Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Position

Mikaela Kelly, Bess Kargman, Michaela DePrince, Shaakir Muhammed, Naazir Muhammed, Rachel Moore, Susan Sudovar, Joey Lico, Asha Talwar, and Jay Dubiner
American Ballet Theatre's Junior Council hosted its third annual Juniors For Juniors fundraiser on Wednesday evening, February 22, 2012, at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City. 

Juniors For Juniors supports scholarships to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO) at ABT. This year's event included a screening of the documentary "First Position," which follows the journey of young ballet students on the competition circuit, including JKO student Michaela DePrince. 
Over 120 of New York City's young social elite attended the event, including Sarah Arison, Asha Talwar, Elizabeth Baumann, Anita Sen, Josette and Steven Winograd, Yoni Arbel, Jennifer Holmes, Jennifer English, Alison Ecung, and Emily Reifel. The benefit raised $14,000, which will fund three scholarships to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT. The evening was generously supported by Guerlain.
Emily Reifel and Joey Lico
Kyle Ridaught, Sarah Arison, and Michael Arlotto
ABT dancers Lauren Post, Christine Shevchenko, Sean Stewart, Jennifer Whalen, and Katie Williams.
Josette Winograd, Asha Talwar, and Emily Reifel
Elizabeth Baumann and Sarah Arison
Raymond Lukens, Michaela DePrince, Mikaela Kelly, and Franco De Vita
ABT dancer Nicola Curry and Zhong-Jing Fang
Anthony DelTufo
Bess Kargman, Raymond Lukens, and Rachel Moore
Kyle Ridaught and Roger Wu
Alison Yang, Allison Ecung, and Asha Talwar
Paula Zahn served as emcee at the 13th Annual Valentine Salon to benefit East End Hospice, held on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at 583 Park Avenue. Alexandra Urdang, longtime Valentine Salon committee member and supporter of East End Hospice, chaired this year's event, which was attended by 190 women from the tri-state area, and raised over $100,000 for Camp Good Grief.

The Valentine Salon is the only event dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Camp Good Grief, a one-week bereavement camp run under the auspices of East End Hospice. Since 1997, Camp Good Grief has been offered free of charge to any child aged 4 to 15 who has suffered the loss of a loved one. The weeklong program employs a variety of activities--including art, music, structured play, and group therapy--designed to give the campers the necessary tools to effectively cope with their grief. The camp will take place August 20 through August 24, 2012, at Peconic Dunes, a 4-H camp located in Southold, New York.
Alexandra Urdang and Paula Zahn
Sheila White of GEMS accepts the "Good Heart" award on behalf of Rachel Lloyd
Each year, the Valentine Salon Committee honors a woman from the community who has made an important contribution to children in need. This year's Good Heart Award recipient was Rachel Lloyd, Founder and Executive Director of GEMS, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, an agency dedicated to supporting girls and young women victimized by the commercial sex industry. Ms. Lloyd was unable to attend, and Sheila White, GEMS' Survivor Leadership Coordinator, accepted on her behalf, delivering a moving speech which ended with a standing ovation. Jacalyn Weinstein, East End Hospice board member, presented the award, which was created by Manfredi Jewelers in honor of the late Sue Kohl Katz, who co-founded the event with Ms. Weinstein.
Valentine Salon Luncheon Committee. Back (l to r): Debbie Zuckerman, Lesley Leben, Phllis Jaeger, Lora Schiavetta, Ellen Lowey & Gloria Alhanti. Front (l to r): Lisa Shawn, Shari Adler, Jacalyn Weinstein, Alexandra Urdang, Nancy Litman, and Diana Porges
East End Hospice, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a New York State certified hospice that provides end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and their families who live on the East End of Long Island. No one is ever denied care due to the inability to pay for services.

It's not too late to support Camp Good Grief. To make a donation, or for additional information, please contact the East End Hospice Development Office at 631-288-7080, or at
Sarah Zimmerman, Betsy Rowe, Priscilla Ruffin, Suzanne Augustin, and Diana Stratta
Estelle Taffet, Irene Kunis, and Barbara Messinger
Phyllis Jaeger and Chris Namer
Ronnette Riley with vendor from Striped Giraffe
Event Chair Alexandra Urdang and event co-founder Jacalyn Weinstein
Gladys Bagley (r.) and friend
East End Hospice staff Debbie Doyle and Maggie Goldfarb
Back (l to r): Kathy Merlo, Carol Lee Nespole, Myra Merlo, Gladys Remler, and Christina Zambella. Front (l to r): Ellen Bender, Barbara Friedman, Sharon Kesselman, Alice Purdue, and Gloria Alhanti
Back (l to r): Betsy Brod, Sandi Mendelson, Leslie Schnur, and Lora Schiavetta. Front (l to r): Jacalyn Weinstein, Paula Zahn, Alexandra Urdang, and Ruth Scharf
Back (l to r): Ronnette Riley, Harriet Reitman, Abbey Merrill, Susan Drucker, Lisa Czyzyk, and Marty Hecht. Front (l to r): Liz Conley, Allison Curry, Lynn Gilbert, and Jackie Merri Meyer
On Saturday, February 25th, GiGi's PLAYHOUSE NYC, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers, opened its doors for the first time, in conjunction with the 2nd Annual International GiGi's PLAYHOUSE Gala event that linked all 10 PLAYHOUSEs in the United States and Mexico.

