Friday, March 11, 2011

Winter Wonderland

John Connell (middle), Lady Alexandra Connell (far right), and family at the annual Sugar Cane Ball at Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The annual Sugar Cane Ball, the largest charity event in Jamaica each year was held at Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The theme was “Alice In Wonderland.” Round Hill’s director Josef Forstmayr was the Mad Hatter. All of the 360 guests were in costume.

Among the guests: Daisy Soros, Veronique and Bob Pittman, Chris Blackwell, Lennox Lewis, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, David and Jill Gilmour, Palm Beach jewelry designer Helga Wagner; painter Helmut KohlNan Brenninkmeyer and her son Charles. Ivana Trump, who was the houseguest of Teresa and Andrew Roberts, celebrated her birthday at the ball. NCIS actor Robert Weatherly was there and provided the auction with an invitation to join the NCIS cast. Also Ralph and Ricky Lauren, son David and fiancée Lauren Bush.
Round Hill Staff dressed up for Alice in Wonderland
The Laurens own two villas at Round Hill including one designed for and owned by Bill and Babe Paley. When it was built in the 1950s it was written about as the “most beautiful beach house in the world. Ralph Lauren added a $5000 Polo gift certificate to the silent auction.

Also attending, several ambassadors: Brenda LaGrange Johnson, US Ambassador to Jamaica; Mary Ourisman of Palm Beach, US Ambassador to Barbados; Leonara Rueta, current American Ambassador to Jamaica; and Celsa Nuno, Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica.
Veronique Pittman, Ann Colley, and Phoebe Booth Howard Johnson, Amb Brenda LaGrange Johnson, Amb Mary Ourisman (USA to Barbados), and husband Mandy
Mr. and Mrs. Booth, Bob and Veronique Pittman, and Ann Colley (seated)
Jackie and Rod Drake with Daisy Soros (seated) Ambassador Leonora Rueda (Mexico to Jamaica) with Jamesand Manuela Goren
Ralph Lauren, David Lauren, Lauren Bush, and Ricky Lauren
Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Hon. Geneive Brown Metzger (Consul General to Jamaica) Julie Earle-Levine
Mr Alex Lari (right, Claremont Group) and family
Liz Brewer, Ivana Trump, and Michael Roberts Melanie Brandman
Amb Brenda LaGrange Johnson (USA to JA), Brian Epstein, Michelle Rollings, and Adam Stewart
Theresa Roberts and Chris Eubanks Mr. and Mrss David Gilmour with Mr. and Mrss Herbert Jacobi
Patricia Falkenberg Patricia and Edward Falkenberg
Lennox Lewis and guests
Rev Awkard and his wife, US Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater Mike Thom and Vanessa Noel
Guild Hall held its 26th annual Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards last Monday night at Cipriani 42nd Street. This year’s honorees were Dick Cavett, screenwriter Marshall Brickman and painter Elizabeth Peyton. Lewis Cullman was recognized for his generosity to the Guild Hall over the years.
Jeff Tarr, Patsy Tarr, Pam Pantzer, Ed Pantzer
Jeff and Patsy Tarr with Pam and Ed Pantzer
Louise Hirschfeld Cullman, Lewis Cullman, Ruth Appelhof
Louise Hirschfeld Cullman, Lewis Cullman, and Ruth Appelhof
Sam Underwood, Amelia Michelle Black
Sam Underwood and Amelia Michelle Black
Rachel Feldman, Marshall Brickman
Rachel Feldman and Marshall Brickman
Stacy Mclaughlin, Nikita Wallin
Stacy Mclaughlin and Nikita Wallin
Dick Cavett, Martha Rogers Cavett, Alec Baldwin
Dick Cavett, Martha Rogers Cavett, and Alec Baldwin
Jonathan Bloom,  Korina Cantagianni, Ruth Appelhof, Max Nuti
Jonathan Bloom, Korina Cantagianni, Ruth Appelhof, and Max Nuti
Burt Steir, Judith Steir, Elaine Krause, Edward Roberts
Burt Steir, Judith Steir, Elaine Krause, and Edward Roberts
Leila Straus, Richard Lane, Barbara Lane
Leila Straus with Richard and Barbara Lane
Roy Furman, Frieda Furman
Roy and Frieda Furman
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Mickey Straus, Korina Cantagianni
Mickey Straus and Korina Cantagianni
Ingrid Aja, Greir Eliasek
Ingrid Aja and Greir Eliasek
Tom Twomey, Sherrye Henry, Jim Marcus, Emil Henry
Tom Twomey, Sherrye Henry, Jim Marcus, and Emil Henry
Mike Clifford, Jill Steinberg, Richard Steinberg
Mike Clifford, Jill Steinberg, and Richard Steinberg
Cheryl Minikes, Michael Minikes
Cheryl and Michael Minikes
Last week, Ralph Lauren threw a cocktail reception for Architectural Digest’s new editor-in-chief Margaret Russell at the new Ralph Lauren women’s store on 72nd and Madison Avenue.
Giulio Capua, S.I. Newhouse, Margaret Russell, and Ralph Lauren
Guests included Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Mica Ertegun, Reed and Delphine Krakoff, Steven Kolb, Richard Meier, Marina Rust Connor, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, Priscilla Rattazzi, Eleanora Kennedy, S.I. Newhouse, and the man himself, Mr. Lauren, with son David.
Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch
Mica Ertegun and Margaret Russell
Reed and Delphine Krakoff
Margaret Russell and David Lauren
Steven Kolb
Margaret Russell and Richard Meier
Marina Rust Connor
S.I. Newhouse, Margaret Russell, and Ralph Lauren
Marjorie Gubelmann
Richard Lambertson and John Truex
Priscilla Rattazzi and Eleanora Kennedy
Waldo Fernandez and Cornelia Guest
A star-studded crowd of 1400 attended the first UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala and raised $2.8 million for UNCF (United Negro College Fund), including $1 million that will go toward UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid, a scholarship program to help recession-impacted seniors at UNCF member colleges graduate on schedule.

