Houston Happenings and Palm Beach Biz

The Fifth Annual NBA Wives Luncheon was held last Saturday, February 18th during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Houston. They honored philanthropist Kathy Chenault; award-winning singer and national spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins; and Chief Executive of the National Foundation for Youth Music, Christina Coker, as the “2006 Women of Influence.” In addition, Pastor Janice Caslin of the New Deliverance Church of Houston was recognized for her tireless efforts to provide assistance to the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Kathy Chenault

The keynote address given by Pamela Baxter, President and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics for North America, stressed how important it is to take care of ourselves in order to better to take care of others.

Guests including Trina, Tracy Mourning, Gina Coleman, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Dr. Deborah Williams, ESSENCE Editor-In-Chief Angela Burt-Murray, and Debra Lee shopped at Style Suites hosted by Dennis Basso, LVMH, Chase’s Closet, Simmons Jewelry and Canyon Ranch.

The event, hosted by Jaci and Morris L. Reid along with ESSENCE magazine took place at The Houston Club. The luncheon was created to pay tribute to the members of Behind the Bench The National Basketball Wives Association, and their generous donations of time and financial resources to worthy charitable organizations nationwide.

This was the fifth annual lunch hosted by Jaci Reid and her husband. Jaci Reid is a volunteer fundraiser working with women, children and art related non-profit organizations. Morris L. Reid is the managing director of Westin Rinehart, a Washington D.C.-based strategic communications and marketing firm. Westin Rinehart and ESSENCE co-hosted this year’s event. Other sponsors included Dennis Basso, LVMH, Chase’s Closet, Simmons Jewelry, Canyon Ranch, Christian Dior, Hummer, Godiva, Steve Madden, Amino Vital and Diageo.

Behind The Bench

Kathy Chenault is dedicated to supporting educational institutions, the arts, and expanding opportunities for young people. She is an active supporter of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and the Partnership for the Huguenot Children’s Library. As a former practicing attorney, Mrs. Chenault was an associate attorney at law firms in New York and Boston before serving as vice president of corporations and foundations for the United Negro College Fund. She presently serves on various boards including the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and Kids of NYU Medical Foundation. Mrs. Chenault and her husband, Ken, have been honored by the Citizens Committee of New York, Iona College, and Sound Shore Medical Center.

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is the lead singer of TLC, one of the most successful female groups of all time. TLC has sold more than 33 million albums and has received numerous Grammy’s, MTV, Soul Train, Billboard and Lady of Soul awards. Ms. Watkins success has not been without adversity. As a small child, she was stricken with sickle cell anemia. She went public with the disease in 1996, and today she serves as a national spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

Christina Coker has spent all of her professional life involved in music, the arts and education.  After her first job as a teacher of music and French, she extended her experience internationally to work at the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges in London. She then moved into public policy, strategy and administration and was appointed the National Foundation for Youth Music’s first chief executive in April 1999. In addition, as the volunteer Head of Outreach for the Roundhouse Arts Centre, Ms. Coker has been instrumental in developing school and community arts projects, and subsequently, creating, leading and managing all aspects of the work of the Hackney Music Development Trust. In June 2005, she was awarded an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Pastor Janice Caslin of the New Deliverance Church has spent the past 15 years caring for the homeless in the greater Houston metropolitan area. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she housed more than 200 survivors in her church and provided them with food, clothing and hygiene products.  She arranged transportation to and from the Astrodome, Social Security offices, the DMV, and permanent housing sources.  In addition, she worked with displaced victims assisting them in finding jobs as well as helping register children for school and neighborhood daycare services.

L. to r.: Pastor Janice Caslin and Angela Burt-Muray; Michelle Ebanks, Kathy Chenault, T Boz, Christina Coker, Jaci Wilson Reid, and Deborah Williams.
Jaci and T Boz
Kenneth Chenault and Kathy Chenault with Jaci Wilson Reid and Morris Reid
Dennis Basso and Jaci
Michelle Ebanks, Jaci Wilson Reid, Trina, T Boz, and Charisse Jordan

Evelyn Lauder, founder and chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation took her boffo show on the road to Palm Beach where they presented the 3rd annual Symposium and Hot Pink Luncheon last week at the Flagler Museum. 

