Thursday, March 3, 2011

Investing in Ourselves

cocktails
Cocktails at the Core Club to celebrate GiGi's Playhouse's Inaugural National event.
Philip Banks, Jr., president of One Hundred Black Men, Inc., welcomed 600 guests from around the country to the New York Hilton Grand Ballroom last week to salute some of the country’s most dynamic civic and business leaders at the 31st Annual Benefit Gala of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York. The evening’s theme was “Investing in Ourselves ─ Making our Own Tomorrow.”

Guests included Ambassador and Mrs. Andrew Young, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Schools Chancellor Cathy Black, Mark and Ellen Wagar, Mignon Clyburn, David Dinkins, Joy Crichlow, Thomas Dortch, Flores Forbes, Adriane Gaines, Ed Goldberg, Jim Harding, Michael and Mary Jack, Linda Hackett, Lewis Jones, Judge Tanya Kennedy, Hon. John Liu, Hon. Tom DiNapoli, John and Donna Marino, Paul Busby, Phil Serghini, Major Michael Burns, Chief Philip Banks, III, Jay Hershenson, Ophelia Castiblanco, Pamela Fisher, Stanley and Patricia Grayson, and former New York City Comptroller William Thompson.
Josunjari classical string trio with their parents and Philip Banks, Jr.
Mike Woods, Michael Jack, Mary Jack, and David Dinkins
They honored Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Founder and Chairperson of Mentoring USA with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Service Mentoring; Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Director of External Affairs & Community Relations at Delta Air Lines, and Vice President of the Delta Air Lines Foundation, with the Champion of Diversity Award, and Glenn Rice, President, East Region, UPS, with the Corporate Citizen Award. Myron Williams, Vice President, Business Development, UPS, and a member of the One Hundred Black Men, was saluted as Mentor of the Year.
 
Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of My9 News for WWOR-TV's 11 p.m. newscast  Brenda Blackmon and Fox 5's meteorologist Mike Woods served as co-emcees of the Black Tie fundraiser that featured a sponsor’s reception in the Mercury Ballroom.
Stanley Gleaton, Hazel Dukes, Hon. John Liu, and Judge Tanya Kennedy
One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York City was founded in 1963 when a group of successful African-American men came together to pool their resources to positively impact the Black community. 

The organization’s service projects focus on mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic development. The organization has a long and successful history working with its corporate and community partners to make significant differences in the lives of the communities it serves. A celebrated example is the establishment of The Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx, with a focus on academic excellence, leadership and character development and more recently, Eagle Academies have opened in Brooklyn and Queens. Proceeds from the Annual Benefit Galas raise funds to support these programs.
Brenda Blackmon, Mike Woods, and Harris Faulkner
Matilda Raffa Cuomo and Mrs. Carolyn McClain Young
Carl Andrews, Rev. A.R. Bernard, Sr., Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Paul Williams Denise Nappier, and David Dinkins
Philip Banks, Jr., Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Chris Graham, and Hilton Smith
Meli'sa Morgan and Chris Curry
Brenda Blackmon, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, and Mario Cuomo
Ty Stone-Adams and Edward Goldberg
Audrey Bernard and Mary Jack
USMA Cadet candidate Roberto Huie, Matilda Cuomo, and David Dinkins
State Senator Eric Adams
Brenda Blackmon, Harris Faulkner, and Pamela Fisher
Michael Jack and Thomas Dortch
Philip Banks, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Rice
Patricia and Stanley Grayson
David Dinkins, David Brand and Ambassador Andrew Young
Walter Moseley III and Mario Cuomo
Philip Banks, Jr., Glenn Rice, German Darnley, and Hilton Smith
Philip Banks, Jr., Roberto Huie, Matilda Cuomo, and Hilton Smith
Stephen Boyd and Cathy Black
John and Jennifer Williams
Margot Jordan and Rev. A.R. Bernard, Sr.
Philip Banks, Jr., Bruce Simms, Myron Williams, and Hilton Smith
Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Hon. John Liu, and Maria Maxwell
A week ago Tuesday, Vassar College leaders as well as prominent alumnae and friends attended the “Sesquicentennial Celebration” for the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the college at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Meryl Streep, a Vassar alum, emceed the progream and performed in a staged dramatic reading of a new work, “Vassar Voices” with fellow alumnae, Lisa Kudrow, Frances Sternhagen, Lorenzo Pisoni, April Yvette Thompson, and Elliot Villar.

