Tuesday, March 24, 2009

San Francisco Social Diary

I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
San Francisco - February 12, 2009. Heroes & Hearts – A Luncheon Benefiting San Francisco General Hospital Foundation
By Jeanne Lawrence

The night before it poured, but the sun came out brightly for the fourth annual Heroes & Hearts Luncheon Benefit for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (SFGHF) which is always around Valentine’s Day naturally.

Foundation President Judy Guggenhime welcomed the 800 supporters of the sold-out event in the gigantic tent at Union Square, in the heart of downtown San Francisco.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with the 2009 large hearts
Event Chair Richard Guggenhime with wife Judy Guggenhime President Luncheon Co-founder Pam Baer and Sloan Barnett
Fiberglass Heart by artist Terence Stephens
Guggenhime noted that the San Francisco General Hospital has the only Level 1 Trauma Center to serve the 1.5 million people in SF and San Mateo counties. In fact, if President Obama were in town, this is the hospital he would go to in an emergency.

Since 2001 the SFGHF has raised over $43 million, including over $10 million in 2008 from corporate and foundation grants as well as private gifts. The Hearts events have raised over $5 million. Now, that’s impressive!
Former SF Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. and Sonya Molodetskaya Hero Dr. Hal Yee and NBC Health Reporter Marianne Favro
Former SF Mayor Frank Jordan, Wilkes Bashford, Judy Marcus, Michael Mondavi and Wendy Paskin
Heart Artist Samuelle Richardson
This year’s Event Chairs were attorney Richard Guggenhime (yes, Judy’s husband) and banker Herb Myers. NBC Bay Area Health Reporter Marianne Favro was the emcee.

Nancy Bechtle and Ellen Magnin Newman also received recognition for creating Hearts in San Francisco in 2004 which was a citywide art installation of three-dimensional “heartworks” by Bay Area artists.

Luncheon Co-Chair Pam Baer from the podium shared a heartfelt personal story and then introduced the current mayor, the Honorable Gavin Newsom.

“Rarely do I see this many people at a luncheon,” Gavin exclaimed. “It takes 40 years to build a crowd like this.”

Newsom recalled how voters last fall overwhelmingly approved Proposition A, an $887.4 million bond measure to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital.

The largest bond measure in city history, it was approved by 84% of the electorate but needed only 66% to pass.
Nancy Bechtle, Hearts in SF Co-founder, with Mayor Gavin Newsom CEO of SFGH and Award recipient Gene Marie O’Connell with SF Mayor Gavin Newsom
Susan and Michael West, Chief of Surgery at SFGH Yuri Pascarella with Charlotte Shultz, Chief of Protocol for San Francisco and California State
Judy Marcus, Phoebe Cowles, and Ruth Stumpf Hero Ed Marquez and Nathan Nayman
In addition to Mayor Newsom, attendees also include former Mayors Frank Jordan and Willie Brown as well as Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Alioto and Gina Moscone, respectively widows of the late Mayors Joe Alioto and George Moscone.

Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were the politicians killed by Supervisor Dan White in 1978. That story was told in the this year’s film, Milk, for which actor Sean Penn won an Oscar for his performance as Milk.

At our table was the Chief of Surgery at the hospital, Michael West, M.D. Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair, UCSF Department of Surgery. He arrived six months ago from Chicago with his interior designer wife, Susan West.
Ellen Newman, Hearts in SF Co-founder with husband Walter Newman Hero Dr. Dolph Shapiro with wife Barbara Shapiro, Pam Baer and Rich Guggenhime
Lisa Hauswirth with 2009 Heroes Dr. Dolph Shapiro, Dr. Ilana Strubel, and Midge Wilson
SFGHF Executive Director Katherine Ripley-Williams said, “The 2009 heroes are the cream of the crop and exemplify what it means to be a hero. We are proud to honor them today."

The recipient for the “Spirit of The General” Award, which honors an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the hospital, was Gene Marie O’Connell, CEO of SFGH. Gene has been with the hospital for over 30 years.

The 2009 heroes are Ed Marquez, Dr. Dolph Shapiro, Dr. Ilana Strubel, Marlis Tanner, Midge Wilson, and Dr. Hal Yee, all ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things for their community. For more information about them, click here.
Hero and Angel Marlis Tanner, a volunteer for 50 years Paul Pelosi, Pam Baer, and SF Giants' President Larry Baer
Hero Dr. Hal Yee, wife Frances Tso-Yee with sons Maxwell, Matthias, and Gene Marie O'Connell
Also deserving kudos are the 16 artists who contributed to the 2009 Hearts in San Francisco series to help raise additional money for the hospital. They include Michael Azgour, Jeanine Briggs, ExactMosaics (created by Nick Berg and Alan Roth), Rebecca Fox, Michael Lownie, Sirron Norris, Michael Osborne, Terence Stephens and Samuelle Richardson. To look at their witty and collectible works, located around the city, click here.

The 2009 “table top” heart, used as table centerpieces, artists are Jonathan Adler, Linda Adreveno, TR Colletta, John Marvuglio, Sara Morris, Rex Ray and Karen Thompson.

