"Celebration of Life"
Clockwise from top left: David and Betsy Rowe, Wendy Hornick, and Tripp Hornick; The Davis family; Ursula Striker and Dr. Paul Striker; Carol and Bill Boggs.


The American Cancer Society New York City held its major annual fundraiser, the Spring gala “Celebration of Life” at the Pierre with special entertainment by Roberta Flack. The evening’s benefit chairs were Diana and Richard Feldman, Marilena Greig, Linda and Stephen Levy, and Suzanne Mados. President and Mrs. Bush were Honorary Chairs and New York State’s First Lady Libby Pataki was honorary co-chair. Bill Boggs served as emcee.

Floral designer Steve Kolins gave the Grand Ballroom a Spring feeling with floral centerpieces of pink peonies and lilacs. Guests included Marvin Hamlisch, Chita Rivera Marty Richards, Wendy and Lou Hornick, Donna Haines and Richard Kandel, Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen, Rita Gam, Anita Jaffe, and Tara Conner, the reigning Miss USA.

At the beginning of dinner, there was the Society’s very popular balloon auction that raises money to send pediatric cancer patients, survivors and their siblings to a weeklong medically supervised camp on Long Island. Boggs had some big help with this auction – a five year cancer survivor, the ten-year-old Matt Davis who gave a very moving speech asking everyone to be as generous as possible and help to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The dynamic duo, Boggs and Davis, raised $148,000 in balloon sales – and in only fifteen minutes – enough to send 148 kids to camp this summer. “Celebration of Life” raised more than $500,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Marvin Hamlisch with Diana and Richard Feldman

Diana Feldman, Arlene Dahl, Marc Rosen, and Suzanne Mados

Miss USA Tara Conner, Richard Kandel, and Donna Haines

Roberta Flack with Linda and Steve Levy

Marilena Greig with Gary and Heidi Merjian

Mary Lee Davis, Matt Davis, and Matthew Davis

Chita Rivera and friend with Kathy and Don Distasio

Suzanne Mados and Luis Valero

In 1982, the Partnership for the Homeless began as a single shelter in a Manhattan church. Today the Partnership believes they have the know-how and the resources, both as a city and as a nation, to end homelessness by 2020. The Partnership is committed to a mission of fostering a just society and creating lasting community change through the development of solution-oriented programs and initiatives to eliminate the root causes of homelessness.

Last Thursday night, at the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf, The Partnership held its 23rd fund-raising Commitment to Community honoring Jerome J. Lawton, Esq. of Skadden Arps, Donald H. Layton, vice-chairman retired of JPMorgan Chase, and Chris Maddden, CEO, Founder of Chris Madden Inc. The distinguished author and poet Toni Morrison was present to introduce Mr. Madden.

Arnold Cohen, president of The Partnership told the audience that the crisis of homelessness in the country and in our city was not the result of a hurricane or levees breaking in a flood but rather a man-made disaster borne out of the “growing chasm between rich and poor.” 13,000 children go to sleep every night in New York City shelters. There are enough school age children in city shelters today to fill 13 elementary schools, 8 middle schools and 2 high schools. The Partnership believes that we have “an obligation as a community to help create the opportunities for hope and prosperity” to fix the structural problems that perpetuate homelessness and poverty. The priorities are: decent and affordable housing, living wage jobs, quality health care, and access to an educational system that prepares young people for a prosperous future.

Bruce Angiolillo and Peter Wasserman

Roy Gainsburg and Karim Parchment

John Lynagh, Arnold Cohen, Mark Willis, and Bob Adams

Leon Manoff and Gary DeBode

Justin Casson, Lee Casson, Chris Madden, and Kevin Madden

Joyce Devurce, Walter Rodriguez, and Denise Darden

Kris Allen and Mary Ryan

Leah Blank, Samantha Nestor, and Lynne Galvin

Jim Druckman, Patricia Meadow, and James Cantor

Toni Morrison

Donna Wisecup and Henry Krumrei

Kirsten Brant and Tori Mellott

Shon Gables

Chris Madden with Jerry and Nancy Lawton

Arnold Cohen, Bob Adams, Todd Maclin, and Eileen Adams

The Cinema Society & DKNY Jeans hosted a screening and dinner for “The Omen” at The Angel Orensanz Foundation.

