Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Promise and Heritage

Volunteers at PROMISE, the Center for Attention and Learning Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital's third annual fundraising event.
Last week at Verdura, there was a booksigning for Interior Designer and President of Save Venice Inc. Matthew White for his first book, Italy of my Dreams. Matthew describes this as the perfect blending of his passions for both Italy and the decorative arts. Italy of my Dreams takes the reader through the history of great American houses inspired by Italy with a history lesson in great Italian style. Included of course are Matthew’s own homes bringing his personal love for Italian style into the 21st century.

To celebrate, Matthew created a 100 luxury editions, each in a hand-made Venetian box. The one hundred copies were signed and numbered, and sold amid Verdura jewels in their salon overlooking Central Park.
The view from Verdura.
The book was published by Suzanne Slesin of Pointed Leaf Press, and offers the depth and beauty that Suzy is known for. Rather than another “decorating” book, Italy of my Dreams provides pertinent historical information on the impact that Italy has had on Western design for more than 2000 years. Matthew’s sumptuous interiors, gardens and parties (many for Save Venice) give the book its inimitable style. John Loring, long time Save Venice board member wrote the introduction.
Ward Landrigan and Matthew White
Matthew White
Tom Schumacher and Judith Landrigan
Tamar and Ted Rabb with John and Barbara Day
Charles Tolbert and Sassy Johnson Connor
Dick and Mel Oldenburg
Carol and Jack Wasserman, Ana Clemencia Fox
Tom McKnight, Marguerite Mangin, and Renate McKnight
Alvise Casellati, Kate Bouquard, and Gino Ariani
Nicola Scagnolari and Claudia Wagner
Ludwig Kuttner and Beatrix Ost
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Nico Landrigan, Mary Kathryn Navab, and Hannah McFarland
Dana Gers and Adelina Wong Ettelson
Antonella Salvati and Christian Salvati
On Monday, April 26, 2010, skies were gray but spirits were bright as PROMISE, the Center for Attention and Learning Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital, held its third annual fundraising event. The cocktail reception took place at Studio 450, a penthouse in Manhattan, with dramatic views over the Hudson River, bringin together over 300 guests to learn about the critical work of PROMISE. 

Special guest Master of Ceremonies Hal Rubenstein of InStyle magazine provided lively commentary as guests placed bids on a terrific selection of donated accessories from designers such as Prada, Gucci, Balenciaga, Dior, Kara Ross, Tory Burch and Lanvin. Guests enjoyed live Brazilian music plus delicious tapas and mojitos as they shopped.  Funds raised at PROMISE’s  most successful event to date will provide much-needed support as the program  continues and expands its important work helping learning- disabled children in NYC, regardless of their ability to pay.

Honorary Chairs were Cindy Weber Cleary and Toby Tucker-Peters. Dana Buchman and Kathy Grano served as Event Chairs. Guests included: Nicole Miller, Silda Wall, Jenna Lyons, Patsy and Al Kahn, Laura Lemle, Marlene Mieske, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, and Lenox Hill Hospital’s Gladys George and Stuart Orsher.
Council Member Aisha Royall, Al Kahn, Kristen McMahon, and Keisha Dixon
Council Member Marlene Mieske samples the donated merchandise
Hal Rubenstein and J Crew's Jenna Lyons
Dana Buchman, Council Member Laura Lemle, Hon. Tom Farber, and friend
Beautiful Promise Committee Member Larissa Thomson and friends
Nicole Miller, Cindy Weber Cleary, and Dana Buchman
PROMISE's Advisory Council, L-R: Ted Kamoutsis, Lori Buchbinder, Gail Cook, Chris Dabagian, Kathy Grano, Liz Haveles, Chair Dana Buchman, Cindy Weber Cleary, Dr. Michele Shackelford, Beth Terrell, Aisha Christian Royall, and Harold Treiber
A couple of weeks ago in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island four esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Dream.

The 9th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, along with the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, which honors the lives of immigrants who arrived at another time or through another port, were presented by Lee Iacocca, Founding Chairman of the Foundation, and Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U. S. Department of the Interior, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News Anchor.
Stephen Briganti, Foundation President & CEO, and Paul Weaver, Foundation Chair, welcome Kip Forbes, Tim Forbes and Wally Forbes, sponsors of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award.
Emilio Estefan, Foundation Board Member, Lee Iacocca, Foundation Founding Chair, and Stephen Briganti, Foundation President & CEO.
The 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients are:

ENTERTAINMENT — Bruce Springsteen
His recording career spans more than thirty years, beginning with 1973's Columbia Records release 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.' He has released twenty-four albums, garnered nineteen Grammy Awards, won an Academy Award, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is a 2009 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. His maternal grandfather Antonio Zerilli immigrated to America through Ellis Island from Italy in 1900.

BUSINESS — Peter G. Peterson
Founder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, he is Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group. Peterson has served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Nixon in 1972. His parents emigrated from Greece, arriving at Ellis Island in 1912 and 1920.
Dikembe Mutombo, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Sports, with the Foundation’s Stephen Briganti (left) and Foundation Board Member Albert Bellas (right).
Business honoree Pete Peterson and his grandsons with former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Sports.
B.C. FORBES PEOPLING OF AMERICA AWARD - SPORTS — Dikembe Mutombo In his 18 years with the NBA, he was the first four-time Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mutombo came to the U.S.A. in 1987 and became a citizen in March 2006. For the last 14 years he has dedicated himself to improving health, education and quality of life in his native Congo and across Africa.

