Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hulaween, Horticulture, and Hostessing

Bette Midler, Debra Messing, Michael Kors, and Jane Krakowski at the Restoration Project's annual Hulaween gala.
Last Friday in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf, more than 1,000 guests attended the star-studded, always sold-out annual Hulaween gala benefit for Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Joining Ms. Midler was Stevie Wonder, and performing!!

In the glam crowd and most in great costumes: Michael Kors (who was unrecognizable as you can see here), Judy Gold, Douglas Durst, and Benjamin F. Needell, Jane Krakowski, Debra Messing, Carmelo Anthony, Renée Fleming, Narciso Rodriguez, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Alan Cumming, Martha Stewart, Elettra Wiedemann, Sam Champion, Rick Bayless, Sandra Lee, Thalia Mottola; Cast Members of "Priscilla," Tony Sheldon, Nick Adams, Will Swenson; Sean Ringgold, Marina Sturdza – Princess of Romania, Ann Ziff, Kate Lear and Dr. Jon LaPook, Linda Fargo, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander, Ellen and Dick Levine, Daryl and Steve Roth, Freddie Leiba, Hillary and Ben Macklowe, Alexandra Cohen, Linda Allard Gallen, Maureen Case – Jo Malone London, Anisa Costa, David Hoey, Michelle Harper, Lauren Buccellati, Ivan Bart; IMG Models – Danielle Z, Ajak Deng, Kate Upton, Jessica Gomes, Ali Lagarde; Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, Kevin Sharkey, Juju Chang, Nabila Khashoggi-Chambers, Peter Bacanovic, Cindi Leive, Alexandra Stanton, Allison Gollust, and legions of other duly disguised divas, ghoulish guests, and fabulous fashionistas. And all glad to be there!
Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler
The legendary Stevie Wonder performed for an hour. And he had the entire crowd clapping and singing along. Talk about a thrill going through a crowd! He has amassed 49 Top Forty singles, 32 #1 singles and he gave all that and a hundred millions sales worth.  Throughout his career, not so incidentally, Stevie has demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian efforts, philanthropic leadership, generosity of spirit and is universally recognized as one of the most influential musicians in the world.

Dress for the event was "Costumes or Else" with CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award-winning designer Michael Kors did the scrutinizing of the always-creative and colorful crowd for winners of the annual costume contest. Judy Gold emceed, using her Emmy-award winning stage presence to run the show.
Stevie Wonder
Stevie's daughter, Aisha Morris
Bette Midler, Hugh Hildesley, and Judy Gold. Hugh Hildesley was the auctioneer who also did a bit of "singing and dancing" with Bette and Judy Gold. His cajoling brought in $500K for the organization
Douglas Little created the ambiance, expertly blending the "Dia de los Muertos" theme with Halloween and Bette Midler's Hawaiian heritage. Award-winning Mexican cuisine specialist and television personality Rick Bayless, a special menu consultant, offered his expertise in creating a three "corpse" dinner.

Benjamin F. Needell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom received Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" Award for Leadership. Needell has served as chairman of the board of NYRP since 2001, guiding the organization towards its current prominence in the city's greening and philanthropic worlds. Needell is partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which has provided NYRP with over $3 million in pro-bono legal services and financial contributions, one of the organization's top corporate sponsors.

Theyy raised $1.9 million for New York Restoration Project.
The packed ballroom of the Waldorf
Douglas Durst was honored with the inaugural "Green God" award, for his personal and professional commitment to environmental activism.

Co-Chairs for the evening were: Carmelo Anthony, Todd DeGarmo, Michael Kors, Narcisco Rodriguez, Kate Lear and Jon LaPook, Margo McNabb Nederlander and James Nederlander, Maureen Case – Jo Malone London, and Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue.

NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming and restoring New York City parks, community gardens and open space. In partnership with the City of New York, NYRP is also leading MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City's five boroughs by 2017.
Amy Freitag and Cindy Smith
Renée Fleming
Priscilla Cast: Nick Adams, Tony Sheldon, and Will Swenson
Michael Kors
Rick Bayless
Alan Cumming
Judy Gold and Elysa Halpern
Molly Pesce and Michael Ives
Jimmy Nederlander, Bette Midler, and Margo Nederlander
Sandra Lee
Patty Smyth, Bette Midler, and John McEnroe
Hilary and Ben Macklowe
Rubem Robierb and Sam Champion
Todd DeGarmo
Benjamin Needell and Bette Midler
Thomas Tolan and Narciso Rodriguez
Michael Kors and Martha Stewart
Kim McCarty, Amy Freitag, Michael McCarty
Grant Shaffer, Alan Cumming, and Narciso Rodriguez
Martha Stewart with 'Slash'
Martha Stewart, middle, and Robert Diamond, right
Sandra Lee and friend
Michelle Harper, Linda Fargo, and Sarah Sophie Flicker
Timothy Jessell, Renée Fleming, and Martha Stewart
Judy Gold and Elysa Halpern
Carmelo Anthony and Bette Midler
Rosalind and Kenneth Landis
Sophie Von Haselberg and Ellen Levine
Jimmy and Margo Nederlander
Sam Champion and Asanni Swann
Sophie Von Haselberg, Bette Midler, and Martin Von Haselberg
Bette Midler and Douglas Durst
Ann Ziff
Elettra Wiedemann and James Marshall
Clifford Ross
Robert Diamond
James Cox Chambers
Braden Rhetts
Hulaween GhostiesandGoodies-goers
Last week at the Metropolitan Club, over 300 horticultural enthusiasts attended The Horticultural Society of New York's Annual Fall Luncheon.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers,
President of the Foundation for Landscape Studies and author of her recent book, Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries, received the prestigious Barbara A. Margolis Award, and signed copies of her book. The two recipients of The Horticultural Society of New York's Award of Excellence were Thomas Woltz and Ethne Clarke.
Sara Hobel, Ethne Clarke, Dr. Betsy Rogers, and Thomas Woltz
Thomas Woltz is the principal and co-owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. Mr. Woltz has led designs of a broad range of public and private projects in the United States and abroad, including The Peggy Guggenheim Sculpture Garden in Venice, Italy. 

Ethne Clarke, Editor in Chief of Organic Gardening, is an internationally recognized garden journalist, lecturer and author of a number of best-selling books on practical gardening design and landscape history.
Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and Cece Black
Honorary Chairs: Sharon Casdin, Chris Giftos, Mrs. James B. Gubelmann, Mrs. Niels W. Johnsen, Mary S. Phipps, Elizabeth Scholtz.

Event Chairs: CeCe Black, Marianne Engle, Andrea Fahnestock, Kamie Lightburn, Janet Mavick, Frances Schultz, Sheila Stephenson, Mary Van Pelt.

Event Vice Chairs: Cetie Nippert Ames, Sharen Benenson, T. Paige Betz, Suzette de Marigny Smith, Nina Griscom, D. Brooke Harlow, Margo M. Langenberg, Ursula Lowerre, Mitzi Perdue, Mrs. John R. Robinson, Elizabeth F. Stribling, Barbara Tober.
The Horticultural Society of New York's mission is to sustain the vital connection between people and plants. Their social service and public programs educate and inspire, growing a broad community that values horticulture for the many benefits it brings to our environment, our neighborhoods, and our lives. 
Mary Van Pelt, Roberta Downs-Sandeman, Margo Langenberg, and Mitzi Perdue
Janet Mavec and Henrietta Suhr
CeCe Black and Mitzi Perdue
Robin Reardon and Mary Phipps
Mary Van Pelt, Mark Gilbertson, Sara Hobel, and Andrea Fahnestock
Kamie Lightburn and MK O'Shaughnessy
Valerie Gimbel and Sarah Godfrey
Ron Wendt, Barbara McLaughlin, and Robert Lindgren
Frances Schultz, Viva Bhogaita, and Jean Grainger
Christine Biddle, Margo Langenberg, Robin Reardon, and Carole Bellidora Westfall
Dr. Marianne Engle, Robin Horton, and Susi Wunsch
Jean Shafiroff and Yaz Hernandez
Dr. Suzanne Levine and Anne Shearman-Betts
Chris Giftos and Sheila Stephenson
Hartley du Pont
Michael Kovner, Jean Doyen de Montaillou, and Barbara Tober
Janine Luke and Esther Tuttle
CeCe Black and Huguette Hersch
Charlotte Moss and Memrie Lewis
Melissa Morris and Alison Minton
Clelia Zacharias and Elaine Arace
Dr. Marianne Engle, Mary Van Pelt, and Mish Tworkowski
Barbara Liberman and Nina Griscom
Trinka LaBranche, Page Morin Rossetter, and Anne Shearman Betts
Pam Miles and Shelia Labrecque
Rochelle Ohrstrom and Emily Leonard
Page Dickey and Deborah Royce
Memrie Lewis, Wendy Carduner, and Jacquie Garrett
Barbara Regna, Liz Van Pujenboerk, and CeCe Black
Pam Taylor and Karen Klopp
Sharen Benenson and Debra Chabliss
Liz McDermott, Evelyn Tompkins, and Audrey Gruss
Beth DeWoody and Pam Taylor
Last Wednesday night I started my rounds at the magnificent apartment of Jill Sackler, wife of the late Arthur M. Sackler. Jill was hostessing a reception for about 70 guests in honor of Julian Raby, Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington. Jill is one of the most gracious hostesses in New York although she does not assume so, diffidence and modesty being her signature. However she's one of those people who just looks after it.