Cynthia Rowley and Andrew Saffir

The Cinema Society, teamed up with DKNY Jeans, hosted one of its most star-studded evenings for a screening of “The Omen” followed by a dinner at the Angel Orensanz Foundation.

The film (a remake of the chilling 1976 classic which starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick) stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Mia Farrow, newcomer Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick and was directed by John Moore.

The entire cast was on hand for the glitzy and glam evening which finished up at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a 157-year-old neo-Gothic house of worship (and now arts foundation). Bathed in eerie red light and with candles everywhere, the foundation was a perfect (and creepy) setting for the frightening flick.

Joining the stars and director John Moore, and Cinema Society Founder Andrew Saffir were Naomi Watts, Joan Allen, Edie Falco, Sophie Dahl, Liza Minnelli, Griffin Dunne, Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Nanny Diaries), Damon Dash and Rachel Roy, Moby, Damien Loeb, Project Runway’s Nina Garcia, Maggie Rizer, Padma Lakshmi-Rushdie, Cari Modine, Theodora Richards, Cynthia Rowley, Serena Bass, Jane Lauder, Samantha Gregory, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Douglas Hannant, Nina Griscom and Leonel Piraino, Daniel Benedict, Jill and Andrew Roosevelt, Peter Davis, Minnie Mortimer, Marjorie Gubelmann Raein, Fernanda Niven, Bettina Zilkha, producer Glenn Williamson, and Twentieth Century Fox’s Hutch Parker, who supped amidst the red lighting and drank blood-red Pomegranite Belvedere martinis well into the stellar night.

Jessie Della Femina

Jane Lauder

Mia Farrow

Minnie Mortimer

Maggie Rizer

Liza Minnelli

Douglas Hannant and Valesca Guerrand-Hermes

Griffin Dunne

Naomi Watts

Joan Allen

Liev Schreiber

Daniel Benedict

Edie Falco

Helen Lee Schifter and Fernanda Niven

Rachel Roy and Damon Dash

Bettina Zilkha

Cari Modine

Mia Farrow, Julia Stiles, John Moore, and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick

Nina Garcia

Nina Griscom

Padma Lakshmi-Rushdie

Sophie Dahl

Marjorie Gubelmann Raein

Theodora Richards

Gigi Stone and Sessa von Richthofen

On a Tuesday night early last May, Autism Speaks Co-Founders NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright, his wife Suzanne Wright, Laura and Harry Slatkin and Marilyn and Jim Simons co-chaired "A New Decade for Autism," benefiting Autism Speaks and The New York Center for Autism at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. Nearly 1000 guests attended the evening which included a private concert by Tony Bennett who donated his time and performed favorites like “The Best is Yet to Come,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.”

Stone Phillips of NBC was emcee and was joined by Keynote speaker New York City School Chancellor Joel I. Klein who spoke about how proud he was of the school that opened in September 2005 and all the steps that still need to be taken to ensure that all the children enrolled receive the best education that they can.

Laura and Harry Slatkin with Vera Wang

Sidney and Dorothy Kohl

Robert and Dr. Shirley Siff

Co-Chair Laura Slatkin, who is among the founders of the NYCA Charter School along with her husband Harry Slatkin, spoke about her son David, who is autistic, and how with research, education and dedication to this cause, autistic children can be brought to their full potential. Laura also had the honor of announcing that the evening raised $2 million for Autism Speaks and the NYCA Charter School.

Those applauding this phenomenal amount of money raised included Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira and her husband Richard Cohen, actress Sela Ward, actor James Lesure, designer Vera Wang, Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, newscaster Jim Watkins and his wife Lauren Thierry Watkins, William and Deeda Blair, Anne Ford, Beth Rudin de Woody, Bill Rudin, and James and Meryl Tisch.

Before dinner was served, the audience watched a video put together by Lauren Thierry Watkins that showed what parents of autistic children go through on a daily basis as it shadowed the lives of local mothers and their every day struggles. The emotional video only further emphasized how important it is to donate time and money for these children to excel and for their families to get all the help that they can.