Among those attending, Vassar College president Catharine Hill and her husband Kent Kildahl, Pat and John Rosenwald, Sally and Sam Butler, William Plapiner (chairman of the college’s board of trustees, and an alum) and wife Cassie Murray; Geraldine Laybourne and husband Kit Laybourne, John and Jody Arnhold, Eileen Fisher, Linda Fairstein, Diana and Haerrison “Jay” Goldin, Vera and Donald Blinken, Eugenie and Harry Havemeyer, Susan and Steve Mandel, Lynne Gross Strauss.

Vassar College was founded on January 18, 1861 as the world’s first to provide comprehensive higher education to women. The college became co-educational in 1969 and from the outset Vassar graduates have proven to be pioneers and leaders in numerous fields, earning such accolades as twelve Pulitzer Prizes and the 2010 Presidential Citizen's Medal.
Alexa Alemanni
Bob Friedman and Lizzy Plapinger
Richard Roberts
Barbara Vogelstein, Bill Plapinger, and Catharine Hill
Ivan Guerrero and Ethan Zohn
Ethan Zohn
Geraldine Laybourne and Pat Rosenwald
Eileen Fisher
Dr. June Jackson Christmas
Missie Rennie Taylor, Sally Butler, and Catharine Hill
Linda Fairstein
The Women’s Board of The Boys’ Club of New York hosted its second annual Winter Luncheon on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Over 200 guests gathered to hear award-winning journalist Ashley Merryman, co-author with Po Bronson of NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, speak on research on how children learn and provide insights into the problems with some commonly held assumptions about parenting.

Chaired by Shabnam Henry, Nathalie Kaplan and Tiffany Moller, the luncheon drew Women’s Board members and their many friends, including: Serena Boardman, Danielle Ganek, Libby Fitzgerald, Caroline Dean, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Leslie Gordon Johnson, Karen Glover, Tania Higgins, Burwell Schorr, Simone Mailman, Calvert Moore, Amy Griffin, Jill Roosevelt, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Marina Purcell, Merrill Curtis, Karen Klopp, Allison Rockefeller, Nancy Sipp, Mary Snow, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Ulla Parker, Carter Simonds, Ellen Niven Deery, Debbie Bancroft, Stephanie Coleman, Diane van Amerongen, Brooke Harlow, Elizabeth Krimendahl, Wendy McCarthy, Sara Ayres, Ritchey Howe, Anjali Melwani, Dara O’Hara, Shafi Roepers, Claude Wasserstein, Betsy Pitts, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Day, Karen Lawson-Johnston, Renee Rockefeller, Liz Carey, Elizabeth Kennedy, Alice Ross, Tory Walsh, Missy Stern, Leslie Heaney, and Women’s Board President Cynthia van Eck, among many others.
Tiffany Moller introduces Ashely Merryman
Tiffany Moller introduces Ashely Merryman
Ashley Merryman
Ashley Merryman
Nathalie Kaplan welcomes guests
Nathalie Kaplan welcomes guests
Centerpieces
On each of the tables were centerpieces that the Luncheon Co-Chairs created to highlight the many activities The Boys’ Club offers to boys daily.
The luncheon drew attention to The Boys’ Club’s work with inner-city youths. On each of the tables were centerpieces that the Luncheon Co-Chairs created to highlight the many activities The Boys’ Club offers to boys daily. Colorful boxes overflowing with tissues in rainbow hues cradled art kits, basketballs, soccer balls, trumpet, mandolin, flute, books on history, science, art, and other goodies boys can use to expand their horizons. These were later donated to BCNY’s clubhouses to be put to good use. Guests were able to donate additional items from a Wish List. The luncheon guests were also given a copy of NurtureShock with a bookmark created especially for the luncheon by Kate Pickett of Pickett Press.