A few years ago she invited me to be her guest at a dinner at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Charles and Camilla and for the Royal London Philharmonia which performed (the entire orchestra) in an enormous ballroom/auditorium. Buckingham Palace is not like a large house or even a mansion. It is vast. When the royal couple first were announced and entered the reception, Jill said, "get a picture, get a picture." Frankly I was too timid to take a picture of the royal family members in their own house. Or anybody's house for that matter. Unless invited to. All that picture taking can be annoying when you're in that kind of limelight. And a bore.
Julian Raby, Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Dame Jillian Sackler, and Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough
However, as Charles and Camilla moved in separate directions to greet the guests, some people did pull out their digitals and snap the pictures of them (unposed of course).

"Oh I wish I had brought my camera," Jill lamented, like a fan.

Which no doubt she is. But she's also been a private guest at the palace many other times, so she's not exactly a tourist. That's what I mean about diffident and modest.

So that was our hostess on this night. The purpose of the reception was important: next year the Sackler is celebrating its 25th anniversary and last night's party was, as they say in New York, the kick-off.

Dr. Sackler was a very enterprising Brooklyn born medical doctor who in 1960. At 25 he established the Laboratories fof Therapeutic Research. At the age of 47 started Medical Tribune, a weekly medical newspaper. He also gained the rights to important and sell Valium in the United States.
Dame Jillian Sackler, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, Virginia Clark, Smithsonian Director of Advancement and Philanthropic Giving, and Jill Spalding
He used much of his fortune to fund museums and libraries. In 1987 the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery opened with a renowned collection of Asian art acquired under the discerning eye of Dr. Sackler. While he devoted his professional career to the advancement of medicine, Dr. Sackler's other passion was collecting amazing works of art from throughout Asia. His intense personal interest in Asia evolved into the exceptional collection and museum that today bear his name. "Art and science are two sides of the same coin," he observed. "Science is a discipline pursued with passion; art is a passion pursued with discipline. At pursuing both, I've had a lot of fun."