Other guests included Kirk King, Taylor Stein, William Blair, Samantha Rudin, Ophelia Rudin, Rachel Rudin, Richard Cohen, Steve Robert, Pilar Crespi, Dr. David Shaffer, Sue Evans and Matt Evans, Fletcher Preuninger, Mary and Lewis Schott, Robert Jaffe, Suzanne Wright, Simone Levinson and David Levinson, Robert Smigel and Michelle Smigel, Mara Dumski, Jessica Costa, Michele and Howard Kessler, Lisa Jackson, Jane Soudavar, Laura and Dr. Stafford Broumand, Catherine and Dr. Robert Schultz, Joanne and Ted Trembley, Karen Berger, Suzanne Wright, Chris Marden, Larry Aidem, David McCormick, Dan Abrams, Alison Mazzola and George Farias, Karen Siff-Exkorn, Franklin Exkorn, George Zuckerman and Carey Zuckerman.  

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. The New York Center for Autism Charter School is New York State's first charter school dedicated exclusively to educating children with autism. Major support for this event is being provided by The Simons Foundation.

L. to r.: Sela Ward and Lauren Thierry Watkins; Autism Speaks supporters.

Susan Crow and Tony Bennett

Alex Papachristidis, Alison Mazzola, and Scott Nelson

Vera Wang

Lisa Jackson and Jane Soudavar

Steve Robert and Pilar Crespi Robert

Stone Phillips, Meredith Vieira, and Jim Watkins

William Blair and Ophelia Rudin

Deeda Blair

Samantha Rudin and Rachel Rudin

Joel Klein and Jim Watkins

Robert Smigel, Michelle Saks-Smigel, and Joel Klein

Laura and Harry Slatkin, Vera Wang, Meredith Vieira, and Jim Watkins

Sharon Bush, Dr. Masood Khatamee, Larry Spangler and Todd Rubsamen chaired a benefit screening and dinner for the Strang Clinic, of Guild Company Films’ “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam” starring Vanessa Redgrave and Diane Baker.

The film’s director Kayan Mashayekh was there to say a few words about the picture which was a seven year project of love. The film tells the story of a boy if Iranian heritage living in the US who uncovers a personal connection to the great Omar Khayyam, the 11th century mathematician, astronomer, and poet of the famous Rubaiyat. The director’s message is to encourage all of us to embrace our own cultures and traditions and to pass them from generation to generation.

The evening began with a cocktail party. Guests included Laura Harring, star of The Shield and Mulholland Drive, and her fiancé Roberto Jerez, former Governor Mario Cuomo and Mrs. Cuomo, David Lauren and Lauren Bush, Mark Langrish, Michele Gerber Klein, Alex Power and Ralph Destino, Jr., Christine and Steve Schott, Alexandra Lipkin, Jason Grant, Gregory and Caroline Lucca Black, Joan and Martin Lipkin, Sherry Halperin, Andrea Eastman, Jim Quail, Emma Snowdon-Jones, Ann Liguori, B. J. Carter, Mahin Khatamee, Lyn Paulson, Nargas Khan, and Joan Liebmann-Smith.

After the screening, guests walked a block from Lehman Brothers’ Allan S. Kaplan Auditorium to Alfredo of Rome for a delicious meal underwritten by Gerald Tsai.

All proceeds went to the Strang Cancer Prevention Center and its Healthy Children Futures Program. As part of its work, Strang has developed medical and research programs designed to prevent cancer and to detect, diagnose and cure it in its early stages.

Alex Power and Ralph Destino

David Lauren, Lauren Bush, Steve Schott, and Christine Schott

Elizabeth Carter, BJ Carter, Slater Carberry, Nicole Gabona, and Ty Buckelew

Christine and Steve Schott

Gregory and Caroline Lucca Black

Gerald Tsai, Sharon Bush, and Dr. Michael Osborne

Jackie Gendel, Dustin Schell, James Ewing, and Louisa Kazanas

Gerry Shea and Bridget Gregory

Hanane Jounal and Adam Echahly

Gloria Tenenbown, Kayvan Mashayekh, and Matilda and Mario Cuomo

Joan Beer and Larry Rudolph

Joan, Martin, and Alexandra Lipkin

Jeremiah Silva and Chris Ford

Emma Snowdon Jones, Bevan Talbott, and Elizabeth Carter

Emma Snowdon Jones and Mark Langrish

Laura Harring and Roberto Jerez

Zilpha Starnes and Joan Beer

Lyn Paulson and Lyn Segal

Shirlene Elkins, Larry Spangler, and Ann Liquori

Michèle Gerber Klein and Kayvan Mashayekh

Photographs by Cutty McGill (ACS); Clint Spalding/Patrick McMullan (Partnership); Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan (Cinema Society); Patrick McMullan & Chris London (Autism).


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