The lineup of guest and performers that helped UNCF celebrate the 40th anniversary of its motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and the progress in education the famous words have brought about, included the legendary Roberta Flack, Grammy Award-winning artist/producer Pharrell Williams, Extra correspondent AJ Calloway; Johnson Publishing Co. (and UNCF Board member) Linda Johnson Rice; Avid Partners Founding Partner Pamela Joyner; former Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons: Kathy and Kenneth Chenault; and Thelma Golden, Executive Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Presidents of the historically black UNCF colleges
Chris Perry, Brenda Gill, Vernon Jordan, Scafford G. Simmonds Jr, Deirdre Stanley, Daniel Fountenberry, and April Plana
Guests joined UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., in paying tribute to the motto’s originators: Vernon Jordan, who headed UNCF when the motto was created.

Y&R was represented by their Global Chairman Hamish McLennan and Edward Ney, who was the chairman and CEO when the UNCF motto was created. The Ad Council was represented by president and CEO Peggy Conlon.

Chaired by Tamara Robinson, Vice President of the Robinson Harris Foundation, and Mark Mason, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Citi Holdings, the evening featured a live musical tribute by Roberta Flack. Former President William Clinton lauded his longtime friend Vernon Jordan and applauded UNCF for its decades of work educating people of color.
Roberta Flack
Pharrell Williams, Thelma Golden, and Vernon Jordan
Leecia Eve, Hon. David N. Dinkins, and Vernon Jordan
Peggy Conlon President & CEO The Ad Council UNCF Lifetime Achievement Honoree
Lola Ogunnaike, Vernon Jordan, and Nadine Johnson
Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood and Rev. Floyd Flake
Vernon Jordan and Edward Ney
William Hawthorne
Tamara Harris Robinson and Mark Mason
A. J. Calloway with Nina and Ted Wells
Barbara North Lightning with Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault
Jonathan Bush, Dr. Lenora Taitt-Magubane, Hilary Jordan, and Alfred Goldstein
Michelle Morial, Ted Wells, Nina Wells, and Dr. Elsie Scott
Mr. and Mrs. G. Keith Alexander
Linda Johnson Rice, Stephen Gregory Barr, and Carol Sutton Lewis
Elsie McCabe Thompson, William Thompson, and Andress Appolon
Dr. Michael Lomax and Marc Morial
Kennedy and Michael Benjamin and (seated) Patricia and honoree Edward Ney
Saundra Parks and Sheena Wright
60 supporters of the Tree Trust of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy gathered at the home of Donna and Ben Rosen this past Monday night for a cocktail party to introduce new friends to the Conservancy’s tree endowment program.

