Monday, April 25, 2011

A Breath of Spring

Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti and Deborah Norville join the 2011 honorees on stage: Sen. George J. Mitchell, Lee Iacocca, Martina Navratilova, and Joe Torre
Two 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 10th 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 at a  ceremony hosted by Deborah Norville of Inside Edition.

This year’s Awards featured a salute to the Statue of Liberty on her 125th anniversary and the 25 years since her historic restoration.
Crossing the Hudson River on their way to Ellis Island are 2011 honorees Sen. George J. Mitchell, Martina Navratilova and Joe Torre, along with Deborah Norville of Inside Edition
The 2011 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients were: Joe Torre,
recently named MLB’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations. Senator George J. Mitchell. His mother Mintaha Saad arrived from Lebanon in 1920 through Ellis Island. Martina Navratilova, born in Prague, in communist Czechoslovakia in 1956, she defected at the U.S. Open in 1975 at the age of 18. In 1981 she received her U.S. citizenship. A Special tribute award was given to Lee Iacocca. As the Founding Chairman of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Iacocca spearheaded the historic restorations of these national treasures. His father Nicola came through Ellis Island from San Marco in 1910, and again in 1921 as a citizen bringing his Italian bride, Antoinetta.

Torre, Mitchell and Iacocca 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 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.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova receives the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Sports from Moira Forbes, granddaughter of "Bertie" Forbes. Joining them on stage are Will Shafroth (left), of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Deborah Norville and Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti (right)
Lee Iacocca reflects upon the early years when he toured the Statue and Ellis Island at the request of President Reagan to head up their restoration efforts
Navratilova, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award sponsored by the Forbes Family, joins 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. The Foundation is currently raising funds for the completion of the project. Upon the Center’s completion, the Museum will be renamed Ellis Island: The National Museum of Immigration.

For more information, visit
Moira Forbes and Wally Forbes, sponsors of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, chat with event host Deborah Norville aboard the Statue Cruises ferry
Foundation Board Members Michael O'Bannon and Joseph Doddridge speak with Will Shafroth of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior before the 10th annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards
Stephen Briganti, Foundation President CEO, greets Sen. George J. Mitchell, recipient of the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Government Service, in Battery Park
Joe Torre, Sports honoree, (far right) receives his mother Margaret Rofrano's 1911 manifest from Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti and Will Shafroth, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, as Deborah Norville looks on
Event host Deborah Norville greets Lee Iacocca and his sister Delma Kelechava in the Great Hall
Foundation Board Member Gene Bay catches up with Lee Iacocca, Foundation Founding Chair, and his sister Delma at Ellis Island
Lee Iacocca receives A Special Tribute for his years of dedication to preserving and restoring the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. Presenting him with his parents Nicola and Antoinetta Iacocca's passenger manifests are Will Shafroth of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior (left) and Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti. Event host Deborah Norville joins the gentlemen on stage.
Sen. George J. Mitchell, Government Service recipient, speaks about his mother's 1920 journey from Lebanon through Ellis Island to Waterville, Maine
Lee Iacocca greets his friend Nasser Kazeminy as Juliette Telander looks on
Honorees Sen. George J. Mitchell, Lee Iacocca, Martina Navratilova, and Joe Torre.
Honorees Joe Torre and Martina Navratilova are welcomed to Ellis Island by event host Deborah Norville
Joe Torre with his son, Michael,
Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company, held its 7th Annual Evidence Gala ... A Breath of Spring, on Tuesday, April 12, in The Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center.

Honorary Chair Pamela Joyner and Evidence Chairman Emeritus Reginald Van Lee greeted old friends such as Larry Satterfield, actress Rhonda Ross, Alicia Bythewood, Brie Bythewood, Andrea Dubois,  Phylicia Rashad; longtime board members Andrea Hoffman, Joanne Hill, Gail Monroe Perry, and Joyce Mullins Jackson; Princess Keisha Omilana, and Princess Omo Okieme

The evening’s co-emcees were Tamara Tunie of Law and Order SVU and husband, jazz vocalist Gregory Generet.
Dr. Ancy Verdier, Andrea Hoffman, Reginald Canal, Reggie Van Lee, Gail Monroe-Perry, Zaid Abdul-Aleem, Joanne Hill, Ron Brown, and Larry Satterfield
Janet League Katzin, Phylicia Rashad, Helen Brooks, Susan Taylor, Vanessa Leggard, and Nakia Johnson
Reggie Van Lee, Gail Monroe-Perry, Waldean Nelson, Lilli Anne Tai, Clarice Young, Zaid Abdul-Aleem, Joanne Hill, Arcell Cabuag, Annique Roberts, Dr. Ancy Verdier, Maresa Morrison, and Otis Herring
Felicia Daniels who for many years has been an ardent supporter of Evidence accepted the 2011 Corporate Award for United Airlines which recently merged with Continental. Janice Combs though unable to attend accepted the 2011 Inspiration Award in absentia      

There was a theater style performance by the Company of the recently premiered, “On Earth Together”, choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, and inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder.

