Monday, September 24, 2012

Heroes Among Us

Wifred Thomas, Karen Holbrook,Amb. Harriet Elam-Thomas, Roger Brindley, Kiki Caruson, and Kyna Betancourt
On September 18th at Cipriani Wall Street, the Institute of International Education (IIE) recognized the 10th Anniversary of its Scholar Rescue Fund at its Opening Minds to the World Gala Benefit. As part of this event, IIE's Humanitarian Award was presented to SRF founders Henry Jarecki, Henry Kaufman, Thomas Russo and George Soros. Senator Patrick Leahy was the special guest presenter for this award.

The Scholar Rescue Fund has helped hundreds of scholars escape dangerous situations in their home countries. At the heart of the Fund is the idea that each scholar the Fund helps who continues his or her work in safety is a beacon of hope in the world, and will reach hundreds or thousands of additional students through the multiplier effect of teaching and learning. Since 2002, SRF has assisted over 450 scholars from 48 countries, placing them at nearly 300 host partner institutions in 40 countries around the world. The work of the Fund has become even more important in recent years with current threats to academic freedom and safety in countries such as Syria and Libya.

The scholars' own dramatic experiences are the most powerful embodiment of the impact of the Fund. Abdul Sattar Jawad, for one, fled Iraq in 2005 after three attempts on his life by the Mahdi Army. As dean of the College of Arts at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, he realized his work as a Western-trained journalist and academic and editor of Baghdad's only English-language newspaper was endangering his life and the lives of his family.

The Scholar Rescue Fund enabled him to find safe haven to continue his work in the United States, where he subsequently became a teacher of Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. He continues to teach Iraqi students through the distance learning initiative of the Scholar Rescue Fund Iraq Project.

Dr. Jawad credits the Scholar Rescue Fund with saving his life. In his words, "This is a great program, not only extending a lifeboat for scholars, but also an honorable academic way of life … I would be dead if I had stayed in Iraq."

To date, more than 250 Iraqi scholars have been helped by the Scholar Rescue Fund.
Alison von Klemperer,David Macdonald, and Jacqueline Thompson
Donna and Jack Greenberg
Amy Brandt, Nina Ibrahim, and S.A. Ibrahim
Amy Brandt,Nina Ibrahim,S.a. Ibrahim, Ann Stock, and Hikment Ersek-Edit
Elizabeth and Karlheinz Muhr
Karlheinz Muhr and Henry Kaufman
George Soros, Tom Russo, Princess Ghida Talal, and Henry Jarecki
Gul Rasolol, Afghani,Ann Johnson,Margaret Wager, and Tom Johnson
Henry Jarecki, George Soros,Congresswoman Anita Lowey,Senator Pat Leahy, Marcelle Leahy, Mark Angelson, and Lyn Angelson
Jack Greenberg, Donna Greenberg, and Hikmet Ersek
Laya Khadjavi, Andrew Hoover, Elinor Hoover, and Hamid Biglari
Maura and Frank Corvino
Mark Kaplan, Helene Kaplan, and Tom Johnson
Patricia Waldeck and Victor Goldberg
Tamiko Bolton and George Soros
Patti Kenner, Ruth Gruber, and Doris Schechter
Peter Hancock, Tom Russo, Robert Benmosche
Russell Hirshfield, Lili Forouraghi, Leila Larijani, Roya and Massoud Heidari
Saman Adamiyatt, Massoud Heidari, and Maryam Ansary
Tom Johnson, Ann Johnson, Denise Benmosche, and Robert Benmosche
Tom Johnson, Lyn Angelson, Marcelle and Senator Pat Leahy, Mark Angelson
The Development Wing dedicated itself to nurturing new musicals via partnerships with regional, not for profit theaters held an intimate one-night-only benefit concert featuring Broadway stars singing songs from four new musicals and several tunes by great American songwriters like Johnny Mercer and Fats Waller. The event "Broadway Under the Stars" took place at a sprawling, historic estate in the bucolic countryside of Tewksbury, New Jersey home of Cherie King and her husband composer, lyricist and book writer, Jonathan Brielle, Artistic Director of The Development Wing.

The musical gala was co-hosted by award winning director Michael Bush, who directed the evening and Brielle who also performed.  Four musicals, several of which have been mounted already, were showcased:  Brielle's "Himself and Nora," a tale of the hard drinking Irish writer James Joyce and Nora Barnacle; directed by Michael Bush, which opened the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival to critical acclaim; "Nightmare Alley," an adaptation of the classic 1947 film noir starring Tyrone Power, which had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, directed by the esteemed Gil Cates; "40 Naked Women and Me," the story of songwriter Joshua Beal who finds himself in the midst of a hallucinating and hilarious mid-life crisis that debuted at the Eugene O'Neill Cabaret and Performance Conference this summer; and "Menu," a new musical comedy about the American melting pot in the 21st Century.  
Buffet table with orange sunfowers
Director Michael Bush along with Brielle assembled an all-star cast of Broadway’s brightest lights.

They included Leanne Borghesi, Jessica Burrows, Veanne Cox, Brittney-Lee Hamilton, Jeremiah James, Marcy McGuigan plus Jonathan Brielle . Brielle's rockin'  All Star Band featuring players from The Rolling Stones and Paul Simon’s Band including  Steven Ray Watkins – piano; Larry Saltzman – guitar; Benny Koonevesky – drums; Jim Hynes – trumpet;  Andy Snitzer – tenor sax; Charles Pillow – flute and reeds; Mike Davis – trombone.

Cherie King and her Development Wing cohort Judy Ross hosted cocktails which featured delectable hors d'oeuvres by Patricia Lindridge-Ingber's Food Company including grilled shrimp on corn cakes, filet of beef with Chimichurri , tuna tartar and sushi, which guests nibbled while strolling the gently rolling grounds beautifully landscaped by designer Chas Fox of Back to Nature.

Fanciful Frog King lamp was among the auction items
They also bid on a number of exclusive items in the Silent Auction such as Hamilton Farms Golf and Lunch afternoon for three with a member at one of the finest courses in the country situated on a historic country estate, an original oil painting by Raffaele Donofrio; Original Song Composed by Jon Brielle; Make your own Record at Brielle Studios; Broadway Show tickets, a Tiffany Style Lamp, basket of Homemade Jams foraged and prepared by Colin Frager; Limited Edition Handcrafted Earrings and bracelet of Sterling Silver by Kathryn Scimone Stanko and the opportunity to build a new relationship or start a new career with BeginAnu, created by career and relationship coach Cherie King.

Brielle kicked of the evening with the roaring anthem for everyone who wants to see their name on a marquee, "I Saw Broadway" from his newest musical "40 Naked Women, a Monkey and Me." In an evening filled with highlights, standouts included Jessica Burrows poignant "Stand Fast" and the bitter "Without a Man" whose refrain is "what would I be without a man - lucky" from "Himself and Nora; Marcy McGuigan's arch "Take the Money and Run"; Leanne Borghese's hilarious Italian mama on "Zibaldone" that brought back memories of Camille Saviola's bawdy Mama Maddalena in "Nine"; Veanne Cox's hilarious turn in "40 Naked Women..." and later in the show her Piaf-esque rendition of the eternal artist's struggle "Commerce & Art"; and Brittney Lee Hamilton's sexy spin on "You Think You're Different And that was just the first act.
Leanne Borghesi, Marcy McGuigan, Brittney Lee Hamilton and Veanne Cox in 40 Maked Women, a Monkey and Me
Jessica Burrows
Leanne Borghesi, Marcy McGuigan and Brittney Lee Hamilton
After intermission, Mike Davis performed a trombone solo of "Time of My Life" followed by the appearance of Broadway great Ken Prymus of Cats & "Ain't Misbehavin" fame who flew in from Las Vegas especially for the event sang ""I Get By" from Brielle's "Nightmare Alley" and then in a special tribute to Fats Waller, Prymus performed a side-splitting  rendition of the Waller classic "Your Feets Too Big"  that had the crowd hooting and hollering. Sexy Brittney Lee Hamilton returned with a medley of timeless Johnny Mercer that included "Jeepers, Creepers" & "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" tune followed by Brielle who as Vice Chairmen of the Johnny Mercer Foundation has access to Johnny's "trunk" performed the world premiere of Mercer's " I Wanna Be in Love Again" to thunderous applause. The closing finale with Brielle & the cast reprising "I Saw Broadway" was an exhilarating, uplifting and thrilling wrap to an extraordinary evening of musical theater. Anyone sitting under the tent that night could indeed say,  "I Saw Broadway" tonight.

To learn more about The Development Wing contact
Bobbi & Vin Godleski admire the flowers
Paulina Evgenidis
Maureen Chatfield, Hampton Sailer, and Christine Layng
Tara and Aldo Scrofani
Judy Ross
The Angel Ladies - Charlotte Ramsey and Eileen Foley Miller
Donna & Russ Yarnell
Rusty Meyers, Charlotte Ramsey, Gary Miller and Eileen Foley Miller
Kathy Kluge and Tom Gelpke
Jonathan Brielle and Brittney Lee Hamilton
Silvia Fernandez, Marta Fernandez and Chas Fox
Talia Hermesh
Leanne Borghesi and director Michael Bush
Veanne Cox, Brittney Lee Hamilton Jonathan Brielle and Leanne Borghesi
Jonathan Brielle and Mary Horn
Development Wing's Cherie King and Barbara Martal, Crossroads Theatre
Christian Lerch and Jessica Burrows
Philip and Elaine Getter, Jonathan Brielle, Cherie King and Barbara Martal
Lawrence and Amy Poster
Jonathan and Ken Prymus
The Company - Leanne Borghesi, Ken Prymus, Jessica Burrows, Michael Bush, Jonathan Brielle, Brittney Lee Hamilton, Marcy McGuigan and Veanne Cox
Celebrities and animal advocates gathered at New York's Gotham Hall for American Humane Association's "Super Heroes Among Us," honoring heroes to animals and the eight courageous canine finalists in the charity's 2012 Hero Dog Awards.

Deputy President of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Masa Tanaka was awarded the National Humanitarian Medal for his work with American Humane Association to help the animals of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami there. SAG-AFTRA received the "Best Friend to Animals Award" for helping AHA to protect more than a million animal actors in TV and film through the charity's renowned "No Animals Were Harmed®" certification program.

Among those attending: Lois Pope, Robin Ganzert, the Ganzert family, Masa Tanaka, Roberta Reardon, Bill Abbott, Carson Kressley, Jake T. Austin, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Tinsley Mortimer, Kate Edmonds Donner and Alex Donner, Jean Shafiroff, Dick Robinson, Kenn Bell, Vanessa Mariani, Elizabeth and Mel Lyman, Jody Miller, and the four hero dogs (Soot, Gabe, Holly and Stella).
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck with Hero dog Gabe
Hulk, Lois Pope, Masa Tanaka, Roberta reardon, Tinsley Mortimer, Robin Ganzert, Captain America, and Hero dog Stella
Hero dog Soot
Hero dog Gabe
Hero dog Holly
Jake T. Austin with Stella
Jean Shafiroff with Stella
Dr Robin Ganzert, Allie Gray, Rob Roy, Jocelyn Ganzert, Robert Ganzert, Bart Ganzert, Rochelle Dever, and Patrick Dever
Rachelle Dever, The Incredible Hulk, Robert Ganzert, Captain America, and Jocelyn Ganzert
Mal Schwartz, Shannon Abbot, and Milda Darzinskis
Artist Leslie Priggen
Bill Abbot
Carson Kressley, Robin Ganzert, Hero Dog Soot, and Lorrie Burdettre
Ruth Pitts, Hero dog Stella, Paul Raybould, Kate Edmonds Donner, and Alex Donner
Elizabeth Lyman and Mel Lyman
Amanda Bowman and Paul Katz
Dick and Sally Robinson
Trupanion table
Carson Kressley, Lois Pope, JR Martinez, Maria Pope Kessel, Dr Robin Ganzert, and Prince Lorenzo Borghezi
Masa Tanaka, Kendall Hubert, and Gary Moriwaki
Bjaye and Frank Pilotte
Kenn Bell
Steve Troha and John Schlimm
Bruce Bobbins and Jody Frisch
Hayden Hosford and Jennifer Greene
Shannon Donnely, Dr Robert Mackler, Walt Schwenk, Mary Anne Schwenk, and Lois Pope
Suzi Goldsmith, Maude Cook, and Mary Anne schwenk
Robert Ganzert, Dr Robin Ganzert, Tinsley Mortimer, Jocelyn Ganzert, and Rochelle Dever
Allison Bennett and Joe Dwyer
Mandy Goldsmith and Dr. Eric Steinberg
Paul Katz, Alissa Pinck, and Paul Raybould
Dick Robinson and Amanda Bowman
Martin and Susan Tobias
Photographs by Annie Watt and Michael McAuliffe (American Humane Association); John Wegorzewski (Development Wing)