The grand finale of the luncheon was a special appearance of Chavé Alexander from the revue Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco’s Little Italy.
Macy's Patrick Smith, Wells Fargo's Lisa Stevens, and Ellen Newman Walter Newman with Sandy and Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel
Jeff Critchfield, Gene Marie O'Connell, and Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Alioto Carol Batte and Delia Ehrlich
Dr. Hal Yee, Geoff Manley, and Maurice Kanbar Board member Brandt Hooker
Tina Williams, Loretta Walker, Xavier Williams, and Police Chief Heather Fong Beach Blanket Babylon cast member Chave Alexander performing with Bill Keck
Afterwards I grabbed a taxi at the St Francis Hotel across from Union Square; My first taxi ride in a hybrid - quiet and non-polluting
By Jeanne Lawrence

ARFAC, the Alzheimer’s Research for a Cure Foundation, hosted its inaugural gala this year on February 6 at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

The newly formed non-profit foundation is dedicated to supporting research to discover new and effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and is the first of its kind on the West Coast.

Emcee Jan Yanehiro
With many prominent San Franciscans attending, including leaders in business, medicine and philanthropy, the gala raised more than $400,000 – outstanding for a first event.

Community leader Sandra Mandel chaired the gala, with Robert Kennedy Shriver III as honorary co-chair. The Honorary Committee included former SF Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., Jennifer Siebel Newsom (the newly expectant wife of the current Mayor Gavin Newsom), and Congresswoman Jackie Speier. 

Exclusive indeed, the black-tie affair was limited to fewer than 300 guests. Beginning at 6:30, a cocktail reception featured vodka compliments of Effen Spirits, followed by dinner catered by the innovative Paula Le Duc and paired with wines from Jackson Family Estates. The dance company Urban Pointe Evoc’tion performed, and then guests danced to the music of the Richard Olson Orchestras.

A silent auction showcased extraordinary 20th century artwork from the Robert John Russo Gallery including works by such luminaries as Miro, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Dali.

Jan Yanehiro emceed the live auction, which garnered a $22,000 bid for a Mini Cooper from BMW Concord and $7,000 for a night at the Fairmont Hotel—and that was just for starters.

ARFAC Board members present included Scott Harkonen, Remsen Kinne IV, Adrienne Mally, Maggy Howe and Dr. Michael Weiner, Professor of Radiology, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology at UCSF, who spoke about the disease.
Alzheimer’s has affected nearly 5 million Americans, including 50% of those over 80 years old, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. That’s why this cause is on all our lists of charities to support.
Joan Stracquadanio and Dr. Janice Zakin Barbara and Ron Winchell with Sandy Mandel
John and Judith Renard with Marsha Monro Wright and John Wright Dr. Scott Harkonen, ARFAC board member
Maureen Kassel and Lori Pryt John Capizzi and Terri Mino
Barbara Brown, John Capizzi and Patty Mozart Team Work
Carol Shattil and Scott Harkonen Jan Yanehiro and former Mayor Willie Brown
Mark Dingwell, Todd Long, Kelly Wagner, and Ashley Barrington
Stephanie and Anand Mehra Willie Brown, Sandy Mandel, and Scott Harkonen
Night of Light Benefits Episcopal Charities

Episcopal Charities celebrated its fifth annual Night of Light bash, this year entitled “Hats Off to our New Vision,” and held at the Ritz Carlton. Nearly 350 guests raised almost $300K to help find solutions to end poverty in the Bay Area.

For more than 30 years, Episcopal Charities has led this effort in the Diocese of California to fund healthcare, education, and a healthy environment for those in need.

Hats off, indeed, to Co-Chairs Ginny and David Freeman for making this year’s event so successful.

Episcopal Charities Board member Peter Vestal honored his fellow Board member Phil Pillsbury as a “man of vision” and noted his commitment to Episcopal Charities and St. Luke’s Hospital.
Phil and Sharon Pillsbury with opera diva, Liz O'Neill David and Ginny Freeman, Co-chairs of Hats off to Our New Vision
Guests dined on an “international” dinner, with each of four courses representing a different country to symbolize the inclusiveness of Episcopal Charities.

The live auction was emceed by Fritz Hatton, a veteran of Christie’s, the New York auction house. The tempting offers on the block included “stay-cations” in the spirit of local economic stimulus: for example, the tasting dinner for 12 at Mesa, the romantic Nob Hill restaurant, and getaways to California locales including Tiburon, Napa and Carmel.

Among the generous attendees were the Rt. Rev. Bishop Marc Handley Andrus and Sheila Andrus, the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Jeanne Taylor, Jorge Maumer, Yvonne and Angelo Sangiacomo, Diane and John Savage, Margaret and Stephen Gill, Debbie and Michael Shepherd, Connie and Haig Mardikian, Valerie and Paul Crane-Dorfman, and Landra and Anthony Miles.

Later, the room thrummed with the eclectic rhythms of Martini Straight Up, who kept the dance floor crowded well into the night.
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California Khena and Pablo Wong Singer-songwriter Philip Claypool and Martha Crawford
Angelo and Yvonne Sangiacomo Diane Savage, immediate past president Farron and Dr. Martin Brotman, President and CEO, CPMC
Jorge Maumer and Jeanne Taylor Debbie and Michael Shepherd Paul and Valerie Crane-Dorfman
Photographs by Thomas Gibbons, Jose Marco, and Drew Altizer. New York-based Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in Shanghai and San Francisco, and wherever else she finds a good story.