Friday, December 18, 2009

New York to Palm Beach

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and David Wolkoff
Patricia Cayne
Lori Stokes
CeCe Cord
Last Monday night at the Waldorf, they held the 12th Annual Food Allergy Ball 2009. The Food Allergy Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award went to Emeril Lagasse, celebrated chef, restaurateur and television personality. The evening also honored entertainment tycoon Charles Koppelman, Executive Chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and the FAI Legacy Award went to the late Senator Ted Kennedy with his nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. accepting.

David Koch was Corporate Dinner Chair. Sharyn Mann and Todd Slotkin were Dinner Chairs. Benefit dinner chairs were Patricia and James Cayne, Julia Koch, Mary Richardson Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
David Koch, Sharyn Mann, Julia Koch, and Todd Slotkin
Julian Niccolini, Sirio Maccioni, David Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, Alain Sailhac, and Drew Nieporent
I reported the story of the origins of the Food Allergy Initiative on these pages more than once before. It was originally an idea pioneered by Sharyn Mann in the mid-90s because she had a child with food allergies. It was an idea whose time had come but at the outset many did not see it way.

To her credit, Mrs. Mann, along with the efforts and support of the aforementioned chairs and co-chairs, many of whom have been with the charity since its inception, was able to forge ahead. They have raised many millions, raised public consciousness of it to the point where they have made a BIG, even life-saving difference in the lives of many many people. This is what can happen, and especially in New York.
Arthur Backal and Liana Silverstein Backal
Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond
Bill Etkin and Leslie Cornfeld
Roslyn and Eliott Jaffe
B. Smith and Dan Gasby
David and Helen Jaffe
Florence Fabricant and Drew Nieporent
Cornelia and Martin Bregman
Alden Lagasse and Emeril Lagasse
Amie Rappoport McKenna and Christine McKenna
Denise and David Bunning
Allen and Deborah Grubman
Conor Richardson Kennedy and Mary Richardson Kennedy
Abbey and Steven Braverman
Dean and Roxanne Palin
Julie and Paul Leff
Photographs by Julie Skarratt and Patrick McMullan

Palm Beach ... Cartier hauled out the big guns in celebration of comely Mary Freitas and her committee for this season’s upcoming Palm Beach Opera Ball this March at Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel.

Well-known as Worth Avenue’s traditional “trick or treat” night: the Friday after Thanksgiving brought out Palm Beachers and their houseguests in droves for the unlimited Cartier bubbly and a gander at the lastest bling to celebrated Cartier’s 100th year in America.
The Leon Fassler Family goes watch shopping
Palm Beach Opera Young Artist Soprano Betsy Diaz blew the windows out of the store with a thrilling rendition of “The Jewel Song” from Faust as she fastened a few million bucks worth of ice onto her neck, ears and wrist.

Guests included: Diane and Lowry Bell, Muriel Shapiro, Bob Dowling, Bloomberg insider Patrick Murphy, maestro Bruno Aprea, Missy Geisler, Chip Freeman, Phil Whitacre, Peter Cromarty, Victor Moore, John Tatooles, Arlette and Bob Gordon and a hundred more who know their arias from their atriums.
Cartier on Worth Avenue
Eugene and Victoria Pollingue
Suzanne Von Liebig
Scott Moses and Stephanie Rockwell
Mark and Mary Freitas, Opera Ball Chairman
Howard and Michelle Kessler
Anka Palitz and John Andreu
Bill Diamond and Regine Traulsen
Daniel Biaggi and Renee Wood
Steven Stolman and Stacey Stolman Webb
John Andreu and Kirk de Gooyer
John Firestone and Marsha Wilson
James Tigani and Mary Montgomery
Andrea and Brian Kosoy
Ken Wyse and Beth De Woody
James and Kirsten Braden
Susan and Dom Telesco
Daniela di Lorenzo, Suzanne Stoll, and Daniel Biaggi
Larry Laslo and Tom Shaffer
Stephen Mooney, Betsy Diaz, and Scott Velozo
Steven Stolman and Gloria Stolman
Photographs by Lucien Capehart

A breakout moment for Palm Beach’s celebrity culture occurred via the arrival of a dramatic British ex-pat named Celia Lipton, who married the inventor of the milk carton, and the rest is history. As Mrs. Victor Farris, later DAME Celia, this former actress turned philanthropist and humanitarian never left the footlights behind, even as she climbed the mountains of society. Extravagantly coiffed, bejeweled and sporting a slash of red lipstick, Celia was a somebody even among other, bigger somebodies. She rubbed shoulders with royalty, movie stars and politicians the way the rest of us go through the checkout line at the supermarket.

