Bill Acquavella, Hashem Khosrovani, and Leonard Lauder
On the last night of the weekend we joined Luce and Winston Churchill at one of my favorite PB restaurants, Chez Jean Pierre, for a cozy dinner. The Churchills had invited us to meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the beautiful and brilliant author, who was in PB lecturing at the Four Arts.

Tonight, Brian and Eileen Burns are also giving a dinner in her honor. She has written a fascinating book, Infidel, about her extraordinary life as a Muslim woman, and that is just the beginning of her vivid and riveting tale. Her best selling book is a must read! To find out more  about her cause  go to

Also, in our group were Audrey and Martin Gruss plus Kate and Hashem Khosravani. The restaurant was hopping, I spotted at another table Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd. Also there was Diane de la Begassiere celebrating her birthday. Happy Birthday, Diane!

— Hilary Geary Ross
Diane de la Begassiere celebrating her birthday at Chez Jean Pierre
Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd
Last Friday night, 260 people attended the Second Annual Best Buddies Palm Beach Gala at the Breakers Hotel. The event raised $550,000 for Best Buddies, a vibrant organization founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.

Palm Beach resident and philanthropist Mark Freitas served as the Gala Chairman. Additionally, Mr. Freitas, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Frank Crystal & Company, committed his firm to be the Title Sponsor for the Gala, and was instrumental in encouraging others, including Presenting Sponsors Audi, UBS, Harry Winston and the Bank of New York Mellon; Gold Sponsors Diana and Llwyd Ecclestone, Michele and Howard Kessler, the Quick family, Martha and Dwight Schar, and the GEO Group – George Zoley; Silver Sponsors Bacardi, Fiji, and Marquis Jets; and Bronze Sponsors the Charles Evans Foundation, DDK & Company LLP, and London Fischer LLP, to support it, as well.
Dancing at the Second Annual Best Buddies Palm Beach Gala at the Breakers Hotel.
Highlights of this evening included entertainment by standards crooner Steve Maglio and R & B legends The Spinners, who encouraged the enthusiastic crowd to hit the dance floor for “Could It be I’m Falling in Love,” “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl,” and “I’ll be Around.”

In addition to the aforementioned individuals, several other notable figures attended the Gala, including Honorary Gala Chair Thomas C. Quick; Vice-Chairs Alina and Anthony K. Shriver; and Committee Members Linda Salandra Dweck, Diana and Llwyd Ecclestone, Mary Freitas, Arij Gasiunasen, Anja Kaehny, Michele and Howard Kessler, Terry Allen Kramer, Earle Mack, Amy Millman, Tatiana and Campion Platt, Patricia Quick, Nancy and William D. Rollnick, Max Scanavino, Brewer Schoeller, Susan and Dominick Telesco, and Renee Wood. Delfina Blaquier, Nacho Figueras and Harriet Himmel also attended the Gala.
Merrill and Robert Debbs
Tom, Quick, Anthony Shriver, and Mark Freitas
Sandra and Max Scanavino
Mary and Mark Freitas
Cynthia Friedman and John Elwood
Alina and Anthony Shriver
Jorge and Virginia Dominicis with Brian and Tara Evans
David Sirianni, Laura Evans, Wendy Holmes, and Richard Ziegelasch
Fredrick Keitel and Trisha Callahan
Diana and Llwyd Ecclestone
Tom Quick and Tricia Quick
Martha and Dwight Schar
Susan and Dom Telesco
Michele and Howard Kessler
The Chicago Opera Theater (COT) raised nearly $200,000 at their annual gala held on March 7th at the The Spertus Institute in Chicago. This year’s gala celebrated the company’s 35th Anniversary and honored General Director Brian Dickie as he marks his 10th Anniversary with the company. More than 250 guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, dinner, raffles, silent and live auctions throughout Spertus Institute. COT Board Trustee and Gala Committee Chairman Lincoln S. Ellis emceed the evening and mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy was the evening’s featured performer.