Guests – including Women’s Committee president Gillian Miniter, Tree Trust Co-Chairmen, Cathy Ingram and Samantha Topping, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Anne Harrison, Anna and Michael Safir, Mikel and Joe Witte, Memrie Lewis, Gail Hilson, Wendy Carduner, Nancy and Joe Missett, Barbara and James Scott, Cassandra and Gideon Berger, Anna and James Hall, Lindsay Burn, Elizabeth Stribling, Cynthia Whitehead, Bambi Putnam, Lila Prounis, Amanda Essex, Gloria and Phi Cowen, Carlie and Neal Garonzik, Sandra Warshawsky, John Gellert, Elizabeth Vanderslice – enjoyed spring cocktails and the Rosen’s magnificent view of the Park from their Central Park West apartment.
Doug Blonsky addresses the guests
Joe Missett, Samantha Topping, Cathy Ingram, and Doug Blonsky
Conservancy President and Central Park Administrator, Doug Blonsky spoke to the group about the Park’s 24,000 beautiful trees and the work involved in caring for them season after season.

The Tree Trust offers donors the unique opportunity to support the care of Central Park’s 24,000 trees. All contributions to the Tree Trust are placed in an endowment for the Park’s existing trees and funds the planting of new trees. Tree Trust donors receive a personalized engraved paving stone at the southern end of Literary Walk in the heart of Central Park.

For more information about the Tree Trust, visit, call 212-310-6617, or e-mail
Eleanora Kennedy, Cathy Ingram, and Samantha Topping
Sylvester and Gillian Miniter
Neal Garonzia, Carlie Garonzia
Jack and Patsy Olive
Jack Olive, Justin Gibbons, Gail Hilton, Cindy Whitehead, and Joe Witte
Amanda Essex and Hannah M. Parker
Carole and Bruce Harting
Anne Harrison and Memrie Lewis
Cathy Ingram and Beth van der Slice
Elizabeth Stribling and Sandra Warshawsky
Julia Bradford with Barbara and James Scott
Joe Missett, Wendy Carduner, and Nancy Missett
James Hall, Melissa Gibbons, and Anna Hall
John  Gellert with Eleanora and Michael Kennedy
Lila and Amelia Prounis
Michael and Anna Safir
Mary and Michael Gellert with Philip and Gloria Cowen
Philip and Gloria Cowen with Mark and Nancy C. Roberts
Mitch and Kate Krieger
Bambi Putnam and Benjamin Rosen
Mikel Witte, Joe Witte, and Lindsay Burn
Missy and Gregory Rice, Kate and Mitch Krieger, and Gideon and Cassandra Berger
Last Thursday night at the Gerald Peters Gallery on 24 East 78th Street, there was a reception for painter Paige Peterson and an exhibition of her latest works.
Julie Tupler
Joan Ganz Cooney, David Peterson, Pete Peterson, and Paige Peterson
Julie Tupler
Joanie McDonell, Rick White, and Suzanne Maas
Julie Tupler
Meg Hirschfeld and Lena Tabori
Julie Tupler
Terry McDonell and Joanie McDonell
Julie Tupler
Gerald Peters and Paige Peterson
Julie Tupler
Susan Calhoun Moss, Barry Wildman, and Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle
Julie Tupler
Rich Conway and Greta Weil
Julie Tupler
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Limberg
Julie Tupler
Duane Hampton and Jesse Kornbluth
Julie Tupler
Diane Becker and Giovanni Adamo
Julie Tupler
Jean Shafiroff and Ann Rapp
Julie Tupler
Lin Cho
Julie Tupler
Susan Cheever and Jesse Kornbluth
Julie Tupler
John Hirschfeld and Alexandra Peterson
Julie Tupler
Christopher Cerf and Barry Wildman
Julie Tupler
Alexandra Peterson, William Cart, Kim McCarty, and Michael McCarty
Julie Tupler
Ross Anderson and Connie Wiley
Julie Tupler
Dr. Sally Peterson, Paige Peterson, and Wendy Finerman
Julie Tupler
Joan Jakobson and Peter Marcelle
Julie Tupler
Ed Herlihy and Gildo Spado
Julie Tupler
Mike and Katie Odlum with Laurie and Jeff Everson
In the splendid 19th century Ghika Palace in Bucharest (Romania) the 2011 Valentine’s Day Charity Ball, the 5th edition, was organized by Blue Heron Foundation (