Her autobiography, “My Three Lives” lays testament to a life well lived, let alone the three she pins on her own existence. Understatement has never been her game, but her life’s story remains an inspiration on how to do it right nonetheless.
Brett Hagey, Dame Celia Lipton Farris, and Victoria "CeCe" Farris
Tom McCarter, Frances Scaife, and Mark Stevens
The Historical Society of Palm Beach County honored her at their eighth annual Archival Evening -- “Dame Celia Lipton Farris: An Incredible Life.” Kathy Bleznak served as honorary chairman aided by Diana Ecclestone, Tommy Quick and Patrick Park as co-chairmen. PNC Bank and Tiffany & Co. were corporate sponsors. Palm Beach’s tony private dining club, Club Colette, was packed to the rafters with friends and supporters, all in the name of The Dame. Following a toast by PNC’s Mark Stevens, a rousing performance of “Nothin’ Like a Dame” by Palm Beach Atlantic University theater students and heartfelt words by Mesdames Ecclestone and Bleznak, Celia took the floor like a pro.

Following the formalities, it was a grand dinner, dancing and lots of early season schmoozing. There among the hundreds: Llwyd Ecclestone, Kate Gubelmann, Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter, Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, Palm Beach Opera’s Daniel Biaggi, Brantley and Peter Knowles, Ross Meltzer, Jackie and Beau Breckenridge, Michele and Howard Kessler, Susan and Dom Telesco, Margot and Ashton de Peyster, Michelle and Craig Millard, Stephen Mooney and Scott Velozo, Lady Sylvia and Sir Geoffrey Leigh, Jennifer Garrigues, Talbott Maxey and Kenn Karakul.
Troy and Perry Brown
Susan and Dominick Telesco
Dame Celia Lipton Farris and Burt Sokol
Mark Stevens, Sonja Abrahmson, and Laura Andrassy
Llwyd Ecclestone, Kate Gubleman, and Tom Quick
Jeff and Gina Sabean
Steven Stolman and Jennifer Garrigues
Kae Jonsons and Ross Meltzer
Diana Ecclestone, Patrick Park, and Nathalie Fernandez de La Valle
Nancy and Jeff Smith
Sir Geoffrey Leigh and Lady Sylvia Leigh
Kathy Bleznak and Diana Ecclestone
Michele and Howard Kessler
Talbot Maxey and Kenn Karakul
Jeff and Liz Bateman
Photographs by Lucien Capehart

Palm Beach Opera opened its 2009-10 season with a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony “Choral,” a masterwork that had an audience of over 2000 weeping in their seats. Maestro Bruno Aprea conducted a cast of 300 consisting of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and the Palm Beach Opera Chorus supplemented by choruses from Palm Beach Atlantic University, Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches and The Robert Sharon Chorale. Guest soloists were Ruth Ann Swenson, Michaela Martens, Clifton Forbis and Morris Robinson.

Following the concert, patrons of Palm Beach Opera gathered for a cozy gala dinner with the artists in honor of performance sponsors Helen Persson for opening night, and Mary Montgomery for the closing Sunday matinee. There among the bejeweled, gowned and tuxedoed: Arlette and Bob Gordon, Leon and Estelle Fassler, Elizabeth Bowden, Victoria and Eugene Pollingue, Cartier’s John Andreu, Kae Jonsons, Victor Moore and John Tattoles, Gladys Benenson, Muriel Shapiro, Ingrid and David Kosowsky, Cathy and Marc Solomon, general director Daniel Biaggi, Ann Baskind, Claire Chasanoff, Phil Whitacre, Jennifer Garrigues and Anthony Underwood.
Kae Jonsons and Steven Stolman
Muriel Shapiro and Jacqueline Goldman
Joe and Terry Mendozza
Victor Moore, Mary Weiss, and John Tatooles
Anthony Underwood, Jennifer Garrigues, and John Andreu
Marc Solomon and Helen Persson
Mary Montgomery and daughter Courtnay
David and Ingrid Kosowsky
Soloists Ruth Ann Swenson and Michaela Martens
Daniel Biaggi, Mary Montgomery, Maestro Bruno Aprea, and Helen Persson
Marc and Cathy Solomon
Elizabeth Bowden and Claire Chasanoff
Arlette and Bob Gordon
Eugene and Victoria Pollingue with Donna and James Patrick
Sydelle Meyer and Gladys Benenson
Photographs by Lucien Capehart

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