This benefit, as it is in New York, is one of the Palm Beach favorites and thanks to Mrs. Lauder’s immeasurable enthusiasm, it brings out the crowd for an interesting and informative panel discussion.

Jessie Araskog

Dr. Larry Norton who is the BCRF Scientific Director and Deputy Physician-In-Chief at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center moderated a the panel discussion which addressed “Breaking News in Breast Health.” The panelists were: Clifford Hudis MD of MSKCC, Kathy Miller MD of Indiana University School of Medicine, and Edith Perez MD of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

The benefit committee was: Donna Acquavella, Jessie Araskog, Camilla Brauder, Virginia Burke, Catherine Cahill, Eileen Cornacchia, Rena Rowan Damone, Emilia Fanjul, Jill Gilmour, Betsy Green, Mai Harrison, Florence Kaufman, Sandy Krakoff, Evelyn Lauder, Hillie Mahoney, Lana Marks, Aline Massey, Grace Meigher, Sydell Miller, Mary Alice Pappas, Jean Pearman, Pauline Pitt, Jane Pontarelli, Margery Russell, Frances Scaife, Susan Tyalor, and Harriet Weintraub.

The luncheon was underwritten by the Ken Lakin Family, Northern Trust and Judith Schlager.’’

Since its inception, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has had an astounding success, raising more than $120 million – more than $25 million in fiscal year 2005 alone. Last year there were three important new developments in breast cancer treatment that were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, all of which were made possible by funding from the BCRF. It is the only non-governmental organization to fund all of these studies. Last October, the Foundation awarded more than $22 million in new greants to 110 researchers across the United States and in Canada, Europe, Israel and Latin America.

L. to r.: Carol Mack; Betsy Greene and Jane Pontarelli; Frances Scaife, Kathy Bleznak, and Liz Schuler.

Edith Perez, Myra Biblowit, Dr. Larry Norton, Clifford Hudis, Evelyn Lauder, and Kathy Miller
Anna Mann and Jillian Gilmour
Judith Schlager, Sandy Krakoff, and Joanie Stringer
Tiffany Spadafora and Carol Ann Stiglmeier

Pauline Pitt and Grace Meigher

Nancy Peacock, Myra Biblowit, Lore Dodge, Mary Schott, and Susan Taylor

Mary Alice Pappas and Dr. Larry Norton

Evelyn Lauder and Myra Biblowit

The stylish Nicole Hanley launched her chic clothing line, HANLEY, this past Saturday at Alpark in Palm Beach. Paintings by Vincent Poitout in the shop window echoed the line’s collaborations with other young artists, including Henry Hemming, Al Braithwaite, and Edmond Louis. The trunk show was an invitation to the Young Friends of the Society Four Arts, a cultural organization founded in 1936 by a group of prominent Palm Beach residents to meet the cultural needs of the growing resort community in music, drama, literature and art. Snatching up the collection of silk jersey dresses, camisoles andt-shirts were Grace and Elizabeth Meigher, Emilia and Lourdes Fanjul, Hilary Ross, Lilly Phipps, Mary Baker, and Alice Ross. The collection will be launching in New York, but until then, information about the collection and mailing list is available online at www.hanley-ny.com.

Brittain Cudlip with Wilbur and Hilary Ross

Pauline Pitt, Nicole Hanley, and Grace Meigher

Michael McCarty, Nicole Hanley, and Lee Hanley

Peggy Mejia, Harrison LeFrak, and Muffy Miller

Helena and Roman Martinez

Katie Bland, Nicole Hanley, and Charlotte Morgan

L. to r.: Flora Collins and Amy Fine Collins; Alexander Mejia, Merrill Hanley, Alex Acquavella, Dabney Mercer, Remmington Curtis, Callie Baker, and Jamie Korey.

L. to r.: Nicole Hanley, Cornelia Ercklentz, Whitney Stroh, Elizabeth Belfer, and Elizabeth Meigher; Anthony and Caley Baker.


Photographs by Lucien Capehart (Hanley).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com