The  Gala Supporters included Raven and Zaid Abdul-Aleem, Tanika Brown, Willis Burton, Deborah Chatman, T. Troy and Keisha Dixon, W. Anthony Edison, Tanesha Francis,  Carla Harris and Victor Franklin, Joyce and Bruce A. Gates,  Joanne E. Hill, Henry McGee, Gail Monroe Perry, Larry Satterfield and Michael Ward, Russell Simmons.
Reginald Van Lee, Pamela Joyner, Rhonda Ross, Tamara Tunie, and Gregory Generet
Waldean Nelson, Lilli Anne Toi, Arcell Cabuag, Clarice Young, Ronald K. Brown, Annique Roberts, Maresa D'Amore Morrison, and Otis Donovan Herring
Gala Benefit Committee included Peg Alston, Dorria L. Ball, Yolanda and Alvin Brown, Susan L. Taylor and Khephra Burns, Alicia Bythewood, Nicole J. Coward, Glenn E. Davis, Sally and Mike Hipscher, Andrea Hoffman, Loida N. Lewis, Jonelle Procope, Asha Richards, Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams.

For those not able to attend you can bid on dozens more luxury items and special one of a kind experiences on
Ronald K. Brown his dancers from Evidence
On Earth Together 1
On Earth Together 2
On Earth Together 4
On Earth Together 8
Dancing with the Dancers
Gala Sponsors were Belvedere Vodka, BET Networks, Booz, Allen Hamilton, Fed Ex, The Dimon Family Foundation, Bruce Gordon and Tawana Tibbs, United Airlines and Verizon. Caterer for the Gala was New York’s highly regarded Canard Inc.

The mission of Evidence is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.
Andrea Dubois
Devon Scott and Ivan Godfrey
Felicia Daniels accepts award on behalf of United Airlines
Eduardo Vilaro, Jacqueline Mcalliser, and Gregory Stuart
Jocelyn Taylor and Reginald Canal
Clarence and Aischa Mitchell
Alicia Bythewood and Brie Bythewood (Brie is wearing a Zang Toi gown)
Dr. Ancy and Katherine Verdier
Andrea Hoffman and Felicia Daniels
Clarice Young, Ron Brown, and Annique Roberts
Marcia Fingal, Valerie Brooks, Shawn Choy, and Thomas Bell
Joyce Mullins-Jackson
Pamela Joyner and Reginald Van Lee
Nicole Coward, Obi Onyeagoro, and Asha Richards
Peg Alston and Burton Willis
Patrick Tully, Gala Auctioneer
Tia Walker and Owen Levy
Phylicia Rashad
Monica F. Azare and David Davenport
Princess Okieme and Princess Keisha Omilana
In 2005, Barbara and Donald Jonas sold a portion of their art collection at Christie’s to establish the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a first-of-its-kind philanthropy dedicated to advancing the nursing profession in New York City and beyond. On April 12th, Christie’s hosted a cocktail reception celebrating five successful years of the Jonas Center’s work, which encompasses breakthrough grant programs, acting as a convener for cross-sector collaboration and spearheading efforts to shape health policy.

From before birth until the end of life, most of our care is nurses’ hands. Nurses make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and more demands are put on them every day – to handle new technologies, provide more services, ensure quality of care and reduce costs – yet as a group, they receive little attention, support and funding. Donald and Barbara Jonas set out to change that.
In just five years, the Jonas Center has begun shifting the landscape of possibilities for the nursing profession and raising awareness among many sectors of the responsibilities we all have to these men and women.

