|It is “March Madness” in Palm Beach and I am sure not talking about basketball. People from all over the place are popping into town to get in on the action. Last Friday, the Vice President, Joe Biden slowed down all the air traffic and the roads too, as he was flying in on Air force Two to stay with Jim Clark of Netscape fame.
Governor Mitt Romney came to lunch at John and Terry Pokolta’s house to discuss his “Free and Strong America PAC.” Jerry and Darlene Jordan gave a dinner for Jay Light, Dean of The Harvard Business School at their lakefront abode.
|Alyne Massey feted her houseguests from Nashville: Claire Armistead, Tooty and Jimmy Bradford, at a seated dinner for about eighty with an Indian theme soiree, “For a Night of Memories under the Raj.” Beautiful Alynne greeted us in “Nehru “collared emerald green tunic from “Worldly Things” and you felt as you stepped into a party in Mumbai with extraordinary decorations all by the very talented florist Bill Beers. The eight round tables were covered with flaming mango colored beaded cloths with towering gold and grass green festival parasols adorned with jeweled tassels. They were surrounded by hand carved teak elephants inlaid with gold with safflower zinnias and marigolds all in various shades of orange. We dined on caviar, Maple Leaf Farms duck, and ginger brown sugar baked apples with vanilla ice cream, yum.
Another night, David and Julia Koch had a dinner for Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of New York Presbyterian Hospital. Speaking of David and Julia, earlier that week, they hosted a “movie night” at their dazzling ocean front house then a seated dinner for about forty afterwards. Now this was not your typical night at the movies, as first of all the setting was the Kochs’ Addison Mizner house as beautiful as any house in the world. The HBO movie, “Into the Storm,” about Sir Winston Churchill during the wars years, was introduced by the grandson of the revered Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who spoke eloquently with enormous affection and great respect about his grandfather.
|After watching the riveting movie, we dined on a scrumptious meal of comfort food, fresh crab, steak then berries for us diet conscious gals and chocolate for the men. What did the gals wear to the “movies”? Julia looked beautiful in Carolina Herrera as did Maria Bockman in Giambatista. Luce Churchill was a star in Alberto Ferretti and Carol Mack looked lovely in a Marni top and black “cigarette “ pants, as did Peggy Siegal in Vera Wang.
We dined on a summer menu of sliced heirloom tomatoes with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, a mixed grill for the main course and “retro” banana splits for dessert. The Breakers Ballroom looked magical, like a summer dream, all in peachy and light Palm Beach colors thanks to the brilliant decorator, Scott Snyder.
The round tables were covered in a cotton seashell print and center pieces were tall glass vases filled with seashells and topped with a big ball of peach carnations. Big bold prints of beige, brown sand colored seashells were hung on the walls all punctuated by tall live palm trees in terra cotta pots.
Scott placed a peach and white striped awning tent above the band, which brings to mind the sensational orchestra “Starlight “with Valerie Romanoff at the helm. We all rocked the night away to her fabulous band with its extraordinary group of singers and dancers.
|Among the gang were newlyweds, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Lily and Sunny, Silas and Celia Chou, John and Annalia Idol, Brian and Mila Mulroney, Rand and Jessie Araskog, Wilbur Ross, Jessica Brown, Bruce and Maria Bockman, David and Julia Koch, Nancy Corzine and Mark Locks, Kate Ford, Frank Chopin, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, Karen and Richard LeFrak, Howard and Michele Kessler, Carl and Sabrina Forsythe, Martin and Audrey Gruss, Charles and Ann Johnson, Jerry and Darlene Jordon, John Mashek (Chairman of the Preservation Foundation), Peter and Jamee Gregory, John Loring, Jean Tailer, Joanne and Roberto de Guardiloa, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Chris and Grace Meigher, Lucy Musso, Percy Steinhart, David and Polly Ober, Tom Quick, Brett Price, David and Julia Koch, Kit and Bill Pannill, Karin and Joe Luter, Jack and Talbot Maxey, John and Marianne Castle, Rosita Marlborough, Jim Mitchell, Felix Miranda, Sallie Phillips, Mary and Mandy Ourisman, Roman and Helena Martinez, Steven Murray, Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seag, Ana Christina Alvarado, Bob Leidy, Christina de Caraman, Richard Ziegelasch and many more.
— Hilary Geary Ross
|A couple weeks ago in the historic gardens at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, The Vizcayans along with Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian luxury fashion house, hosted the first annual Vizcayan Preservation Luncheon. In honor of its newly renovated Bal Harbour boutique, Salvatore Ferragamo presented the luncheon and made a significant donation towards the restoration and preservation of the gardens.