The Boys’ Club of New York is the nation’s oldest boys club, now in its 135th year. Through its clubhouses and summer camp The Boys’ Club offers programs that help boys and young men stay in school and go on to college, discover their individual musical and artistic talents, develop healthy bodies through all kinds of recreation, make new friends, and have fun. The Boys’ Club builds future men of character, instilling strong values, discipline, and a positive perspective that counters the negative forces found on city streets.
Fiona Rudin, Claudia Overstrom, Betsy Pitts, Muffie Potter Aston
Fiona Rudin, Claudia Overstrom, Betsy Pitts, and Muffie Potter Aston
Yesim Philip, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Betsy Pitts, Mary Kathryn Navab
Yesim Philip, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Betsy Pitts, and Mary Kathryn Navab
Vicky Graham, Elizabeth Krimendahl, Pamela Patton, Beth Lavelle
Vicky Graham, Elizabeth Krimendahl, Pamela Patton, and Beth Lavelle
Pam Taylor, Angele Parlange, and Karen Klopp
Pam Taylor, Angele Parlange, and Karen Klopp
Patricia Brett, Cynthia van Eck, Peg Tyre
Patricia Brett, Cynthia van Eck, and Peg Tyre
Lisa Elson, Jennifer Megalli, Colleen de Veer, Brooke Harlow, Holly Robinson, Krista Archer
Lisa Elson, Jennifer Megalli, Colleen de Veer, Brooke Harlow, Holly Robinson, and Krista Archer
Co-Chairs Shabnam Henry, Tiffany Moller, and Nathalie Kapla
Co-Chairs Shabnam Henry, Tiffany Moller, and Nathalie Kapla
Shabnam Henry, Ashley Renshaw, Allison Aston
Shabnam Henry, Ashley Renshaw, and Allison Aston
Diana Anderson, Diane van Amerongen, Judy Hiltz, Hollis Forbes and Julie Anderson
Diana Anderson, Diane van Amerongen, Judy Hiltz, Hollis Forbes, and Julie Anderson
Stephanie Coleman and Mary Snow
Stephanie Coleman and Mary Snow
Friederike Biggs
Friederike Biggs
Amy Griffin and Sara Ayres
Amy Griffin and Sara Ayres
Ula Parker, Claudia Overstrom, Aerin Lauder-Zinterhofer
Ula Parker, Claudia Overstrom, and Aerin Lauder-Zinterhofer
Merrill Curtis and Martha Busconi
Merrill Curtis and Martha Busconi
Terry Lindsay, Alice Ross, Ritchey Howe
Terry Lindsay, Alice Ross, and Ritchey Howe
Over 120 guests enjoyed an evening celebrating GiGi's Playhouse's Inaugural National event with a cocktail reception at the Core Club on East 55th Street. The evening was highlighted by the live video stream, a telecasted message from the founder Nancy Gianni, an opportunity that linked GiGi’s Playhouses in all five cities to the national office in Chicago and a chance to meet new people and support the Down syndrome community.
 
Special guest, Miss New York USA, Amber Collins was in attendance and made welcoming remarks to the guests. Ms. Collins is a keen supporter of the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse NYC. Guests included Jill and Bill Harvey, David Howell, Betty and Lou Craco, Adrian Saldana, Marilee Reilly, Dennis Goodenough, John and Robin Gilles, Lori and Robert Maccarrone, Julie Tupler, Angelica Alonso, Peter Fisher, Dr June and Stanley Blum, Joanne and Tom Fogarty, Matt Fogerty, Heather Trivedi, Lauren Fogarty, Karen and Alex Bartole, Rosemary Suh, Sean Watts, Tracy Nixon, Sheri Nixon, Randy and Andrea Nixon, Anna and Dionysi Grevenitis, Ian and Claudine McCartney, Andrew Morris, Seleta Harrison, Teliah Sites.
Board
The board of GiGi's Playhouse
Silent auction items included a one-week stay at a luxury vacation house in St. Croix, prime orchestra tickets to the American Ballet Theatre 2011 Spring Season and a Roundabout Theatre package of tickets and backstage tour for The Importance of Being Ernest.
 
Gigi’s playhouses are colorful, welcoming community centers that provide everything from prenatal diagnosis support to math and literacy classes for young children to movie nights and mixers for tweens.  These educational centers provide resources, specialized teaching and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. 

