Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicago, Houston, and Nashville Social Diary

The Woman’s Board of the Alliance Française de Chicago hosted its biennial fundraising gala, with this year’s theme of Le Bal du Printemps, at the Chicago Hilton.
Last month, the Woman’s Board of the Alliance Française de Chicago, led by President Mary B. Babson and Gala Chair, Nancy L. Traylor, hosted its biennial fundraising gala, with this year’s theme of Le Bal du Printemps, at the historic Chicago Hilton. More than 400 guests raised over $560,000 in support of the educational and cultural programs of the Alliance.

Guests were welcomed by the Stanley Paul Strings, and mimes dressed in 18th century French costumes aligned on the double staircase to the Normandie Lounge where the cocktail hour was being toasted and enjoyed by guests. The silent auction offered over 100 items, featuring a wine tour of southern France, prize Bordeaux vintages, fine art and trips to Morocco and Paris.
The Ball Room before dinner
Le Menu
At the dinner chime, guests entered the Belle Epoque-style Grand Ballroom to see tall dogwood bouquets provided by Bukiety Florists, arranged in the center of each pink champagne-clothed table, with gold ballroom chairs awaiting their guests. During the four-course meal of foie gras, cucumber sorbet, perfect rack of lamb and a delicate apple feuilletée, a large screen flashed vintage scenes of famous actors and actresses in France.

A brief live auction, conducted by Leslie Hindman, offered three exciting items: dinner for eight at the French Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.; a Van Cleef and Arpels necklace and bracelet from the Alhambra collection, one of the few available in the United States; and an Abercrombie & Kent cruise to the Galapagos, with dinner at the French Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. Guests were encouraged to use the pink feather plume gracing the back of their chairs as an auction paddle.
William and Solange Brown, Chair, Board of Directors, Hervé de la Vauvre, President, Board of Directors, and Isabelle de la Vauvre
Bruce Gelman, Matt Ziol, David Pisor, Marc Bushala, and Nick Kokonas
After dinner, a short video presentation, narrated by Jack McCord, Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Chicago, about the Alliance’s Educational Outreach Program led into a paddle raise auction to support this important program.

Dancing to the Stanley Paul Orchestra ended the evening, and party favors of fresh lavender in terra cotta pots provided by Craig Bergman Landscape Design awaited guests upon their departure from a truly enchanting and memorable night.
Nancy Traylor, Gala Chair, and Glen Traylor
Mary Babson, President, Woman’s Board, and Nicholas Babson
Harriet Gülis and Robert Hartmann
Jim and Susan Swartz with Marva and JohnWarnock
Tanja Chevalier and Paul-Henri Chevalier
Sidy Diallo, Acting Consul Général de France à Chicago, Giselle Diallo
Liz Stiffel
Jean-Pierre and Annie Ergas
Amy Newhall, Helmut Jahn, and Barbara Lione
Tom Sheffield and Laura Jensen
Damon Thompson and Molly Fiden
Cynthia and John Pacholick
Richard and Karen Williams
Richard Sauer, Lisa Malkin, Frances Elliott, and Cary Malkin
Suzette and Ally Bulley, Sang Mee Lee, and George Lepauw
Michèle Gelman and Lauren Ziol
Ina Warriner, Catherine Graham, Princesse Marie-Blanche de Broglie, and Lili Gaubin
Roger and Janet Owen
For the eighth consecutive year, the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium hosted a program on science and space at the Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

The exciting day began shortly after noon when 270 young girls in grades 6-9 from Chicagoland’s public, parochial and private schools arrived for an afternoon to listen, observe and be part of interactive scientific project activities with experts in the science field. The intent of this Women’s Board event is to interest young women in science and the opportunities that the field offers.

Susan Lovell, daughter of famed Apollo 13’s Captain James Lovell with Dr. Paul Knappenberger, president of the Adler
At this day and evening of Women in Space and Science (WISS), a significant person in the science field was honored, Dr. C. Megan Urry. Dr. Urry received the 2010 Women in Space Science Award at a dinner following the departure of the students. The students had the opportunity to speak and listen to Dr. Urry during their afternoon visit to the Adler.

Dr. Urry is the Israel Munson Professor Physics and Astronomy at Yale University, Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Chair of the Physics Department at Yale.

She arrived at Yale in 2001 as the first female tenured faculty member in the history of the Yale Physics Department. Her scientific research concerns active galaxies – i.e. galaxies with unusually luminous cores powered by very massive black holes. Meg Urry has worked hard to increase the number of women and minorities in science and organized the first national meeting of Women in Astronomy in 1992. She has continued to pursue this cause. Thus, the 2010 honoree truly fit the WISS Award of the Adler Women’s Board.