The luncheon reprised the fashionable daytime events in Vizcaya’s formal Italianate gardens which were a tradition in Vizcaya’s early years as a public museum. Over 300 women and men alike dressed elegantly in extravagant hats and other finery; many dressed in Ferragamo as well. “South Florida is very important to Salvatore Ferragamo; and we are thrilled to support this market by contributing to this special, chic Vizcayan Preservation Luncheon, which enhances our commitment to art and architecture,” stated Vincent Ottomanelli, President of Salvatore Ferragamo USA.
|After a cocktail hour of mimosas and gorgeous hats, Norma Quintero, Founder of the Vizcayan Preservation Luncheon & President of The Vizcayans and Vincent Ottomanelli, President of Salvatore Ferragamo USA, both welcomed guests with words following a theme of new partnerships, fabulous fashions and of course breathtaking florals.
After a photo opportunity for the sixty plus Vizcayan Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee, guests descending into the garden area where crisp white tables popped with colorful, blooming floral arrangements, designed by Karla Dascal of KARLA Conceptual Events. Dascal elegantly adorned the arrangements with Salvatore Ferragamo fabric joining fashion and floral to the famed gardens.
|Guests enjoyed a four-course luncheon comprising chilled green asparagus soup, couscous salad with cranberries, toasted hazelnuts, fresh herbs and grilled Tuscan vegetables and main lobster and mango salad with spring greens tossed in a chive-citrus vinaigrette and mariquita frills. The decadently light lunch culminated on a sweet note with a napoleon of caramelized apples and fresh raspberries with macaroon trilogy.
Immediately following the garden luncheon, men in attendance retreated to the cocktail area where they indulged in Gurkha Cigars, which were a huge hit making men all the more inclined to lunch with the ladies more often! While the gents enjoyed their prestigious puff, the women continued fawning over the Spring/Summer Ferragamo fashions – think garden colors of warm lime, bright coral and rich eggplant in plisse halter dresses, sexy pantsuits and as the brand is known for, decadent accessories – gracing the models.
|Guests included Norma Quintero*; Vincent Ottomanelli*; Diego Stecchi*, President of Salvatore Ferragamo Latin America; Luigi Votano*, Salvatore Ferragamo Bal Harbour Store Manager; Carol Bell* and Marysol Patton, Co-Chairs of the Vizcayan Preservation Luncheon; Lydia Touzet; Yolanda Berkowitz*; Katharine Rubino; Tom Wood; Katrina Peebles; Jean Marie Kouri; Carole Seikaly; Fernando Sanchez; Laurie Jennings; Belkys Nerey; Francine Tomas; Marisa Toccin; Alvaro Varela; Jennifer Valoppi; Daniela Swaebe*; Mari Grimalt; Courtney Parmenter; CoCo Palenque-Torres; Raquel Watters*; Dr. Jhonny Salomon* and Kristen Munroe*. (*Wearing Salvatore Ferragamo).
The goal of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon is to introduce guests to the splendor of Vizcaya’s gardens as originally intended and raise funds to further the mission of The Vizcayans to protect, preserve and restore the estate including the gardens.
|PALM BEACH ... Nearly 300 guests were gathered at The-Mar-a-Lago Club at the end of last month for the 2009 Caron Renaissance Gala. The beautiful evening provided a wonderful backdrop for the black tie event raising more than $770,000 for Caron’s Lifesaver Scholarship fund.
Petra Levin was gala chairwoman. Honored for commitment and exemplary service in the addiction treatment field, Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and Congressman Jim Ramstad were awarded the Richard J. Caron Award. Their advocacy efforts were paramount in the passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 - eliminating the disparities between mental health and physical health benefits.
Caron is one of the top nationally recognized non-profit drug and alcohol residential treatment centers in the country offering residential treatment and outpatient programs for adults and adolescents, as well as families affected by the disease of addiction.
The Caron Renaissance facility recently opened its new state-of-the-art treatment offices in Boca Raton, pioneering new advances in the field of addiction.
|Now in its sixth decade of providing quality treatment services, Caron offers a full spectrum of residential treatment and outpatient programs with a network of facilities in Philadelphia and Wernersville, Pa.; New York City; and Bermuda, in addition to its Caron Renaissance extended care treatment facility in Boca Raton.
For more information about Caron Treatment Centers, please call (800) 678-2332 or visit www.caron.org. For information about next years Caron Renaissance Gala, please contact the Caron Renaissance event line at 561.655.7770 or visit www.caronrenaissance.org.
|HOUSTON, TX ... Legacy Community Health Services (Legacy) held its “Cabaret for A Cure” evening and it was a huge success, raising over $300,000 for Legacy’s HIV/AIDS programs.