After being presented with a watch from Tiffany & Co., Brian took the occasion to praise Chicago’s rich cultural heritage thanking donors for their constant support. Soprano Catalina Cuervo and tenor Jorge Prego, both new members of Chicago Opera Theater’s Young Artists Program, rounded off the celebration of Brian’s operatic achievements.
The Spertus Institute in Chicago.
Guests make final bids on the evening’s silent auction prizes.
Director of Musical Studies for COT’s Young Artists Program Scott Gilmore accompanies COT Young Artists tenor Jorge Prego and soprano Catalina Cuervo.
Mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy singing at COT’s 2009 Spring Gala.
Guests give COT General Director and Gala Honoree Brian Dickie a standing ovation in the Great Hall of the Spertus Institute in Chicago
The were guests from many of Chicago’s most important artistic organizations including: Ashley C. Wheater and Christopher Clinton Conway, Artistic Director and Executive Director, respectively, of The Joffrey Ballet; Welz Kauffman, President and CEO of Ravinia Festival; Steve Robinson, Senior Vice President for Radio at WFMT; Chuck Smith, Goodman Theatre Resident Director; Bonnie Metzgar and Rick Dildine, Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively, of About Face Theatre; and Jim Ginsburg, Cedille Records’ Founder. Other notable guests include: Opera superstar baritone Nathan Gunn, Angel Ysaguirre and Christy Uchida from The Boeing Company and Rob Lamb, Managing Director of the Canadian Opera Company.
Gala Committee Member Deborah Selch and Patricia Luscombe of Chicago
Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway of the Joffrey Ballet with Angel Ysaguirre of Boeing’s Global Corporate Citizenship
Pianist Julie Gunn and baritone Nathan Gunn
Jennifer Truong and COT Board Trustee Jennie Huang of Chicago
Rick Dildine, Managing Director and Bonnie Metzgar, Artistic Director of About Face Theater
Zachary Jean Paradis, Laura Tan, and COT Board Trustee and Gala Committee Chairman Lincoln S. Ellis of Chicago
Christopher Donavan and Emily Arnolds of Chicago
Matthew Zumann and Jennifer Zumann of Chicago
Theodore Foss and Liz Stein of Chicago
Mark Nafe, Silvia Vettese, and COT Board Trustee Bennett Neuman of Chicago
Edward "Bud" Dobbins, COT Board Trustee Dorothy Osborn Walton, Emily Walton, and Anthony Alleman
Cedille Records’ James Ginsberg and Lisa Ginsberg of Chicago
Kent Dymak of Chicago
Prince Piotr and Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine with Gala Committee Member Jason Selch
COT General Director and Gala Honoree Brian Dickie and Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith
Jack Carlson and Denise Carlson of Elmhurst, Illinois
Oreste Boscia and Diane Boscia of Lake Forest, Illinois
Marsha Bruhn, Richard Johnson, and COT Board President Erika Bruhn
Jose Cerda and Macol Cerda of Chicago
Boeing Chicago Community Investor Christy Uchida and Kristin Burrello
HOUSTON, TEXAS ... A gourmet seated lunch for 100 people in celebration of the upcoming Pin Oak Charity Horse Show (POCHS), which runs from March 18 until March 28th, was held at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, and Operating Partner Maeve Pasquera. During lunch, Neiman Marcus provided an informal fashion show of the latest in Spring fashions and Franco Valobra unveiled the amazing $21,000 necklace that he is generously donating to the POCHS for a raffle to be given away during the show festivities. Then, a week later on March 4, 2009, Neiman Marcus hosted a cocktail party for the tony friends of one of Houston’s oldest and most beloved charity events, the annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Barbara Stuart
BBVA Compass, lead underwriter for the POCHS, was represented by Rick Terry, Executive VP of BBVA Compass and CEO of Stavis Margolis. Others in the crowd included Pin Oak Board President, Lynn Walsh, Fiona Dawson, Carolyn Farb, Eva Bisso, Kristi Schiller, Donna Spears, Janine Iannarelli, Jared Lang (Momentum Audi), Ilona Carson (KTRK CH 13), Kristen Cannon, Tiffany Davila, Maurice Champion, Julissa Banfante, Susan Lawrence, Jeff Manley and Dorothy Marchand.

One Table full of ladies donning traditional horse show attire of beautiful hats included: Darlene Bisso, Donna Spears, Carolyn Farb, Matilde Leary, Anna Dean, and Astrid VanDyke.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the country’s oldest and most prestigious horse competition, was founded in 1945 by Houston philanthropist James S. Abercrombie and his wife Lillie. The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show got its start as a fundraiser for the first hospital in Houston dedicated to children, and the proceeds of the 1947 show provided a considerable portion of the initial backing that established

Texas Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. To date, the show has raised close to $4 million for Texas Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House of Houston.

With a recent commitment of $300,000, Pin Oak is now helping build Texas Children’s first hospital outside the Medical Center and one of the largest suburban pediatric hospitals in the country, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The gift will support the Hematology/Oncology services at the new hospital.
Judith Ott
Linda Graham and Ellie Berman
Jared Lang and Hollis Grace
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held over a two week period and will feature a wide array of equestrian talent featuring hunters and jumpers, American Saddlebreds, Andalusians, Welsh ponies, and new for 2009, Dressage and the United Mountain Horse breed. The crown jewels of the event take place throughout the two weeks. Saturday evening, Week One features a $30,000 Grand Prix and championship finals; Week Two features the $15,000 ASG International Hunter Derby hosted by Valobra Jewelry and Antiques on Friday and the Houston Area Audi Dealers $30,000 Grand Prix on Saturday. All of these events have ringside galas and special entertainment.

Official Sponsors include Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Valobra Jewelry & Antiques, Houston Area Audi Dealers, KTRK TV/Channel 13 - ABC Affiliate, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Neiman Marcus, Lansdowne Moody, Par Avion, LTD, Oasis Energy, Farm & Ranch Magazine, Bisso Marine, RE/MAX of Texas, Gulf Coast 4 Star Trailers, Moet Hennessey/USA, TEXAS MONTHLY, McDonald’s Corporation, Alamo Resource, LLC, Booth Ranches, Dillards, Dawn Services, StarElite Avation, and Energy XXI.
Rick Terry and Wendy Cook
Darlene Bisso, Carolyn Farb, and Donna Spears
Maeve Pasquera, Terry Zmyslo, and Sylvia Forsythe
Fiona Dawson and Corrine Williams
Eva Bisso and Franco Valobra
Ilona Carson, Doug Wooster, and Lynn Walsh
Lacy Baird and daughter Stella Baird
Lacy Price, Christy Jennings, and Katie Stanton
Kristen Cannon and Katie Cooper
Lynda Transier
Leigh Williams and Kristi Schiller
Matilda Leary and Astrid Van Dyke
Lynn Walsh, Rick Terry, and Ilona Carson
Frank Stowell and Carolyn Farb

Photographs by Lucien Caperhart (Best Buddies); Liz Lauren (Chicago); Fulton Davenport (Houston)

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