Past WISS honorees have included Dr. Vera C. Rubin, Astronaut Barbara Morgan, Astronaut Joan Higginbotham and Astronaut Commander Eileen Collins.

Following the student afternoon event, the Women’s Board hosted a reception, awards presentation and dinner for Women’s Board Members, Trustees and Adler friends at 6 pm.
Décor and dining tables overlooking Lake Michigan
Chairing the WISS celebration was Jennifer Burnette of Burr Ridge and her co-chairs were Erika Bartelstein and Milena Sukovic of Chicago. Also assisting were Pamela Cramer of Winnetka, Sarah Fritz of Wilmette and Katherine Hunt of Glenview. Meg Prendergast of Chicago is president of the Women’s Board.

The WISS event was the inspiration of Linda Celesia of Oak Brook, who was recently honored at a luncheon given by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives for her work in interesting young women in science.

The Adler Planetarium is America’s First Planetarium, founded in 1930 by Chicagoan, Max Adler. The Adler is a recognized leader in science education, with a focus on inspiring young people to pursue careers in science, an endeavor that the Women’s Board also makes its mandate.
Heidi Brown and Lisa Lewis
Lisa Jozwiak and Jeff Sharp
Milena Sukovic and Jenn Burnette
Beron Selkregg and his mother, Laura Myntti
Lisa Lewis, Honoree Dr. Meg Urry of Yale, Heidi Brown, and Donna Beering
Susan Lovell and Dr. Paul Knappenberger with his daughter, Heidi
Morgan Voss, Victoria Burke, and Chelsea Berg
Susan Lovell and Dr. Meg Urry
Laura Myntti and Michelle Vanderlaan
Susan Rogers and Amanda Rutledge
Houston Symphony Maestro's Wine Dinner is so popular that this year's event was sold out before invitations were printed. Dinner featured the cuisine of Jackson And Company and wine pairings by Lindsay and John Rydman. The opening reception featured a Russian theme (the concert was Russian-inspired, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky). Maestro Hans Graf introduced the first course of Leipziger Allerlei, while Dr. Madaiah Revana introduced the white wine, a Pinot Gris from his winery. More than 230 guests attended and $155,175 was raised in table and ticket sales and $34,550 in the auction for a total of $189,725, far exceeding the original event goal. The Maestro's Wine Dinner benefited the Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition.
Seated dinner on stage at Jones Hall
Guests included Mike, Carolyn, Paul, and Kathy Mann, Ulyesse and Barbara LeGrange, Hans and Margarita Graf, Christina and Mark Hanson, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Robert Sakowitz, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Cora Sue and Harry Mach.
Karen and Murry Penner
Milton Townshened and Nic Phillips
Kathy and Marty Goossen
Brian Teichman, Gary Joseph, and David Watson
Harry and Cora Sue Mach with Joella and Steve Mach
Britt and Beth Langford
Maestro Hans Graf
Ms. Karin Giani and Dr. Madaiah
Jana Vander Lee
Kari and Kevin Brophy
Oxana and Tom Nichols
Ulyesse and Barbara LeGrange
Mark and Christina Hanson, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Jim Daniel
Mike, Carolyn, Paul, and Kathy Mann
For the 21st year, Corporate Night was held at Symphony Center and this year it was sponsored by the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA). This year's featured performer was Frankie Valli with the Four Seasons.

Music was by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conducting the Orchestra was Edwin Outwater, Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. The program opened with the Overture to The Barber of Seville followed by a very generous performance by Valli and the Four Seasons who sang a selection of their greatest hits including Cole Porter’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin to My Eyes Told Me.

The dinner menu included a shrimp and tomato salad, a filet mignon and bay scallops entrée and a chocolate dessert. Different venues throughout Symphony Center were used for dining and each area had special floral arrangements. Warm tones dominated. Madonna and cymbidium orchids, hot pink vandas, yellow roses, purple kales and lily grass were some of the many flowers used. The colors for the cloths and napkins were turquoise, yellow, cerise and persimmon.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on stage at Chicago’s Symphony Center
The 2010 Corporate Night sponsors were Citadel and United plus PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Exelon, Abbott, BlueCross/BlueShield, Sidley Austin LLP, Winston & Strawn LLP, Harris and Performance Trust..

