Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Palm Beach Social Diary

7:15 pm, Friday night. Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach. Where better for Salvatore Ferragamo to showcase its 2012 Resort Collection than at the Paradise Fund's black-tie benefit to aid St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Ferragamo sponsors Paradise Fund benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
By Augustus Mayhew

“We are excited to partner with The Paradise Fund on what we know will be the start of a long and prosperous relationship,” said Vincent Ottomanelli, president of Ferragamo USA, with a Palm Beach branch located on Worth Avenue for the past 25 years.  

Now under the creative direction of Massimiliano Giornetti, this gala marks the first time Salvatore Ferragamo has underwritten a local charity event. Many of the Paradise Fund’s host committee and friends wore an array of selections from Ferragamo’s 2012 Resort Collection as well as vintage retro designs, making the evening benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a kaleidoscope of smart style. And if Henry Flagler’s ghost was looking the other way when he saw the Paradise Casino’s gambling tables at Whitehall, he was probably soothed when he caught a glimpse of Bettina Anderson, Kristina McPherson, Tara Tobin, and Nancy Argott, among others, wearing Ferragamo’s latest patterns of elegant chic. While there was an estimated throng of more than 450, Frances Webster had the one winning raffle ticket for the $30,000 Ferragamo oversized white alligator tote bag with gold hardware.
The museum's Beaux Arts design was as elegant a neoclassical mansion in 1902 when Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flagler moved in as it was a stage setting for Friday night's Monte Carlo-themed benefit.
The event’s chairmen were Kent Anderson, Loy Anderson, Chris DiSchino, and Hilary Jordan. The gala’s honorary chairs were Lourdes Fanjul, Talbott Maxey, and Tom Quick. The host committee members were David Adams, Bettina Anderson, Cara Coniglio, Nick Fouquet, Arvo Katajisto, Celerie Kemble, Wyatt Koch, Margaret Luce, Emily Mateer, Kristina and Brad McPherson, Elizabeth Meigher, India Paull, Dack Patriarca, Piper Quinn, Mike Rendina, Tracy and Matt Smith, Kari Talley, Tara Tobin, Liz Walker and Edward Swenson. This year’s event was produced by IT! Event Concierge & Studio, a production company anchored in Palm Beach and The Hamptons headed by Aime Dunstan. Amid her portfolio, Aime put together the recent hugely-successful Fashion’s Night Out at Neiman Marcus on Worth Avenue.

Established in 2005 by “a new generation of young professionals in Palm Beach,” more information concerning The Paradise Fund can be found at

Here are a few impressions from Friday night’s Paradise Casino at the Flagler Museum.
When some Paradise Fund committee members realized a few of their members were missing, they began looking for them while others remained camera-ready.
Take Two, The 2011 Paradise Fund Committee; well almost, as some of their members had yet to arrive but this group was…well, you get the picture..
Loy Anderson.
Kent Anderson and Bettina Anderson. Nancy Argott and Sally Chandler in matching Ferragamo.
L to r.: Brad McPherson, Kristina Anderson McPherson, Bettina Anderson, and Brendan O'Hare.
Loy Anderson and Emily Mateer. Alex Gobo, public relations coordinator at Salvatore Ferragamo.
Mary Tobin and Tara Tobin.
Wyatt Koch. In Ferragamo? "... just the shoes." Elyse Maschmeyer and Dusty Gebhard.
Emily Mateer and India Paull. Kristina and Brad McPherson.
Once passed the photographers, there was still the matter of the list.
This is about The List.
The 9 o'clock crunch although nothing like when I was vacuum-sealed with a crowd of 2,000 during an Art Basel party last year where several guests needed oxygen and had panic attacks.
Among the crowd
Josh and Nicole Daly. Kirsten Smith, Zac Potter, and Samantha Curry.
Wilder and Jason Regalbuto. Aime Dunstan and Trisha Gregory. Aime is president of IT! Event Concierge & Studio, the company that produced the evening. Trisha is director of public relations for Salvatore Ferragamo.
Matt Gavin and Holiday Hayes.
Dack Patriarca and Sarah Scheffer. Heidi Albertson and Joel Paschow.
Arvo Katajisto.
Scott Harcourt.
John Webster and Candice Earl.
Hugh and Sarah Bate. Mackenzie Coburn and Jonathan Modica.
Eric Galleau, Mariela Gassette, Jamie Feagler, and Ramona Chmura.
High rollers and Lady lucks
At the tables of chance
Cards are serious.
Ryan Phillips and Randy Wooley ready for a new deal.
Scene around the Flagler
In 1911 the Washington Birthday Ball held in the Grand Ballroom might have welcomed several thousand to the end-of-the-season gala while for the more than 400 at Friday night's event, the 2011 Paradise Fund benefit marks the kickoff of the season.
The Grand Hall. The ceiling is never quite as high as I always expect in this 4,800-square-foot reception area..
A touch of Christmas cheer from the Gilded Age.
The West Room and the Lake Room were accessorized with gaming tables. Above, the West Room being prepped before guests arrive. These two rooms were added during the mid-1920s when a ten-story hotel designed by Martin Luther Hampton was added to Whitehall's lakefront west elevation.
8 pm in the West Room as guests began arriving although "this is a late crowd."
The West Room looking out towards the lake.
The West Room's 27-foot high ceiling adds some atmosphere to the Mediterranean ambience.
The dice table was popular.
The West Room.
A view from the West Room leading towards the Lake Room.
Between the West Room and the Lake Room.
Another view between the West Room and the Lake Room.
The Lake Room.
On the terrace
Off the Lake Room, the Terrace overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.
On the terrace, Carene Kengeter and Casey Lindner.
A view of the Terrace.
9:30 pm view of the Flagler Museum from the parking lot as I was leaving just as the party started.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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