Elected chairman of Avon Products in September 2001, she has been CEO since November 1999. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company, Apple, Catalyst, and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ms. Jung came to the U.S. from Toronto as a child, is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin).
Foundation Board Members Gene Bay and Warren Winiarski talk with award recipient Dikembe Mutombo as they approach Ellis Island.
Crossing the Hudson River on their way to Ellis Island are Wally Forbes, Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Business, Tim Forbes, and Kip Forbes.
Mr. Springsteen and Mr. Peterson received a framed copy of the original ship’s passenger manifest documenting the arrival of their family through Ellis Island. The Foundation’s database of ship’s passenger arrivals available at the American Family Immigration History Center® at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and online at HYPERLINK "" documents the arrival records of the more than 25 million immigrants, travelers and crew members who came through America’s Golden Door and the Port of New York from 1892-1924.

Mr. Mutombo and Ms. Jung, recipients of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award sponsored by the Forbes Family, join a stellar group of newer immigrants or those who arrived through other ports. The stories of immigrants like them, as well as those who came to this country before the Ellis Island era, will be told in the new $20 million expansion of the Museum — The Peopling of America® Center. Currently raising funds for the completion of the project, the Foundation expects the Center to open in 2012.

For more information, visit
Josie Natori, Foundation Board Member, greets Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Business.
Lee Iacocca welcomes Pete Peterson, recipient of the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Business.
Bruce Springsteen, Entertainment honoree, receives his grandfather Antonio Zerilli’s 1900 manifest from Lee Iacocca, Foundation Founding Chair, and Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior. NBC’s Brian Williams (far left), who grew up at the Jersey Shore in Monmouth County, served as master of ceremonies.
Bruce Springsteen is joined on stage by his aunt Dora Kirby, 90, mother Adele Springsteen, 85, and aunt Ida Urbellis, 87, the daughters of Italian immigrant Antonio Zerilli.
Greeting one another are honorees Peter G. Peterson, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Jung, and Dikembe Mutombo.
NBC’s Brian Williams and Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior, speak with Pete Peterson, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award Business honoree.
The 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients, invited guests and museum visitors watch the event’s opening performance of “Coming to America” in the Great Hall at Ellis Island.
Last Wednesday, in the Grand Ballroom of the Pierre, Emmy and tony Award-Winning Actress and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Nixon was guest speaker at the Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals Annual Breast Service Luncheon.

Ms. Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram and underwent successful treatment at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Center. Since then she has become a breast cancer spokesperson and was named an Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2008.

Following Ms. Nixon’s address, designer Reem Acra presented her Spring 2010 collection in a fashion show for the guests.
The luncheon.
Marcia Goldstein, Barbara Roman, Joan Mirken, Barbara Simpson, and Marilyn Haft.
Freeman Nagler, Frank Cracolichi, and Dr. Harris Nagler.
Patricia Von Musulin and Alice Netter.
Melissa Fischer, Dr. Harris Nagler, and Roz Komaroff.
Dr. Paul Tartter and Cynthia Nixon.
Dr. Sharon Rosenbaum Smith anf Cynthia Nixon.
Nancy Marcus, Nancy Cardozo, Roz Komaroff, and Joan Nelson.
Alice Netter, Dr. Michael Osbourne, Ellie Crames, and Kathy Kearns
Leslie Rubin, Diane Schneiderman, Jane Zenker, and friend.
Reem Acra runway show
Jean Shafiroff hosted a luncheon at Le Cirque on April 29 for 80 supporters and friends of Southampton Hospital to kick off the Hospital’s 52nd Annual Summer Party. NBC News Anchor Chuck Scarborough was Master of Ceremonies and Robert S. Chaloner, Hospital President and CEO was the guest speaker.

Ms. Shafiroff is chair of this year’s event, “An Enchanted Evening,” that will attract 1,000 people for cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. A 52-year Hamptons tradition, the Summer Party supports the Hospital’s Jenny & John Paulson Emergency Department, which serves more than 25,000 residents and visitors on Long Island’s South Fork each year.
Judy Hadlock
Christine Gray and Bob Chaloner
Joan Hornig
Jean Shafiroff with Chuck and Ellen Scarborough
Kathy Fergeson, Phil Kassover, and Bonnie Comley
Bill Tanzi and Nancy Larson
Wendy Dietze
Fernanda Kellogg and Linda Buckley
Laura Lofaro Freeman and Amelia Ogunlesi
Ali Edwards, Regina Greeven, and Andrea Greeven Douzet
Denise Hurley and Sharon Kerr
Victoria Wyman
Jessie and Rand Araskog
Jean Shafiroff, Sharon Bush, Margo Langenberg, and Yaz Hernandez
Yaz Hernandez, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Katlean DeMonchy, and Cassandra Seidenfeld
Nina Rennert Davidson
Melanie Wambold and Shelley Harrison
Nancy Jane Loewy
Jessica London
Christina Cuomo, Chuck Scarborough, Regina Greeven, and Andrea Greeven Douzet
Phyllis Toohey
Martin and Jean Shafiroff
Debbie Bancroft, Sandra McConnell, and Chris Obetz
Janna Bullock
Zita Davisson
Elizabeth Meyer
Steve Bernstein, Bob Chaloner, and Dr. Darrin Wiggins
Ann Jurdam and Myra Weiser
Lisa Arnold
Alex Donner and Cindy Willis
Kathy Lucas

Photographs by Mary Hilliard (Save Venice); Tom Pich Photography (Beautiful); Diane Bondareff, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.; Ann Watt (SH Hospital).

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