Monday, November 12, 2007

Hooray for Hollywood in New York

The gang at Steiner Studios for a benefit for The Auditory Oral School of New York.
David Steiner’s Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, the largest film studio on the East Coast, was the setting for a simply wonderful salute to stage and screen legend Patricia Neal, Wall Street whiz Shirl Penney and Count and Countess Alexandre de Lesseps – or LuAnn and Alex to their pals.

More than 300 attended, congregating on Stage 5 for cocktails its with expansive, breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan. Ava Astaire McKenzie, daughter of Fred Astaire and her husband artist Richard McKenzie were the evening’s Honorary Chairs. David Steiner, who was the evening’s chair, and his wife Sylvia wanted the feel of an old fashioned Hollywood premiere party and filled the halls with art deco accents and movie posters from Patricia Neal’s famous films.

Honorees Patricia Neal and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
Everywhere one looked there were living legends --  All About Eve Oscar winning actress Celeste Holm with her husband Frank Basile, Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, Margaret Whiting and Jack Wrangler, Robert Osborne, Katherine Altman, widow of Robert Altman, Julie Wilson, Oscar winning screenwriter Budd Schulberg to name a few. And of course, holding court and center stage was the incandescent honoree whose broad smile and Southern drawl never seem to fail to enchant.

The event benefited The Auditory Oral School of New York. Following cocktails, the guests headed upstairs for dinner, where Alex Donner and his Orchestra were playing.

Following dinner, the show began with a number of dazzling performers from Broadway and the International music scene took to the stage to recreate the glory days of Hollywood, including Howard McGillen, Ron Raines, Anna Bergman, Julie Wilson, and Jen Esposito who was a last-minute replacement, and in the age old tradition ... went out a replacement and came back a star.
Mary Ann and Shirl Penney
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Count Alexandre de Lesseps
Sylvia Steiner, Anne Jackson, Judith Kallman, and Eli Wallach
Each of the night’s honored guests exemplified the very mission of The Auditory Oral School -- overcoming tremendous obstacles to succeed.

For Patricia Neal it was her valiant fight against the strokes that might have caused a lesser determined individual to stay confined to a wheelchair. For Shirl Penney it was overcoming the poverty he faced growing up as an orphan raised by his ailing grandfather to achieve international respect in the world of finance. Close to the school’s own student body Alexandre de Lesseps who suffered from hearing loss.

The evening ended with a rousing chorus of “Hooray for Hollywood” with the cast and stars gathered around Patricia including Margaret Whiting, whose father Richard Whiting wrote the Hollywood anthem. Special kudos to Patricia Watt who served as the event’s Entertainment Producer. 

The Auditory Oral School of New York is a non-profit school which helps deaf and hard of hearing children rely on their ability, not their disability. No child who qualifies is ever turned away and the school is free to parents of children who qualify. With a 98% success rate in mainstreaming children into kindergarten, AOSNY has become the fastest growing and most successful of its kind in the world.
Anna Bergman belts it out
Ron Raines sings to Patricia Neal
Howard McGillin
Bandleader Alex Donner
Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord
Greta Blackburn arrives with Michael Crecco
Julie Wilson and Arlene Kieta
Judith McDowell and Alan Feuer
Robert Lyster and Cassandra Seidenfeld
Screenwriter Budd Schulberg with wife Betsy
Shirl Penney receives award from Joe Mara
Sylvia Steiner and Anna Bergman
Jacie and Jim Stivers
Nat Sherman cigarette girls
The Junior Committee
Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Patricia Neal, and Katherine Altman
Arlene Kieta and Jamie de Roy
Caroline Lieberman, John Wegorzewski, and Ann Van Ness
Frank Basile and Celeste Holm
Gail Parker and The Nat Sherman Cigarette Girls
Jack Wrangler and Margaret Whiting
Robert Osborne and Edward Callaghan
Msgr. Jim Disante, Patricia Neal, and John Wegorzewski
On Thursday, November 1st, the Horticultural Society of New York held its 14th Annual Fall Luncheon. Landscape designer Mario Nievera and and rose farmer Danielle Hahn were honored as the recipients of our HSNY Award for Excellence

Gaylen White, Liz Peek, Chris Giftos, and Patricia Patterson
Mrs. Hahn is the owner of Rose Story Farm, a 15-acre old-fashioned rose farm in Carpinteria, California begun in 1998 with her husband Bill.

Their mission has been to produce beautiful, fragrant, romantic roses in exquisite shapes and colors with the radiant hues of European and pre-1950 American varieties and Rose Story Farm now grows 18,000 rose bushes, with over 120 varieties.

Mario Nievera is the principal of Mario Nievera Design Inc., provides landscape architecture and design services including such projects as landscape renovations and additions to the Haverford School in Pennsylvania and the Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island; restoration and concept design for ‘Old Trees’, a 19-acre estate and gardens attributed to the Olmsted Brothers for architect Goodhue Livingston in Southampton; and planting design for the newly installed Peruvian Avenue Park in Palm Beach.
Elizabeth Belfer, Lisa Bytner, Cally Stavropoulos, Paige Betz, Panagiota Mahendru, and Isabel Tonelli
The event supports The Horticultural Society of New York’s community outreach programs:

Apple Seed, a science program offered in schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

GreenBranches, a program of installing and maintaining professionally designed gardens at branch libraries in neighborhoods with few green spaces.