The 2010 Chairman was Peter D. McDonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, United Airlines. Linda Neumann of Lake Bluff was the Corporate Chair for the League of the CSO Association. Members of her committee from Chicago included Margo Sorgman, Liz Stein, and Sue Tice. From the north shore were Jetta Bushonville and Roberta Weinsheimer of Winnetka and Mary Plauche of Evanston. The President of the League of the Women’s Association is Cheryl Istvan of Chicago.

This project is a tribute to Chicago’s business community and is the main fundraiser for the League of the CSO Association. The attendance numbered 800 for dinner and a total of 1,700 for the concert. The evening receipts were $1,300,000. Said Chair McDonald, “The co-chairs and their committees have met and, in fact, exceeded their fundraising goals for Corporate Night 2010”!
Lydon and Linda Neumann
Peter McDonald and Linda Neumann
Joanna Antonsen and Chris Neumann
Peter McDonald, Linda Neumann, Dora McDonald, and Lydon Neumann
Lisa and Charles Tribbett
Famed scientist Walter Massey and his wife, Shirley
Cate and Rick Waddell with Anne and Will Fraumann
Alejandra and Amelia Silva
Laura Mahan and Kara Muchorcke
Scott Rafferty of Citadel with his wife, Mary
Erin Johnson and Scott Wallace
Anna Janowski and Marty Elisco
Anne Fraumann
Amanda, Kathleen, and Kimberly Streff
Peter McDonald
Northern Trust’s CEO -Bill and Cathy Osborne with Jim O’Connor
Mary Rafferty with Dan and Tracy Michalek
Cindy and Jay Henderson
Barbara and David Speer
Ansha and Ajay Gupta
Kira Muehrcke, Laura Mahan, and Joann Fakhury
Peter McDonald, Frankie Valli, and Dora McDonald
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Houston, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious horse competitions, wrapped up a stunningly successful 65th season. This year’s show, which was held once again at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. BBVA Compass returned as the lead sponsor of the show.

Thousands of equine devotees poured in to the world-class multi-breed exhibition of hunters, jumpers, American Saddlebreds, Andalusians, Welsh Ponies and United Mountain Horses. Horses and hospitality were the main features of the show, and the two week event offered daily sponsors’ luncheons, two ringside dinners, and an elegant derby party.

Highlights of the show came on the first Saturday night with the Championship Stake Night. For the American Saddlebreds, the Five Gaited Stake was won by Foxgrape’s Dauntless owned by Foxgrape Farms, and the Three Gaited Stake was won by London’s Time for Tea owned by Toney Wilkey.

Eva Bisso
Fiona Dawson
Bluebonnet’s Royalty owned by Edmund Perwien won the Fine Harness Championship. The grand finale of the evening came with the Nordic Lights $30,000 Grand Prix, won by Happy Z owned by Wilhelm Genn. The following Friday evening, the $15,000 International Hunter Derby was won by Katcha’ Reminiscing owned by Caroline Auclair. The second Saturday evening of the show saw Chantal, owned by Laura Ryan-Baraclo win the Houston Area Audi Dealers $30,000 Grand Prix.

Special parties included Neiman Marcus’s luncheon and fashion show honoring Pin Oaks Charity Horse Show followers and the after-party sponsored by Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy.

Luminaries seen at the Neiman Marcus event included Eva Bisso, Rick Terry with BBVA Compass, Neiman Exec Stacey Swift, designer Craig Taylor, and Moira Rankin Cooper. Seen at the flamboyant and always fun after party (many dancing to the wee hours of the morning) were Pin Oak Charity Horse Show president Lynn Walsh, Lynda Transier, Franco Valobra, Judith Oudt, R.O. Hunton, and Janine Iannarelli.

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.

Official Sponsors included BBVA Compass, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Valobra Jewelry & Antiques, Houston Area Audi Dealers, Nordic Lights Farm, KTRK TV/Channel 13 - ABC Affiliate, Par Avion Ltd., Neiman Marcus, Farm & Ranch Magazine, Bisso Marine, Moet Hennessey/USA, Two Forks Catering, McDonald’s Corporation, Dawn Services, StarElite, and Energy XXI. New sponsors this year were Purina Mills and Executive AirShare, along with the new media sponsors Horse Connection, PrimeLiving and Sidelines Magazine.
Beatrice Bornibus
Judith Oudt
Franco Valobra
Hollis Grace
Janine Iannarelli
Lacy Baird and Linda Graham
Eva Bisso, Rick Terry, and Hollis Grace
Stacey Swift and Lynn Walsh
Lacy Baird
Lynda Transier
Ed Perwien and Elly Berman
Eva Bisso, Craig Taylor, and Lynn Walsh
Jenny Booth and Moira Rankin Cooper
Reece Davenport
Selena Gomez
R.O. Hunton and Judith Oudt
Lynn Walsh
Sinclair Schiller
The Saturday before last, June 19th, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) presented “Small Town, Big Talent,” an all-day celebration to benefit SOPAC, honoring the South Orange/Maplewood community and its contribution to the arts. More than a thousand local residents attended the performances, workshops, panel discussion. In the morning there was a family-friendly show featuring indigenous music of Africa. In the afternoon there was an intimate conversation with Columbia High School alumni Zach Braff and AJ Calloway.

