|Georgina Schaeffer and friends outside the Brick Presbyterian Church to celebrate the annual lighting of the Park Avenue Trees.|
|A light rain did nothing to deter thousands from gathering outside the Brick Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue last Sunday to celebrate the annual lighting of the Park Avenue Trees.
The tradition of lighting trees on Park Avenue began in 1945 when Mrs. Stephen C. Clark and a group of friends decided to light 10 trees as their way of paying homage to the military men and women who lost their lives defending the United States in World War II. Over the years, the number of trees has grown to 104 and the trees now honor all fallen soldiers.
The trees are always illuminated on the evening of the first Sunday in December following a ceremony that both celebrates the original meaning of the lights and serves as an unofficial kick-off to the holiday season.
|Under the aegis of The Fund for Park Avenue, the Tree Lighting continues each year because of the contributions that The Fund receives from the community. We have over 1300 individuals, foundations and Park Avenue buildings to thank for making last year's lighting possible. And, it's not too late to make a contribution in support of the 2012 Tree Lighting (visit www.fundforparkavenue.org).
While many take part in the ceremony, others celebrate privately or at parties up and down the avenue. Local businesses also get into the act. On Sunday afternoon, the J. McLaughlin shop in Carnegie Hill hosted an open house and donated a percentage of their proceeds to The Fund. Guests shopped, sipped hot cocoa and met up with friends before walking over to the ceremony. Eleni’s Cookies in Carnegie Hill is now running a promotion and will be donating $1 to The Fund for every tree cookie sold between now through December 15th. Restaurants such as Island and Swifty’s also donated a percentage of proceeds from their evenings’ business.
|After Taps was played, electricians hired by The Fund, fanned out along the Avenue lighting each tree by hand. But the following evening, time clocks took over that responsibility. For the ceremony, Park Avenue was closed for several blocks to accommodate the crowds. When the ceremony ended, people lingered — enjoying the festive atmosphere, catching up with friends and neighbors and taking photographs of the lit trees. It was a very special evening and no one wanted to see it end.|
|On Tuesday, November 27, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) hosted its 2012 Visionaries! Gala, celebrating four individuals – titans of creativity, standard bearers in the luxury, fragrance, and design industries, whose work personifies the Museum’s mission to examine contemporary creativity across all media:
• Sophia Grojsman of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) – a legendary perfumer who has created some of the most classic and iconic fragrances in the world.
• Karyn Khoury of The Estée Lauder Companies – one of the most influential and
indelible fragrance developers of our time.
• Joyce and Maya Romanoff of the Maya Romanoff Corporation – celebrated designers and entrepreneurs and leaders of innovative wall coverings and surfacing materials that bring great design into our daily lives.
|The Visionaries! Awards recognize leaders in the worlds of business, arts, philanthropy and creativity. The Gala’s theme was Scent in honor of MAD’s current exhibition, The Art of Scent, the first museum exhibition to explore the design and aesthetics of olfactory art.
The Visionaries! Gala is the Museum’s most important annual fundraiser supporting
MAD’s exhibitions and educational programs. Proceeds are directed to the support of
MAD’s arts education program. This year MAD expects to serve nearly 10,000 children, grades K-12, and from mostly underserved communities.
|The 26th Annual Miracle on Madison Avenue festivities kicked-off with the first annual Holiday lighting ceremony on November 29, 2012. Muffie Potter Aston, Miracle on Madison Avenue Chairman joined by Annette Rickel, President of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, had the honor of flipping the switch to ignite the holiday spirit in front of The Carlyle hotel at 35 East 76th Street. Madison Avenue's "shooting stars" were specially designed for the 34 street lampposts illuminating the 29 shopping blocks between 57th and 86th Streets and the famed dome on The Carlyle was a holiday beacon of red, white and blue.|
|After the lighting, a kick-off reception for over 100 members of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and guests resumed at The Carlyle ballroom. The celebration also kicked-off Miracle on Madison Avenue taking place on Saturday, December 1 to benefit the Society of MSKCC. In attendance were Miracle on Madison Avenue Chairman, Muffie Potter Aston, Annette Rickel, President of The Society of MSKCC, Matthew A. Bauer, President of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), Grace Hightower De Niro, Somers Farkas, Coco Kopelman, Kamie Lightburn, Bettina Zilkha, Leslie Jones, Vera Safai and Eleanora Kennedy.|
|Over 60 of the world’s premiere retailers and businesses on Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets donated 20% of sales (with a maximum contribution of $15,000 per retailer) on the official Miracle on Madison Shopping Day on Saturday, December 1 to The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to benefit the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment. This initiative pays for overnight stays at nearby accommodations when children and their families come for treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s renowned Pediatric Department and are unable to afford this expense themselves. Since its inception 26 years-ago, Miracle on Madison Avenue has raised 7.7 million dollars. The roster of brands contributing this year included: Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Fred Leighton, Max Mara, Georg Jensen, La Perla and Coach.|
|The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation (CCBF) hosted its annual “Breakthrough Ball” on Thursday evening, November 15, 2012 in the exquisite grand ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. A stunning success, the evening raised $1.2 million to treat the thousands of children suffering from cancer and blood disorders at the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.|
|CCBF presented the coveted “Breakthrough Spirit” award to Denise Ilitch, Esq., President of Ilitch Enterprises and Publisher of Ambassador Magazine. Ms. Ilitch and her family are renowned for their tireless advocacy on behalf of children across the country, and CCBF proudly recognized these efforts. Alongside Ms. Ilitch, Physician-Scientists Dr. James Bussel and Dr. David Lyden received the “Medical Breakthrough” award for their remarkable research and continued efforts in treating children with cancer and blood diseases. Incredibly deserving of this honor, Dr. Bussel’s most recent discovery of a treatment for alloimmune thrombocytopenia has helped to save thousands of children’s lives. Dr. Lyden’s landmark breakthrough in the fight against cancer made him the ideal recipient of this award as his research has major implications for improved prognosis and treatment, bringing the medical community closer to a cure.|
|The Foundation welcomed back master of ceremonies, Charles Grodin and new Gala Co-Chairs, Muffie Potter Aston, Buddy Valastro, Heather Robinson and Nancy Shaw Raquet, who shared their talents with a distinguished and dedicated Board and Committee. Benjamin Doller, Vice President, Sotheby’s led a hugely successful live auction featuring a once-in-a-lifetime VIP Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees Season Opener Experience for eight guests, Super Bowl XLVII Tickets and a Hamptons Golf Package with tee-offs at the most exclusive and highly rated courses. The evening concluded with a spectacular performance by Atlantic Recording Artist Rumer. To the crowds delight, the British songstress performed songs from her acclaimed albums, “Seasons of My Soul” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”|
|CCBF has helped the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center grow into one of the top centers of its kind, treating more than 1,000 children in over 10,000 clinic visits each year. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the only tri-state-area children's hospital listed on the 2011-12 U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll, and the hospital ranks in the nation's top ten for pediatric care.|
|Photographs by Annie Watt (Park Avenue Trees); Ric Kallaher (MAD)