GreenHouse/GreenTeam program on and after incarceration at Rikers Island, which prepares inmates and ex-offenders for entry into the job market, by training them in horticulture and landscaping. 

The luncheon’s co-chairs were CeCe Black, Lucy Day, Millicent M. Johnsen, Grace Meigher, Hilary Geary Ross, Suzette de Marigny Smith, Sheila Stephenson and Elizabeth Stribling. Vice-chairs were: Sharon Benenson, April Riddle Gow, Mitzi Perdue, Jessica Tcherepnine and Barbara Tober. Young Friends Chairs were: Virginia Apple, T. Paige Betz,Linda Garnett, Kamie Lightburn, Pia Murphy and Mary Van Pelt.
Anabel Mariaca, Elizabeth Stribling, Laura McCloy, and Dina Pendleton
Audrey Gruss, Evelyn Lauder, Barbara Schumacher, and Catherine Cahill
Ginny Butters, Sharon Casdin, Lucy Day, and Priscilla Morphy
HSNY GreenTeam speaker Myrna Davis
Danielle Hahn and Mario Nievera
Nathalie Comfort, Maria Wirth, Suzette de Marigny Smith, and Ana Clemencia Fox
Kathy Springhorn, Mary Van Pelt, Blakely Griggs, and Panagiota Mahendru, and Hilary Block
Elizabeth Scholtz, Mitzi Perdue, and CeCe Black
Zibby Tozer, Ada Polemis, and Sheila Stephenson
April Gow and Catherine Cahill
Mario Nievera and Audrey Gruss
Dominique Buaron and Barbara de Portago
Elizabeth Gerschel and Melinda Hassen
Tatyana Ahlers and Fiona Benenson
Grace Meigher and Kim Coleman
Matthew White, Danielle Hahn, Mario Nievera, and Frank Webb
Polly Bloomingdale, Danielle Hahn, Berry Bloomingdale-Keller, and Bill Hahn
Last Thursday night at the Metropolitan Museum, the Apollo Circle held its fourth annual black tie (and “camera ready”) benefit. The group is made up of supporters of the museum, in the age range of 21 to 39. It was an evening of dancing, cocktails and dessert. Photographer Larry Fink used the event and its guests to create a new work with the evening as his subject.
Carolina Herrera
Jennifer Creel, Christian Leone, and Alexis Bryan
Emily Threlkeld and Venessa Arizaga
Annabelle Vartanian
Barry and Jane Bloomingdale
Carlo and Matilde Borromeo
Gaia Patrizi
Byrdie Bell
Renee Rockefeller
Marjorie Gubelmann
Lara Meiland Shaw
Elizabeth Lindemann, Marina Connor, Tory Burch, and Gigi Mortimer
Ana Perez Hurtado and Ludwig Heissmeyer
On Friday night over at Christie’s, Pedro Girao, Amy Cappellazzo, Brett Gorvy, and Laura Paulson hosted a “special book launch” with Valentino, the legendary Roman couturier, on the release of Taschen’s Una Grande Storia Italiana – Valentino Garavani. The evening also featured a private viewing of Christie’s Fall Sales of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
Annelise Peterson, Carlos Souza, and Lauren Taschen
Giancarlo Giammetti and Simona Ventura
Marja Samson with Chibi
Julia and David Koch
Linda Fargo
Lady Rothschild
Pedro Girao and Valentino
Ashley Judith Chontos, Corrigan, and Rebecca Acrey
Zac Posen
Dennis Basso
The New York Center for Children (NYCC) to help strike out child abuse joined presenting sponsors Target, giggle at Chelsea Piers with a family bowling event.  More than 250 attended. Children and families enjoyed exciting activities, bowling, gifts and prizes, and the Center raised over $120,000 for the Center’s services for abused children.

Guests included New York Center for Children Board Members Michele Herbert, Lyn Paulsin, and Lauren Vernon as well as representatives of event sponsors Target, giggle along with many children and families.
Lauren Vernon and Heather Randall with the girls
Toland, Roman, and SunHee Grinell
Child abuse occurs with alarming frequency in New York City. One in three children experiences abuse by the time he or she is 18 years old. Most often the perpetrator is someone the victim knows and trusts. Founded in 1995, The New York Center for Children, formerly known as the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan, is a non-profit, privately funded organization in association with The Mount Sinai Medical Center that provides comprehensive services to child abuse victims and their families.
NYCC Board Members Lyn Paulsin, Michael Caplin, Michele Herbert, Lauren Vernon, and Christine Rales
NYCC staff
Bowling anyone?
Miguel Sirgado, Michele Herbert, Lauren Vernon, and SunHee Grinell
Making an entrance ...
Lauren and Elliot Vernon and family
Bowling enthusiasts
Steve Boxer, Lauren Vernon, Heather Randall, Michele Herbert, and Lyn Paulsin
Mersel, Klein and Company Team

Photographs by Joe Corrigan (Hooray); © (Met, Valentino); ©Rob Rich/516-676-3939 (Bowling)

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