They honored former Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, and fonding SOPAC Chairman of the Board Barbara Stoller. The 2010 Jonathan Felsman Spirit Award went to South Orange’s beloved traffic control officer Butch Larkin. The day was the vision and passion of Mr. Felsman, a local resident who lost his battle with cancer last year.
Zach Braff and AJ Calloway
In a tribute to all the talent that has emerged from the Essex County area, in the evening “Small Town, Big Talent” including, in addition to Zach Braff and AJ Calloway, South Orange/Maplewood residents and/or natives Budd Mishkin of NY 1, singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill; Christiane Noll (2010 Tony nominee), Kelly Bishop (TONY Award winner), Christine Ebersole (two-time TONY Award winner), Max Weinberg (drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Tim Squyres, Nat Adderly Jr., Lydia Johnson, Jessica Kirson, jazz pianists Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, jazz vocalist Sarah Partridge, and many more.
The Reception group
Marci and David Kessler, Nina Mitchell Wells, and Monique and Eric Pryor
David Stoller, Barbara Stoller, and Susan and Mitchell Lieberman
Lori Dalvi, Marge Soloman, and Lisa Marie Murray
Rolyn San Juan with Holly and John Benge
Ondine Landa Abramson and Shawn Grain Carter
B. Larry Branch and James Lazarus
Jasia and Tim Ries
Rosena Hill
Isaac Mizrahi. He charmed the ladies at the Nashville Symphony League cocktail party and then wowed them with his fashions from the runway.

The setting was the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall and the event was to raise funds for the Thor Johnston Scholarship Fund.

Claire Armistead with Isaac Mizrahi
The production team was Janice Elliott and Jeanne Riggs from Gus Mayer Nashville and Kristen Newton, Meghan Horstmann and Jayne Harkness from Isaac Mizrahi New York.

Co Chairs Pamela Poe and Troy Solarek brought a young and vibrant crowd that mixed and mingled with the ladies who have paved the way and set the tone for all things social in Nashville.

Celebrity sights are always the case at Nashville events and seen on this beautiful Spring night were; former star of The Bachelor, Byron Velvick, Titan Football star and Symphony Board member, Rob Bironas, Deborah Roberts of ABC Network, and wives of country music celebrities, Barbara Orbison wife of the late Roy Orbison, Allison DeMarcus wife of Jay DeMarcus of Rascall Flatts, Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts was escorting his wife, Tiffany Fallon, Christiev, who is married to Kenny Alphin of Big and Rich fame and Fletcher Foster was escorting the ever stylish Sylvia Roberts.

But, the real star was the new line from Isaac. It was said many times during the dinner and all over town the next day, that is was the prettiest fashion show ever seen in Nashville. That is pretty strong chatter considering the heavy weights that Gus Mayer has brought in over the years.
Isaac Mizrahi struts his stuff
Marsha Meadows, Donna Tucker Image, and Sharon Harper
Patricia Ling, Ann Dewitt, Shirley Guerrero, Ina Guerrero, Yolanda Brooks Robinson, and Nicole Jenkins
Chuck Williams, Co Chair Pamela Kurio Poe, Belinda Kurio, Natalie Gideon, and Cecile Gideon
Renee Koban, Rankin McGugin, and Hampton Williams
Allison Woosley
Justin Holbrook
Gail Greil and Heloise Kuhn
Byron Velvick, Belinda Juarez, Rob Bironas, and Elizabeth Broyhill
Kristen Naiman, Herman Heinle, and Janice Elliott
Helen Kennedy, Agina Clark, Deborah Roberts, Sherytha Scaife, and LaRawn Scaife Rhea

Photographs by Cheri Eisenberg/Dan Rest (Alliance Chicago); Fulton Davenport (Pin Oak); LaRawn Scaife Rhea (Mizrahi).
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