Two NYC mothers, Tracy Nixon and Debbie Morris, are spearheading the effort to bring GiGi's Playhouse to NYC in the spring, which will surely be a wonderful and much-needed addition to the special needs community of New York City.
Marilee Reilly, Anna and Dionysi Grevenitis, Jennifer Petterson, Lou Craco, Allison Hunter
Marilee Reilly, Anna and Dionysi Grevenitis, Jennifer Petterson, Lou Craco, and Allison Hunter
Laura Nixon, Sophia Morris
Laura Lyle and Sophia Morris
Amber Collins, The Morris Family
Amber Collins and The Morris Family
Betty and Lou Craco, Adrian Saldana, Marilee Reilly, Dennis Goodenough
Betty and Lou Craco, Adrian Saldana, Marilee Reilly, and Dennis Goodenough
Britt Sady, Luella Adan, Tina Tang
Britt Sady, Luella Adan, and Tina Tang
Margarita Rosado, Laura De Riggi, Crisoliana Alvarez
gMargarita Rosado, Laura De Riggi, and Crisoliana Alvarez
Kelly Scott, Fred Scott, Stewart Scott
Kelly, Fred, and Stewart Scott
John and Robin Gilles
John and Robin Gilles
Rosemary Suh, Sean Watts
Rosemary Suh and Sean Watts
Rebecca Purnich, Brooke Berry, Michelle Melendez, Amy Brown, Joyce Mackay
Rebecca Purnich, Brooke Berry, Michelle Melendez, Amy Brown, and Joyce Mackay
Kevin and Karen Brakstad, Dan Purnick
Kevin and Karen Brakstad with Dan Purnick
Margaret and Phillip Delves Broughton
Margaret and Phillip Delves Broughton
Alex and Gabby De Marzi, Amber Collins, Duncan Montero
Alex and Gabby De Marzi, Amber Collins, and Duncan Montero
Matt Fogerty, Heather Trivedi, Lauren Fogarty
Matt Fogerty, Heather Trivedi, and Lauren Fogarty
Jill and Bill Harvey
Jill and Bill Harvey
Duncan Montero, Amber Collins
Duncan Montero and Amber Collins
Joanne and Tom Fogarty
Joanne and Tom Fogarty
Lee and Hakan Ergulec
Lee and Hakan Ergulec
Rachel Adams, John Connelly
Rachel Adams and John Connelly
David Howell, Debbie Morris, Bill Harvey, Tracy Nixon, Jill Harvey
David Howell, Debbie Morris, Bill Harvey, Tracy Nixon, and Jill Harvey
Ian and Claudine McCartney, Andrew Morris
Ian and Claudine McCartney with Andrew Morris
Angelica Alonso, Peter Fisher
Angelica Alonso and Peter Fisher
Lyle Family
Lyle Family
Sheri Nixon, Jane Providenti, Tracy Nixon
Sheri Nixon, Jane Providenti, and Tracy Nixon
Greg Driscoll, Jennifer Winter, Tim Driscoll
Greg Driscoll, Jennifer Winter, and Tim Driscoll
Julie Tupler
Julie Tupler
Karen and Alex Bartole
Karen and Alex Bartole
Jennifer Patterson, Marilee Reilly
Jennifer Patterson and Marilee Reilly
Dr June and Stanley Blum
Dr. June and Stanley Blum
David Howell, Cindy Harm
David Howell and Cindy Harm
Louis and Enice Negrone
Louis and Enice Negrone
Anthony and Jane Providenti, Mitch Rubin
Anthony and Jane Providenti with Mitch Rubin
Seleta Harrison, Teliah Sites
Seleta Harrison and Teliah Sites
Lori and Robert Maccarrone
Lori and Robert Maccarrone
Randy and Andrea Nixon
Randy and Andrea Nixon
Audrey Brown, Joyce Mackay
Audrey Brown and Joyce Mackay
Kristina Flood, Kirin McKay
Kristina Flood and Kirin McKay
Dennis Goodenough, Adrian Saldana
Dennis Goodenough and Adrian Saldana
Andrew and Eric O'Callaghan
Andrew and Erica O'Callaghan
Steve Geovanis, Charles Chaitman
Steve Geovanis and Charles Chaitman

Photographs by Blanche Williamson (BCNY); Ann Watt (Gigi)
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