Among the guests were New York notables from the health, philanthropy and media spheres will attend. These included Dr. Mehmet Oz, surgeon, author and host, The Dr. Oz Show; Dr. Herbert Pardes, President & CEO, New York Presbyterian Medical Center; Dr. Louis Sullivan, President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine, Former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Mr. William Baker, President Emeritus, Thirteen/WNET & WLIW21 New York; and Dr. Naomi Levine, Chair & Executive Director, George H. Heyman Jr Center for Philanthropy & Fund-Raising, and Stephen Lash, CEO Emeriteus of Christie’s. 
William Baker, Walter Sweet, Dr. Herb Pardes, and Melissa Berman
Jeanne Marie Baker and Janet D. Allan
Dr. Beverly Malone Dr. Louis Sullivan
Joseph Napolitano, Dean Susan Gennaro, and Dr. Kathy McCauley
Ed and Mada Bleier
Dean Heather and Margaret Grey
Dr. Robert and Patricia Samuelson
Matthew J. Tortoso, William Sarnoff, and Jonathan Spitalny
John Wolff, Michael Spero, and Adam Purcell
Christina Spellman and Sally Brosz-Hardin
Janet D. Allan and William Holzemer
Tom Moore and Alicia Volk
Susan Gennaro and Terry Fulmer
Donald Jonas
Naomi Levine and Sue Dickman
Dr. Stanley Chang, Dr. Herb Pardes, and Dr. Steven Safyer
Stephen Lash, Barbara Jonas, and Donald Jonas
Barbara Jonas, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Donald Jonas
The Musical Olympus Foundation, led by Irina Nikitina, presented an international music festival at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, April 7th, featuring five, young, international music competition winners. The festival’s fourth return to the Carnegie stage, Slovenian percussion duo Simon Klavžar and Jože Bogolin, pianist Ilya Maximov of Russia, violinist Solenne Paidassi of France and soprano Anna Kasyan of Georgia performed at Zankel Hall to an energetic ovation.  The performance was followed by a dinner reception at Petrossian.

Joining Musical Olympus Founder Irina Nikitina and Festival committee members Peter Ruof, Mariam Azarm, Tatiana Pouschine, Esmeralda Spinola Pedroni and Aspasia Zoumas, were CeCe Cord, Jean Shafiroff, Ambassador Carl Spielvogel and BarbaraLee Spielvogel, American Ballet Theater principal dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, actress Cassandra Seidenfeld, Janna Bullock, fashion designer Maggie Norris, Sarah Scoffield, Elaine Sargent, Dr. Robert Grant, Michele Gerber Klein, Alexander Gregory, Gail Karr, Flor Riccio and cosmetic dentists Dr. Shawn Sadri and Dr. Laura Torrado.
Joze Bogolin, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Irina Dvorovenko, Thomas Guss, Simon Klavzar
Joze Bogolin, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Irina Dvorovenko, Thomas Guss, and Simon Klavzar
Supported by the foundation’s honorary committee, which includes Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Mariss Jansons, Yo-Yo Ma, Zubin Mehta and, Yuri Temirkanov.

Petrossian guests toasted the performances of the young musical prodigies. Percussionists Klavar and Bogolin were also presented with the Audience Prize; an award to the favorite festival participant determined by the vote of concert attendees.   The duo received a unique piece of silver artwork by Vladmir Mikhailov, a Russian artist.

Musical Olympus, with support from the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and other sponsors, is proud to have the opportunity to present this festival annually. This year, their rising stars were the winners of the: The International Percussion Duo Competition in Luxembourg, 2009,  The Gabala International Piano Competition in Azerbaijan, 2009 and The Long—Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris, 2010. The Musical Olympus Foundation was established in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1995. The foundation develops and implements a range of international cultural projects, including the Musical Olympus Festival and an annual charitable ball.  For more information, please visit
Cece Cord, R.Couri Hay, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Irina Dvorovenko
Cece Cord, R.Couri Hay, Maxim Beloserkovsky, and Irina Dvorovenko
Irina Nikitina, Ambassador Carl Spielvogel
Irina Nikitina and Carl Spielvogel
?, Sarah Schofield
Joseph Alexander and Sarah Schofield
Flor Riccio, Cassandra Seidenfeld, Gail Karr
Flor Riccio, Cassandra Seidenfeld, and Gail Karr
Jean Shifiroff, Maggie Norris
Jean Shifiroff and Maggie Norris
IIya Maximov, Anna Kasyan
IIya Maximov and Anna Kasyan
Elaine Sargent
Elaine Sargent
Peter Ruof, Esmeralda Spinola-Pedroni
Peter Ruof and Esmeralda Spinola-Pedroni


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