Headlining the evening, which honored long-time Houston philanthropist IW Marks (posthumously), was Grammy Award winning vocalist Diane Schuur along with 10 other performers including Ken Gayle, Deidrie Henry, Deborah Duncan (who also served as emcee), Todd Honeycutt and Melissa “Sky” Shepherd.
Seen in the crowd of over 600 were: Trini Mendenhall Sosa and Frank Sosa, Phyllis and Cornell Williams, Margaret Williams with Jim Daniel, Carolyn Faulk, Melissa and Brad Marks, Susan and Daniel Marks, Jill and Brad Deutser, Danielle and John Ellis, Neiman Marcus General Manager Bob Devlin with Liz Zaruba, Merele Yarborough and Cindy and Jim Thorpe.
Legacy Community Health Services is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Houston. Each year they provide low-cost or no-cost healthcare services to over 20,000 Houston area men, women and children.
|PALM BEACH, FL ... Doctors from the number one pediatric cancer care hospital in the country came to Palm Beach Friday evening to discuss St. Jude’s groundbreaking research and lifesaving care to combat cancer, which remains the number one cause of death by disease in children in the United States. Parents magazine recognized St. Jude as the country’s top pediatric cancer care hospital in its February 2009 issue.
The dinner, which was held at Club Colette, was co-chaired by Lourdes Fanjul, Talbott Maxey and Tom Quick.
A St. Jude faculty member was seated at each dinner table to share their experiences and answer questions about the hospital.
Joining guests at the dinner were St. Jude patient Matthew Haggerty, 13, of Palm City, Fla., and his mother, Tina Haggerty.
At age 6, after developing a lump beneath his collarbone and symptoms like night sweats and itching, Matthew was found to have Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer characterized by progressive enlargement of affected lymph nodes. Matthew was referred to St. Jude where he completed treatment successfully, but he later relapsed when the disease recurred in his right kidney. Matthew returned to St. Jude to have his kidney removed, as well as a stem-cell transplant, chemotherapy and radiation.
Matthew’s scans have shown no evidence of disease for several years, and the Hodgkin lymphoma is in remission. In June 2008, he joined St. Jude’s After Completion of Therapy program, the largest long-term, follow-up clinic for pediatric cancer patients in the United States.
|“If it wasn't for the donors, research and doctors at St. Jude, Matthew would not be here today,” Tina said. “They took care of our family and will continue to take care of Matthew for the rest of his life with follow-up checkups. St. Jude is truly a life saver.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.
|PALM BEACH, FL ... The second annual POSH Palm Beach event kicked off with a black tie dinner dance held at Club Colette on Wednesday, February 25, 2009.
Honorary chair, Arlene Dahl, welcomed guests and warmly thanked her chairladies: Catherine Adler, Iris Apfel, Kathy Bleznak, Kim Campbell, Linda Donahue, Diana Ecclestone, Ellen Jaffe, Grace Meigher, Talbott Maxey, Nancy Paul, Tricia Quick and Norma Tiefel. Dr. Tara Cortes, President and CEO of Lighthouse International, spoke about the ongoing mission of the organization and announced further outreach into the Palm Beach committee.
Volunteer auctioneer and POSH committee member, Tom Quick, asked everyone in the room to give thanks for living in this paradise and to support those who aren't as lucky. The live auction items included: an amazing custom designed and escorted trip to Argentina donated by Emmanuel Burgio, founder of boutique travel company Blue Parallel; a week’s stay in Tuscany at a fabulous villa with staff and a pool donated by owner John McFadden. But, the really moving part of the evening was the ensemble bidding on the establishment of scholarships for the music and dance programs for children at The Lighthouse. Tom started it off with a $5,000 donation from the Quick Family Foundation.
Also attending: Lighthouse International President and CEO, Dr. Tara Cortes and husband Dr. Luis Cortes; Lighthouse Senior Vice President of Development, Hope Kessler; Director of Merchandizing and Operations for POSH Palm Beach, Melinda Porter; and Lighthouse Chairman of the Board, Roger O. Goldman and wife Fern, Board Member, Barbara Saltzman and new Advisory Board member, Jean Shafiroff.
The gala and sale benefit Lighthouse international. Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. It provides a wide range of services from clinical and rehabilitation services to education, research and advocacy.
|Photographs by Lucien Caperhart (Posh, Caron); Ann-Margaret Hedges (St Jude); Phyllis Hand (Houston); Seth Browarnik-Red Eye (Ferragamo)|