BHR was established in Los Angeles in 2002 while its Romanian subsidiary was incorporated in 2008. The foundation’s mission is to provide much-needed University scholarship funding to children from placement centers throughout Romania. All the foundation’s expenses are paid by the founders, thus 100% of all donations go toward the scholarships.

For the past seven years, BHF has raised $760,000 from over 400 donors in the United States and about 200 donors in Romania. In these difficult days of economical crisis, giving the hope in a better future, through higher education, to young adults it is the best way to help them.
Julie Tupler
Valentina Ionescu, Mike Costache, General Marin Dragnea, Stefania Magidson, and Steven and Valeria van Groningen
Since then, the University Scholarship Program invested in the education of 115 orphaned and underprivileged students (44 have already graduated and they are working).

The purpose of the annual Charity Ball was to raise awareness about the University Scholarship Program and to complement the donors ‘ contributions from the United States in awarding 50 new scholarships in 2011. The mission was complete.

The Master of Ceremonies, Valentina Ionescu, introduced Stefania Magidson, President of Blue Heron Foundation. There were speeches by Geanina Avadanei, Alumnus, and Florin Petrachi, Blue Heron alumnus and Blue Heron grantee respectfully. Stefania Magidson came from Los Angeles for the Ball with the promise to her husband that she’ll be back to celebrate Valentine Day together (due to the hour difference, it was possible), Mike Costache, Board of Directors Member and Event Chairman, presented the Forget-Me-Not Humanitarian Award to the 2011 Honorees, Steven and Valeria van Groningen.
Julie Tupler
Mike Costache and Stefania Magidson with friends
Julie Tupler
Their love story is like a movie, so I share it with you. Steven van Groningen, born in the Netherlands from a family of bankers, represented his country as a member of the Dutch National Rowing Team at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where he met his wife, Valeria Racila, one of the most successful rowers of her generation. They married in 1986 and in 2001 they returned to Romania, with Steve as CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Romania. They both have been involved in major fundraising campaigns for generous causes.

The evening included a fashion show with the participation of Miss Universe Romanian 2010 finalists, with a waltz and tango danced by professional dancers, and a beautiful performance by Teodora Enache, one of the best jazz singers we have here.

The dinner was followed by a dance, and the band was announced by Valentina Ionescu. As love was in the air, her boyfriend, Mike Costache, got on his knees and asked her to marry him. Everybody went to congratulate the couple.

Laura Gutanu for NYSD
Julie Tupler
Daniela Tordoi, Adrian Paduraru, and Valentina Ionescu
Julie Tupler
Vogue journalist Doris Sangeorzan and Adam Prather
Julie Tupler
Istvan Gyarfas,Teodora Enache, and Balazs Berkes

Photographs by (Guild Hall); Margot Jordan (UNCF); ANN WATT (CPC); Brandon Remler (Paige Peterson).
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