GiGi's PLAYHOUSE is the ONLY community center designed to meet the specific needs of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. It offers community support, therapeutic programs, one-on-one tutoring, and national awareness campaigns. The PLAYHOUSE is whole-family oriented and community-friendly; a truly inclusive environment. And it's all free! New York is the 10th PLAYHOUSE in the world.
Jane Providenti, Abby, Maggie, and group with Story Pirates
The renowned Story Pirates ( lead a workshop with the kids, children with Down syndrome, their siblings and friends, helping them create their own stories which will be performed as a theatrical presentation in the Drama Book Shop theatre on April 21st.

Adults mingled and learned about the PLAYHOUSE while they snacked on kosher, vegetarian, and gluten free food choices – talk about inclusive!
Kirsten DeBear and Andrew
As of March, GiGi's PLAYHOUSE NYC opens its doors full time with programs including Open Play, Family Night, on-going Open House celebrations designed to introduce the PLAYHOUSE to the New York community: families who will benefit from the PLAYHOUSE programs, therapists who will design and run the therapeutic aspects of the program (including private math and literacy tutoring) and those interested in donating to and volunteering with GiGi's PLAYHOUSE.

For more information, go to
Andrew, Laura, and Tracy Nixon
Allison Posner and Noah
Debbie Morris and Sophia
Ben and Sophia
Ellison and Tom Fogarty
Abby, Andrew, Malik, and Laura
Gael, Britt Sady, and Noah
Rebecca Purnick, Ellison, Tom Fogarty, and Avery and Jo Ann Fogarty
Tom Fogarty, Avery, and Laura
Yamira Siu-Jabbaar and Malik
John Connelly and Henry
Rachel Adams and Henry
Jacob and Ellen Danzis
Louis Craco and Richard Reilly
Britt Sady and Louis Craco
Louis and Ellison
Elizabeth Craco and Louis
Richard Reilly, Louis, and Abby
Maggie and Troy
Abby and Jennifer Patterson
Marilee Reilly
Allison Posner and Sam Pasarew – Story Pirates
PJ and Andrew
John Michalzyk
Maserati of Manhattan joined forces with Executive Chef Lulzim Rexhepi from SeaSalt Restaurant at the Ocean Club Hotel to bring Cape May, New Jersey to New York City. The five-course tasting of the restaurant's cuisine benefitted the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. The evening featured a silent auction for the charity, which included Ashley Turen's one-of-a-kind leggings, Jewelry by Jewels of Ocean and a two-night stay at the Ocean Club Hotel.
Chef Lulzim was front and center at the Culinary Experience, making signature SeaSalt Restaurant dishes for guests to enjoy throughout the evening. In addition to the decadent cuisine, specialty cocktails by MEDEA Vodka and The Dalmore were served to guests. They also enjoyed music by DJ Aly D and Panasera models circulating the room in luxurious beachwear.
Guadalupe Hogarty, Irma Damhuis, Johnnie White, Eileen Morales, Fun Lee
Guadalupe Hogarty, Irma Damhuis, Johnnie White, Eileen Morales, and Fun Lee
Laura Fisher, Matt Sandy
Laura Fisher and Matt Sandy
Emil Rensing, Anthony Faglione
Emil Rensing and Anthony Faglione
Michael Bellina, Dolores Bellina
Michael and Dolores Bellina
Aferdita Nezaj, Chef Lulzim Rexhepi, Nick Nezaj
Aferdita Nezaj, chef Lulzim Rexhepi, and Nick Nezaj
Sal Strazzullo, Alison Cronin
Sal Strazzullo and Alison Cronin with friends
Marianne Moreno, DJ Aly D
Marianne Moreno and DJ Aly D
Robin Cofer, Leesa Rowland
Robin Cofer and Leesa Rowland
Chef Lulzim, Chef Daniel Cooper
Chef Lulzim and chef Daniel Cooper
Wendy Diamond
Wendy Diamond and friend
Marisa Guiliano Laura Fisher
Marisa Guiliano and Laura Fisher
Panasera Models and Maserati
Panasera models and Maserati

Photographs by; Billy Farrell Agency / (ABT); (Gigi).
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