On November 29, 2012, friends, dignitaries, philanthropists, and the diplomatic corps will gather at the Sackler for the "gala of the year" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, followed by a weekend of exciting activities held throughout Washington, D.C.
Paul Neely, Virginia Clark, and Jim Limtott
Giosetta Capriati, Shane Doty, and Mary McFadden
Yolanda Santos, Richard Gaddes, Ann Kinney, Gilbert Kinney, Tony Bechara, and Patty Tang
Giosetta Capriati with Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Buckfire
Dame Jillian Sackler and Jane Scovell
Irene Roosevelt Aitken and Konrad Keesee
Sir David Remfry, Dame Jillian Sackler, Secretary Wayne Clough, and Caroline Hansberry
Sir David Remfry, Elbrun Kimmelman, and Ajit Hutcheesing
Jackie Weld Drake and Sedi Flugelman
Chiu-Ti Jansen, Giosetta Capriati, and Noel Lateef
David and Laurie Ying
Also last Wednesday night at the Waldorf, Montefiore Medical Center held its annual "Celebrate Montefiore" Gala. This year, the event benefited the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
In that short time it is now one of the most advanced hospitals for children in the nation. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) is ranked among the nation's leading institutions in all 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report - exceeding expectations and making an extraordinary impact in the field.
Fantasy Table created by Floralia Decorators
Fantasy Table created by Penny H.
Through the visionary leadership of its internationally-recognized physicians and scientists, CHAM combines supreme clinical expertise, innovative research and leading-edge technology with an integrated, family-centered approach. As part of a premier academic medical center, CHAM is dedicated to training the next generation of pediatric healthcare professionals and is transforming the future of children's health.
Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne performed. The View Co-Host Sherri Shepherd presented the program.
Dr. Philip O. Ozuah, Professor and University Chairman, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Physician-in-Chief, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Dr. Steven M. Safyer, President and CEO of Montefiore, Co-Host of The View, Comedian and Actress, Sherri Shepherd, and David A. Tanner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Montefiore
Dr. Philip O. Ozuah, Professor and University Chairman, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Physician-in-Chief, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Singer and Songwriter, Joan Osborne, Dr. Steven M. Safyer, President and CEO of Montefiore, David A. Tanner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Montefiore.
Ken Sunshine, Lynn Richmond and Donald L. Ashkenase
Charles Murphy, Ted Totten and Rory Guma
Drs. Scott and Graciella Wetzler and Mr. and Mrs. Joel Perlman
Mr. and Mrs. Jaison Chazhur
Ned Offit, Mr. and Mrs. David Tanner
Debra Bannon-Siegel, Dorie Klissas, Steven Osborne and Dr. John Thompson
Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala and Dr. Victor Schuster
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wolf
Ron and Marcia Lissak
Drs. Sylvia and T. Byram Karasu
Dr. and Mrs. Lari Attai with Dr. Philip O. Ozuah
Drs. Philip and Theresa Ozuah
Dr. Irwin R. Merkatz and Peter Semczuk
David Tanner, Harold Tanner and Eric Tanner
Joan Osborne and Rachelle Sanders, VP and Chief Development Officer, Montefiore
Stone and Erika Abramson
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bartlett
Alisha Khan and Alena Galan, former patients at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore
Lee H. Perlman, President of Greater New York Hospital Association and Donald L. Ashkenase, Special Advisor to the President, Montefiore
Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Redlener, Bruce Raynor, and Dr. Steven M. Safyer
Zita Rosenthal, Cissy Asch, and Alena Galan
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bernhard
Last Wednesday at the Metropolitan Club, the AFA honored renowned performance artist Marina Abramović and National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. "Rusty" Powell III. They were introduced by MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach and former Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Philippe de Montebello.

Distinguished guests included AFA trustees, patrons, artists, and other leading members and supporters of the art and museum communities. A raffle was held at the gala, with artworks generously donated by April Gornik and Richard Bell. All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales benefit the AFA's exhibitions and programming. Gala Chairs were Lydia Fenet, Clare McKeon, and Capera Ryan. Honorary Chair was Elizabeth Blake.
Clare McKeon, Rose Dergan, Will Cotton, Olivia Chantecaille, and Ren Grady
Todd Bishop, Klaus Biesenbach, Lawrence Benenson, Marina Abramović, Tunji Adeniji, Peter Katz, and Rebecca Taylor
The American Federation of Arts is a nonprofit institution that organizes art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishes exhibition catalogues, and develops various educational programs. The AFA's mission is to enrich the public's experience of art and understanding of culture by organizing and traveling a diverse offering of exhibitions embracing all aspects of art history.
Marina Abramović and Pauline Willis
Liz Klein, Jonathan Binstock, and Naomi Baigell
Jason Herrick and Dorothy Kosinski
Philippe de Montebello, Earl A. Powell III, Marina Abramović, and Klaus Biesenbach
Jonathan Binstock and Kevin Salatino
Sloan Overstrom and Caitlin Davis
Ann and Gilbert Kinney
Sidney Felsen and Joni Moisant Weyl
Jeffrey Loewy and Ruth Appelhof
Sean Kelly, Marina Abramović, Jason Herrick, and Charlotte Eyerman
Michael Solovay and Stephanie La Nasa
Frederick and Stephanie Clark
Georgina Schaeffer and Stephanie Clark
Gala Co-Chairs Capera Ryan, Clare McKeon, and Lydia Fenet
Vicky Ward and Robert McKeon
Hugh Chisholm and Daisy Prince
Walter W. Timoshuk
David and Ashley Staats
Richard and Barbara Lane, Sandra and Stanford Warshawsky
Bob and Margot Linton
Jason Herrick and Kimerly Rorschach
Pauline Willis, Earl A. Powell III, and Marina Kellen French

Photographs by Elaine Ubina & (Horticultural Society); Mia McDonald (Hulaween); Cutty McGill (Doubles).
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