Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Palm Beach Social Diary

Palm Beach Civic Association Chairman & CEO Bob Wright welcomed honoree architect Jeffery Smith and keynote speaker Brian Williams, anchor of MSNBC’s “11th Hour with Brian Williams.” Having dedicated its 2017-2018 season to longtime supporter and civic leader Stanley M. Rumbough Jr., Wright announced  the establishment of the Stanley M. Rumbough Jr. Legacy Society for the PBCA with generous support from the Rumbough family and gift commitments in excess of more than $1 million.
Brian Williams @ PBCA Awards Luncheon + Handelsman v. Handelsman
By Augustus Mayhew

The Palm Beach Civic Association celebrated its 2018 Annual Awards Luncheon with more than 200 guests on Monday afternoon at The Breakers’ Venetian Ballroom. The PBCA has more than 2,000 members, 130 directors, and 90 corporate members. Architect Jeffery Smith was honored with the organization’s community service award followed by the keynote speaker, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

Before the luncheon, Chairman Bob Wright welcomed more than 50 of the association’s most generous donors to a VIP reception in the Magnolia Room. Established in 1944, the PBCA is dedicated to “preserve, protect and enhance the special qualities” that make Palm Beach like no other place in the world. “The Legacy Society in honor of Stan Rumbough insures the PBCA’s long-term fiscal stability to benefit generations to come,” said Wright. “The Legacy Society will act as a catalyst to educate our citizens, through organized forums and symposiums, in perpetuity,” added Wright. A former co-chairman and CEO of the Civic Association, Rumbough passed away in September 2017 and was designated the group’s chairman emeritus.
The Civic Association’s generous donors gathered for a personal meet-and-greet with Brian Williams. Some attended the private dinner the night  before that Williams also attended.
Brian Williams has received numerous Emmy Awards as well as the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I checked-in on Via Amore owners Lovey and Burt Handelsman’s  continuing litigation over who-gets-what-for-how-much. Is Via Amore worth $30 million; $36 million? Or? Real estate appraiser Michael  R. Slade was on the stand decoding whether many of the couple’s properties are worth $4 million or $20 million or $12 million?  Appraising a Worth Avenue/Palm Beach property with the same formula you might utilize for an office building or retail store in Peoria, does sound beside the point. Nonetheless, standard income or cost approaches or “market value” appear to be setting the parameters for the court and when added to Mr. Handelsman’s apparent philanthropic generosity with some tenants on Worth and Peruvian paying rent that you might pay on Main  Street in Peoria, Judge Suskauer has a mission impossible undertaking to determine who will own what and at what value.

February 12, 2018 – 11 am
Palm Beach Civic Association VIP Reception 
Magnolia Room- The Breakers
Bob Nederlander and Lynn Foster.
Mark Freitas. Mary Freitas.
Pat Cooper, PBCA secretary-treasurer, with Brian Williams.
Pepe Fanjul, Sr. Pepe Fanjul, Jr.
Linda and Skip Aldridge.
Heidi and David Duffy.
Gail Coniglio, mayor of Palm Beach, and Nancy Brinker. Linda Olsson.
Danielle Moore, president pro tem for the Town Council of Palm Beach.
Dom Telesco.
June and Gerald Frank.
Jeffery and Nancy Smith.
Kathryn and Leo Vecellio.
Bernard and Sarah Gewitz.
Ned Barnes and Mary Robosson.
Magnolia Room, The Breakers.
February 12, 2018 – Noon
PBCA Awards Luncheon
Venetian Ballroom – The Breakers
Venetian Ballroom, The Breakers.
View from the Venetian Ballroom.
Palm Beach Civic Association, Luncheon supporters.
Dick and Rhoda Kleid with architect Thomas Kirchoff. Mr. Kleid serves as president of the Town Council of Palm Beach.
Irwin Levy. Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.
Michael and Suzanne Ainslie.
Lucille Hume. I sat with Lucille at the luncheon. She has already bought her ticket for the Coudert Institute’s Feb. 23rd luncheon at the Sailfish Club featuring NYSD’s DPC and Jeff Hirsch. David T. Sarama.
CEO and Chairman Bob Wright emceed the luncheon program.
Bob Wright presenting Jeff Smith with the 2018 William J. Brooks Community Service Award.
Bob Wright introduced Brian Williams who spoke about the current state of affairs and infrastructure in the United States
Brian Williams, keynote speaker.
The Breakers
South Loggia, décor.
South gallery-arcade.
2 p.m. View across the green looking east to The Breakers.
Handelsman vs. Handelsman
Palm Beach County Courthouse – 9G
The Honorable Scott Suskauer, presiding
250 Via Amore – Worth Avenue, Palm Beach. Lovey and Burt lived in one of the apartments on Via Amore until Lovey filed for divorce in 2016.  By court order, she was permitted to reoccupy the apartment the couple once shared. The Handelsmans also own 305-256-224 Worth Avenue. These three properties alone could possibly be sold in the range of $100 million.
Burt Handelsman being questioned by Lovey’s lawyer Joel Weissman. “I don’t recall.” “I sign papers all day Mr. Weissman; I can’t remember everything I’ve signed.” “If I could remember, I would be more than happy to tell you Mr. Weissman.” “I don’t know what it’s worth, that’s why there are appraisers.” “I don’t recall what I paid for it.” And so on, and so on…Tick tick tick.
Lovey Handelsman.
Lovey, Burt and Joel Weissman share a few words while court was in recess.
Via Amore, 250 Worth Avenue.
Via Amore, 250 Worth Avenue.
Via Amore, 250 Worth Avenue, courtyard.
Burt Handelsman sports a ponytail.
Burt Handelsman with his lawyer Howard DuBosar, managing shareholder of Boca Raton’s DuBosar Law Group PA.
Handelsman vs. Handelsman, evidence boxes.
Lovey Handelsman’s lawyer Joel Weissman, right, examines state-certified real estate appraiser Michael R. Slade, MAI, SRA, CRE, with the Callaway & Price Inc. firm.
306 Worth Avenue. In 2002, the Handelsmans paid $13 million for the more than 25,000-square-foot retail building. Slade valued the building at $1,350 per-square-foot or about $23 million.
400 Hibiscus. Burt Handelsman’s appraiser values this corner building at $4.5 million, purchased in 1998 for approx. $1.34 million.
In 2012 after the Handelsmans bought 250 Worth Avenue, Burt wanted to change the name from Via Gucci to something more apropos and suggested readers send him their suggestions.  He settled on Via Amore. Palm Beach Daily News cartoonist David Willson captured the spirit of it all with this cartoon. For a further look on the lighter side of Palm Beach, visit: David Willson Cartoonist/Facebook
Photography by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Palm Beach-A Greater Grandeur