Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stepping Up

Committee, Board, Special Guests, Honorees and Performers at Third Street Music School Settlement's 118th Anniversary Luncheon.
Thanks to the efforts of philanthropist and veterans activist, Patricia Kennedy, founder of Step Up 4 Vets, a not for profit organization whose mission is to partner in the transition of our returning veterans as they readjust, redirect and rebuild their civilian lives, 55 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan made up for many missed holidays with an all day family celebration centered around the acclaimed Joffrey Ballet’s renowned Nutcracker.

The festive day began with an elegant private luncheon hosted by Ms. Kennedy in the opulent mezzanine lounge of Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University. Everyone was in the holiday spirit and even USN STG Jay Somers' German Shepherd service dog Kodie sported a huge pair of reindeer antlers! For Ms. Kennedy and Step Up 4 Vets it was theJoy of Giving Back celebration for those who have sacrificed so much for our country.
USMC Cpl. Aaron Mankin, Travis Coursey, and Patricia Kennedy
The main mission of Step Up 4 Vets Joy of Giving Back program is to provide our injured warriors the healing power of the performing arts and bonding experiences with their families to make up the missed holidays while serving our country far from home in harm’s way.

Many of the veterans attending the festivities receive care from the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, IL.  The FHCC is the only integrated DoD/VHA facility in the country that serves Active Duty, their Dependents and Veterans. There were also representatives from the US Marine Corps. Wounded Warrior Regiment in the Midwest Region that attended this event to honor those who gave up so much for our country.

Midway through the luncheon, Ms. Kennedy, a former board member and longtime supporter of The Joffrey and other dance organizations, took a few moments to explain her transition from “ballet slippers to combat boots.” Joking that “they both lace up,” Ms. Kennedy explained how her work with Career Transition for Dancers’  which aids dancers who have suffered a career-ending injury and must transition to a second act career served as both model and motivation for her to help our heroes transition to the new normal of their civilian lives.
USMC Cpl. James Dahan with Kalel and Erin Dahan
Patricia Kennedy, Gianna Marzelli, and USMC Sgt. Gene Marzellii
Ashley, Lindsey, Patti, and USN YN. Joseph Dusa
Alexander, Gigi, and USM GSM. Donald Nephew
USMC Sgt. John, Sarah, and Harliegh Bowley
A very special presentation followed when Step Up 4 Vets Founder, Ms. Patricia Kennedy, presented her organization’s “Peace One Earth Medallion” to retired Marine Cpl. Aaron Mankin.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom in May of  2005 a roadside bomb attack killed six of his fellow Marines and left him burned over 25% of his body.  The most significant injuries were to his face. Cpl. Mankin was invited by philanthropist Ronald Katz to be the first patient of Operation Mend at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. He has endured nearly 60 surgeries and is a spokesman for the program. 
"I've been involved with plenty of organizations that want to take care of me.  Step Up 4 Vets and Ms. Kennedy want to care for me. And they do that by taking care of the things I care about, my family and the memories we make together now." Mankin said.  "I'm honored to wear this medallion and it has already become a family treasure."
USMC SSgt. Gene Marzelli, USMC Cpl. Aaron Mankin, and USMC GySgt. Michael Gillitzer
Kate Mohr, USN GSM. Kevin Anderson, Patrice Anderson, and Bernie Baker
Clair and USMC LCpl. Patrick Kerrigan
Joey and Anne Cabuyadao
Kate Lynn, Juliana, USN STG Jay, Cysalee, and Pamela Somers, and Patricia Kennedy
Ms. Kennedy created the Peace One Earth Medallion to express gratitude to the defenders of our freedoms while acknowledging the hope for a world at peace.

Following the lunch, guests welcomed by Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater took their orchestra seats in the magnificent theatre to view the world's most acclaimed production of "The Nutcracker" by the incomparable Joffrey Ballet. Featuring choreography by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, score by Peter llyich Tchaikovsky and performed by The Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey's awe-inspiring Nutcracker has captivated audiences for 25 years with brilliant costumes, larger than life scenery, entrancing storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s famous score. 

At the final curtain, Cpl. Aaron Mankin made a special onstage presentation of the bouquet to ballerina Christine Rocas, the lead dancer portraying The Sugar Plum Fairy.
Christine Rocas and Rory Hohenstein
Ricardo Santos
Jeraldine Mendoza
April Daly
Dylan Gutierrez
Caitlin Meighan and Ricardo Santos
Joffrey Ballet Company and Nutcracker Childrens Cast
USMC Cpl. Aaron Mankin presents bouquet to Christine Rocas
Trolleys then shuttled the families to the historic Palmer House for the Annual Nutcracker Family Dinner organized by The Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and chaired by Carol Stone and Laura Kofoid.  The guests and especially the children danced ‘till they dropped to the hip and hot sounds of DJ Brad Blumenthal’s Energy Productions.

The following day, Ms. Kennedy and a small group wrapped up the weekend with Mass at St. John Cantius Catholic Church celebrated by Reverend C. Frank Phillips, C.R. Built in 1893 just before the Chicago World's Fair, the historic baroque church is one of the finest examples of sacred architecture in the city. It was also the site of Ms. Kennedy's investiture in 2008 officiated by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George.  Lady Patricia Kennedy was recently promoted to Dame Grand Cross of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George for her philanthropy. Dame Kennedy is one of only six women in the history of the order to receive this highest honor and the second American.
Travis Coursey, Hunter Mankin, Patricia Kennedy, USMC Cpl. Aaron Mankin, Brilee Coursey, and Maddie Mankin
Gabrielle, Lilly, USN SCPO Ramon, Elizabeth, and Giulian Mota
Grace, Angelique, and USAR SPC Joel Carillo
For Ms. Kennedy, The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker is the continuation of a tradition begun several years ago when she purchased a viewing party for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and hosted dozens of veterans and their families for a balloon's eye view of the spectacular. This year, she is sharing her passion for dance with her veteran constituency recognizing the healing powers of the performing arts. In 2013, Step Up 4 Vets will celebrate its fifth anniversary and Ms. Kennedy will host additional holiday centered events for our veterans including the Joffrey Nutcracker and Family Party and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Brunch.   

For more information and if you wish to donate to Step Up 4 Vets Joy of Giving Back program please visit
Maddie Mankin, Brilee Coursey, USMC Cpl. Aaron Mankin, and Hunter Mankin
On Monday, December 17 in Zankel Hall, the Carnegie Hall Notables—a membership and ticket program for music enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s—hosted (un)common threads, a special Notables-only performance curated by Gabriel Kahane, seeking to uncover ties between seemingly disparate musical styles. Kahane’s collaborators for (un)common threads included virtuoso jazz guitarist Julian Lage, indie-folk singer and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and four genre-defying musicians of ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble performing songs by Kahane, including excerpts from his popular Craigslistlieder cycle and his 2012 musical, February House, based on the book of the same name by Sherill Tippins. Following the exclusive event, the Notables gathered at the Empire Hotel Rooftop for an after-party beginning with music by DJs Timo and Alan, designers of the Timo Weiland fashion collection.

(un)common threads was hosted by Carnegie Hall’s Notables, whose support benefits the music education and community programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. For more information visit
Meg Johnson and Ashleigh Brogan
Claire Coffee and Chris Thile
Tyler Pakradooni and Lauren Gamba
Notables Committee member Adriana Herrera
Gabriela Gutowski, Notables Committee member James G. Brooks Jr., and Elizabeth Bishop
Notables co-chair Jimmy Zankel gives opening remarks
Gabriel Kahane, