Friday, April 27, 2012

Medal of Excellence

Bill Cunningham and Marian Sulzberger Heiskell photographing each other while Jay Diamond, Claudia Lebenthal, and Alexandra Lebenthal look on at Carnegie Hall's Medal of Excellence Gala.
Monday night Carnegie Hall awarded its fifth Medal of Excellence to photojournalist Bill Cunningham at a gala benefit at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The award recognizes Mr. Cunningham's extraordinary devotion to chronicling fashion for nearly fifty years, as well as his role in inspiring great philanthropy, recognizing the important place that arts, culture, and non-profit causes hold in the life of New York City. The Medal of Excellence was presented to Mr. Cunningham by Mr. Sanford I. Weill, Chairman of Carnegie Hall's Board of Trustees.

In addition, Gala Chair Annette de la Renta introduced a brief clip of the award-winning documentary Bill Cunningham New York. World-renowned tenor Vittorio Grigolo performed as part of the evening's program as introduced by Gala Chair Sarah Jessica Parker. After the dinner the Empire Ballroom, guests moved to the Vanderbilt Ballroom for a chic after-party featuring the talents of DJ Cassidy. The gala, which was attended by more than 450 guests, raised nearly $1.5 million. On behalf of Bill Cunningham, all proceeds benefited the music education and community programs of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.
Cocktail reception and dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria
Sanford and Joan Weill served as the event's Honorary Gala Chairs. Annette and Oscar de la Renta, and Sarah Jessica Parker were Gala Chairs. Mercedes T. Bass, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, and 2008 Medal of Excellence Honoree Terry J. Lundgren and Tina Lundgren, and 2010 Medal of Excellence Honoree Henry T. Segerstrom and Elizabeth Segerstrom served as Gala Co-Chairs.

Mr. Cunningham's longtime employer, The New York Times, joined the event as Gala Lead Sponsor. In addition, the after-party was hosted by Junior Committee Members including James G. Brooks, Jr., Lee Hallman, Lara Meiland-Shaw and Claude Shaw, and Sarina Sassoon Sanandaji and Kasra Sanandaji.
A cutout of Bill Cunningham
The real Bill
Adrienne Arst
Bill Cunningham and Anna Wintour
Carnegie Hall Chairman and Honorary Gala Chair Sanford I. Weill, Bill Cunningham, Carnegie Hall Trustee Judy Zankel
Adrienne Arsht, Alexandra Lebenthal, Bill Cunningham, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, and Claudia Lebenthal
Christine & Stephen Schwarzman
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ann Ziff, and Bill Cunningham
Bill Cunningham greets Mercedes Bass
Julia and David H. Koch
Sarah Jessica Parker and Bill Cunningham
Roshi Kamdar, Vittorio Grigolo, Oscar de la Renta, Mercedes Bass
Muffie Potter Aston and Sherrell Aston
Leslie Ziff
Annette de la Renta and Bill Cunningham
Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom
DJ Cassidy and Janete Rodas
Bill Cunningham photographs during dinner
Bill Cunningham and Tina Lundgren
Lara Meiland-Shaw and Claude Shaw
Roshi Kamdar and Gayle King
Dinner viewing of a clip from Bill Cunningham New York
Sanford I. Weill presents the Medal of Excllence to Bill Cunningham
Bill Cunningham and his Medal of Excellence
Sarah Jessica Parker
Vittorio Grigolo performs
Victtorio Grigolo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Sarah Jessica Parker, Oscar de la Renta, and Vittorio Grigolo
Lauren and Andrés Santo Domingo
Austin Scarlett and Annika Connor
Bill Cunningham, Henry Segerstrom, and Terry Lundgren: all Medal of Excellence recipients
Annika Connor, Austin Scarlet, and Mercedes Bass
DJ Cassidy
Bill Cunningham with Chiu-Ti Jansen, Patricia Shiah, Michele Herbert, and Lucia Hwong Gordon at the after-BCNY
Guests dancing to music by DJ Cassidy in the Vanderbilt Room
The Glimmerglass Festival held its 2012 Spring Gala GL!MMERATA! on April 10 at The Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. The glittering evening benefitted the company’s Young Artists and Summer Internship programs.

The Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program is an acclaimed program that provides training and performance experience for talented singers at the beginning of their professional careers. The Festival also offers summer internships in production, administration and artistic administration, providing the opportunity for young professionals and students to experience the fast-paced world of repertory opera and musical theater.  
Cocktails in the Great Hall
Costume design for Aida by Bibhu Mohapatra
Bibhu Mohapatra costume design for Aida
The elegant evening hosted by Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello with her partner Faith Gay at her side along with Gala Chairs Patricia Kavanagh & James Grant and Estelle Parsons & her husband Peter Zimroth made great use of the sprawling mansion that houses the club. The festivities kicked off with cocktails in the stately Great Hall. Glimmerglass Managing Director Linda Jackson, the first African American woman to head a major opera company proudly pointed out this year of the over 100 Young Artist Program participants 39 of them are singers and most interestingly 15 are African Americans and 5 are from South Africa. Young Artists member pianist Alla Milchtein played for cocktails at the sold out gala.

The ringing of a gentle bell signaled it was time to move onto the West Lounge for a recital by established stars of the opera and musical theater world as well as several members of the Young Artists Program. Following words of welcome by Ms. Zambello and Patricia Kavanagh the program began with famed Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Eric Owens (this year’s Artist in Residence at Glimmerglass) performing the title song from “Lost in the Stars”. Then David Daniels sang “Ogni indugio d’un amante” (from Handel’s Rinaldo) and Sean Panikkar & Dwayne Croft performed the rousing Don Carlo duet.
Guests in the West Lounge for the performance
Dwayne Croft and Sean Panikkar perform a duet
Ginger Costa Jackson sings Weill's Pirate Jenny
Klea Blackhurst famed for her Ethel Merman-esque vocals added a touch of lightness with “Taking a Chance on Love” Duke’s Cabin in the Sky.  Ginger Costa-Jackson who delighted critics and fans alike with her sexy turn as Carmen at Glimmerglass last season vamped sexily through Kurt Weill’s “Pirate Jenny” from The Threepenny Opera.

Dwayne Croft & Elizabeth Futral gave a sneak preview of this summer’s musical selection, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man with “Seventy-six Trombones” and My White Knight”. The recital fittingly ended with the Nile Duet from Verdi’s Aida performed by Young Artists Karen Jesse & Dominick Rodriguez. The singers were beautifully accompanied by Young Artists Program member Kevin Miller. 
Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Karen Jesse and Dominick Rodriguez
Metropolitan Opera bass baritone Eric Owens
Following dinner in the ornate dining room there was a brief but lively auction that also gave the crowd a peek at the costumes for Aida designed by CFDA rising star fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra. So fierce was the bidding for an evening gown n evening gown by the young designer that Ms Zambello begged him to make it two dresses and two very lucky ladies were very happy.

Among the guest swirling around the Great Hall to the up-tempo sounds of Peter Duchin & his Orchestra were Carole & Dudley Johnson, Bibhu Mohapatra,  CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin; author A.M. Holmes author; Former Gen Manager Metropolitan Opera Joe Volpe; Philanthropist Adrienne Arsht; Michael Kaiser, President of the JFK Center for the Performing Arts; Jim Grant Grants Financial; Jean-Marie Eveillard; composer Tobias Picker; Susan Morris chair of Santa Fe Opera; James Feldman and Natalie Wexler; O’Neill Theater Center’s George & Betsy White;  American Ballet Theater’s Rachel Moore; Carolyn Ryan, Bill Edwards, CEO Classic Media, Board Member of the Public Theatre ; Honorable Judith Kaye &  Honorable Susan Read.
Jim Barton, Eric Owens, Nancy Barton, and Faith Gay
The Gala committee included Adrienne Arsht, Nancy & Jim Barton, Klea Blackhurst, Ira Don Brown, Patricia & John Chadwick, Dwayne Croft, Wendy & John Curtis, David Daniels, Elizabeth M. & Jean-Marie R. Eveillard, Elizabeth Futral, Faith Gay, Sherwin H. Goldman, Alfred Hubay, Mrs. John R. Hopper, Karen Jesse, Carole & Dudley Johnson, Alla Milchtein, Kevin Miller, Bibhu Mohapatra, Eric Owens, Sean Panikkar, Dominick Rodriguez, Dagni & Martin Senzel, Court Watson & Francesca Zambello.  Gala Junior Chairs were Pauline Eveillard and Sage Mehta.

The 2012 Glimmerglass Festival mainstage productions include Verdi’s Aida, Willson’s The Music Man, Lully’s Armide and Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s Lost in the Stars. The productions will run in rotation July 7 through August 25 in the Alice Busch Opera Theater in Cooperstown, New York. The mainstage productions will be supplemented by special performances, concerts and lectures throughout the season. Tickets start at just $26 and youth tickets (ages 6-18) start at $10 when accompanied by an adult. Call (607) 547-2255 or visit for tickets and additional information.
Arch and Marie McKellar, and Jessie Walker
Bobby Beard and designer Bibhu Mohapatra
Wendy Curtis, John Curtis, and Nina McLemore
David Daniels and Kevin Miller
Amy Burton
Francesca Zambello, Eric Owens, Luke Frazier, and Adrienne Arsht
Dr. Patricia Kavanagh
Elizabeth Eveillard
Jean and Eugene Stark
Met Opera's Steven White and Elizabeth Futral
Kevin Miller and Linda Jackson
Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Renee Landegger, and Carl C. Landegger
Natalie Wexler, James Feldman, and Adrienne Arsht
Kevin and Ayanna Clunis
Nancy Barton and Al Hubay
Nancy Barton, Joan and George Schiele, and Marina V. Styazhkina
Michael Smith and Eddie Barbash
James Feldman, Lucky Roosevelt, and Natalie Wexler
Sherwin M. Goldman and Rachel Moore
Carla Hall and Ben Ami Freedman
Betsy White and Edward Callaghan
Peter Zimroth and Estelle Parsons
Elizabeth Futral and Steven White
Bibhu Mohapatra and Ginger Costa Jackson
John Wegorzewski and Vevlyn Wright
Klea Blackhurst
Court Watson and Don Brown
Don Brown, Sarah Mandato, Joey Lee, and Kristin Kovner
Kara Unterberg and William Wright
Patricia Sullivan and Jay Cantor
Michelle Caruso Cabrera and Adrienne Arsht
Court Watson and Paul Masck
Nadja Hansen and Andrew Shore
Mark Shapiro and Judy Lewent
Suzy Gooch and ABT's Rachel Moore
Eric de Cholnoky and Nicole Najafi
Michael Robinson and Sage Mehta
Kristin Cook in Bibhu Mohapatra
Coverly Rees and Jim Barton on the dnace floor
Last Friday, on the candlelit Terrace of the Gramercy Park Hotel, 300 of New York’s young tastemakers gathered together to raise a glass and raise funds for The Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY).  All proceeds from the event went to support BCNY’s important programming, which includes academic support, numerous athletics opportunities, art exploration, and countless other programs.

Hosting the event were BCNY’s Junior Dance co-chairs Silas Anthony, Zaneta Clark, Everett Cook, Billy Cooling, Lizzie Edelman, Barkley Hickox, Chris Lentz, Amelia Osborne, Alexandra Papanicolaou, and Stephen Sherrill.  DJ Chelsea Leyland’s soundtrack of golden oldies and current hits encouraged a frenzy of dancing.
Henley Vazquez, Alex Erdman, Monique Brendel, Amelia Osborne, and Brooke Pearson
The space was packed; people filled every corner of the terrace, which offered a nearly 360° view of Manhattan’s skyline lit by a full moon. Warhol reprints decorated the lounge walls, serving as colorful counterparts to the rainbow of cocktail dresses, the sparkle of jewelry, and the flash of bright smiles as guests ran into old friends and made new ones. Drinks were generously provided by Diageo.

Guests included Henry Cashin, Edward Shaheen, Pete Boisi, Kelly Van Ingen, Sybil Bunn, Giovanna Campagna, Alex deRichemont, Alex Erdman, Kevin Galligan, Brett Shapiro,Emilie Ghilaga, Monte Hackett, Will Sherrill,  Devin Haran, Abigail Johnson, Kristin Klonoski, CeCe Barfield, Page Leidy, Ashley Pardoe, Evan Speiser, Joan Payson, Sebastian Pinto-Thomaz, Christina Pryor, Will Boothby, Alex Robertson, Ted Cleary, Caroline Rowley, Oliver Schulze, Katie Williams, Lacary Sharpe, Alex Keith, Jane Shiverick, Annabelle Caufman Soudavar, Natalie Picot, Jamie Sterne, Whitney Clark,  Jackie Valls, Nell van Amerongen, Lauren Vance, Eric Von Stroh, Ellie Woodward, and Jennifer Lyden.
Charles Buaron, Calypso Lawrence, Harry LeFrak, and friend
As the Terrace emptied out, the party never missed a beat, moving to Avenue, a luxurious gastro-lounge in Chelsea, until 4am Saturday morning. 

BCNY is the nation’s oldest boys club, founded in 1876. Through its clubhouses and summer camp, BCNY 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, and just have fun. Over 50% of BCNY boys live in single-parent, female-headed homes, most on public assistance. For membership dues of only $5 a year, the boys have access to gyms, swimming pools, computer labs, music studios, and a host of activities that they enjoy and that enrich their lives. BCNY helps build boys into men of character with strong values, discipline, and a positive perspective that counters the negative forces found on city streets.
Cricket Whitton, Monique Thofte, Barkley Hickox, and Panda Ebling
Everett Cook, Stephen Sherrill, and Chris Lentz
Adele Lewis, Henry Cashin, and Diane Guite
Jackie Valls, Chris Lentz, and Alexandra Papanicolaou
Katie Williams and Billy Cooling
Nick Hammerschlag and Stephen Sherrill
Louisa Rechter, Stephen Sherrill, and aura Lamont
Marcella Viktorin, Barkley Hickox, and Kearney Egerton
Silas Anthony and Alexandra Papanicolaou
Zaneta Clark and Nell van Amerongen
Marcella Viktorin, Stephen Sherrill, Kearney Egerton, and Eliza Crawford
Silas Anthony and Tory Grauer
Zaneta Clarke and Lindsay Matovich
On April 19, in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island, three esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for the contributions they have made to this "Nation of Immigrants."

Celebrating the 120th year of Ellis Island, the 11th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards were hosted by NBC's Meredith Vieira in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony. This year's event featured an opening tribute to R.M.S. Titanic, marking the centennial of the maritime tragedy.
Getting ready to board the ferry for Ellis Island are (from left) Foundation Board member Emilio Estefan, honoree Tony La Russa, event host Meredith Vieira, honoree Richard Meier, Board members Tommy Lasorda and Gedale Horowitz, Board Chair Paul Weaver and Board member Gene Bay.
Stopping in front of Castle Clinton are (from left) Foundation Board Chair Paul Weaver, honoree Tony La Russa, Board member Tommy Lasorda, event host Meredith Vieira, Board member Emilio Estefan, and Foundation President & CEO Stephen Briganti.
The 2012 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients are:

Born in Tampa, Florida, where his paternal grandparents had settled after arriving from Sicily through Ellis Island in 1906, Tony La Russa spent 32 years at the helm of the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and St. Louis Cardinals, winning six league championships and three World Series titles. A staunch advocate for animal rescue, he and his family founded ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) in 1991, which aids abandoned animals and uses them to rescue people in need.
The 11th annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards were held April 19 in the Great Hall in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
This Pritzker Prize-winning architect, born in Newark, New Jersey, landed "the commission of the century" designing the Getty Center in Los Angeles. His distinct style of uncompromising minimalism enhances the cityscape from Atlanta to Barcelona to Rome. His maternal grandfather Joseph Kaltenbacher, cofounder of Seton Leather in Newark, came from Germany through Ellis Island in 1896.
Honoree Richard Meier and his brother, Jim Meier, ride the ferry to Ellis Island, where their grandfather entered the country in 1896.
This beloved London-born actress, currently on Broadway in Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," fled Britain with her family in 1940, just days before the London blitz. A star of film, stage and television for seven decades, Ms. Lansbury has received five Tonys, six Golden Globes, three Oscar nominations, and over 15 Emmy nominations. The "Murder She Wrote" star became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951.
Angela Lansbury, recipient of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Entertainment, speaks about her 72-year journey since emigrating from Britain in 1940 with her brothers and mother.
Each honoree received a framed copy of the original ship's passenger manifest documenting the arrival of their family through Ellis Island or another port of entry. The Foundation's database of ship's passenger records available online at and in the American Family Immigration History Center® at Ellis Island documents the arrival of the more than 17 million immigrants, as well as travelers and crew members, who came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1892-1924.

The Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards are given annually to a select number of immigrants or their descendants to celebrate the Golden Door to America for the 17 million immigrants who came through the Port of New York and Ellis Island. The B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, sponsored by the Forbes Family, honors immigrants who arrived at another time or through another port of entry.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.
Angela Lansbury receives the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award for Entertainment from Moira Forbes, great-granddaughter of the award's namesake "Bertie" Forbes. Joining them onstage are host Meredith Vieira (left) and Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti (right).
Gathered onstage are The Arts/Architecture honoree Richard Meier, host Meredith Viera, Peopling honoree Angela Lansbury and Sports honoree Tony La Russa.
Tony La Russa, recipient of the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Sports, sits beside his friend Tommy Lasorda, Foundation Board member and former Heritage Award recipient.
Richard Meier and his daughter Ana Meier Creighton listen to the story of his German grandfather's arrival in America.
Angela Lansbury with Moira and Catherine Forbes. The Forbes family sponsored the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award in honor of Forbes magazine founder and Scottish immigrant "Bertie" Forbes.
Angela Lansbury catches up with Linda Hope, whose father Bob Hope was an Ellis Island immigrant and former Heritage Award recipient.
Siblings Edgar and Angela Lansbury at the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award
The Awards opened with a musical tribute to the RMS Titanic, which had been headed to the Port of New York, performed by Brian Charles Rooney. April 15, 2012 marked the centennial of the maritime tragedy.
Dave Luchsinger, Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, welcomes everyone to the 11th annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards
The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS) celebrated its Annual Spring Benefit honoring Manhattan Borough President Candidate Julie Menin, Chairperson of Community Board 1, Joyce B. Cowin, JBFCS Trustee, and Fran Levy, JBFCS Trustee; with Master of Ceremonies, Melissa Russo, News Anchor WNBC.  JBFCS hosted a record-breaking 500 guests and raised an astounding $2.2 million for the agency.  

The event was held at New York City’s Plaza Hotel and featured a cocktail reception plus seated dinner with proceeds benefiting JBFCS’ 175 community-based programs, residential facilities, and day-treatment centers that annually serve more than 55,000 New Yorkers-in-need of all faiths, races, and cultures.

JBFCS has been a trailblazer in treating social problems for more than a century. Today, the organization is one of the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofit mental health and social service agencies—every night, more than 1,000 individuals call a JBFCS residence home. The work of JBFCS is built upon a network of more than 2,200 professionals, including social workers, licensed psychologists, and psychiatrists, as well as a cadre of clinical support personnel in continuing day treatment and residential treatment centers, and a corps of more than 800 dedicated volunteers.
Paul Levine addresses the guests
The evening began with an introduction by master of ceremonies Melissa Russo who introduced President of the Board of Trustees Tony Mann.  Mr. Mann delivered the record-breaking news of the over 500 person attendance and the $2.2 million dollars raised.  Paul Levine, Executive Vice President of JBFCS then spoke about the great lengths that JBFCS goes to, to strengthen the New York City area.  He mentioned how JBFCS will continue to service as, “there’s no end to what JBFCS can do in this city, because there’s no end of suffering.”  Honoree Fran Levy was then introduced and delivered a touching speech about a family with a special needs child who gained strength and optimism through JBFCS’ programs. She mentioned how families are drawn to JBFCS programs because of the safe and nurturing environment the agency prioritizes.

Julie Menin, the second honoree of the night spoke about how JBFCS “gives hope by providing a roadmap for recovery.” Ms. Menin spoke of a young man who faced severe depression and did not leave his home for over a year, with JBFCS’ help, the man received the right medication and cognitive therapy he needed to become a successful college student. 
David Everett, Anthony Mann, Brad Lerman, Paul Levine, and David Rivel
Joyce B. Cowin was the last honoree of the night to address the room.  Ms. Cowin raised over half of the $2.2 million dollars raised for the night and has been a JBFCS trustee for nearly 50 years.  She spoke of a woman she met in Riverdale who lost her mother to cancer and fell into a deep depression.  The woman turned to drugs and alcohol and attempted to end her own life; she then sought counseling with JBFCS and told Ms. Cowin that JBFCS saved her life.

JBFCS provides a comprehensive network of mental health and social services to promote well-being, resilience, and self-sufficiency for individuals and families in need in the New York metropolitan area. As leaders in the field of human services, JBFCS’ mission is clear— 175 social service programs. 1 mission. To get help to those who need it.

For further information, please visit
Joyce B. Cowin, Fran Levy, and Julie Menin
Richard Barasch, Renee Barasch, Fran Levy, Lori Gendelman, and Bruce Gendelman
Valerie Portny and Caroline Portny Beshara
Jean Shafiroff, Joyce B. Cowin, Joan Troubh, and Carol Davidson
Phyllis Mack, Bill Mack, and Fran Levy
Joyce B. Cowin, Claire Goodman Cloud, and Senator Roy Goodman
Kathleen Giordano and Dr. Penny Grant
David Edelson, Mindy Schneider, and Michael Lesser
Fran Levy and Susan Fuhrman
L. to r.: Dawn Marie Grannum; Melissa Russo; Adam Manson
John Reinsberg, Lori Reinsberg, and Jeffrey Wilks
Charles Diker, Alice Tisch, and Anna Marie Shapiro
Photographs by Julie Skarratt (Carnegie Hall);; Karli Cadel (Glimmerglass); Diane Bondareff (The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.); (JBFCS)
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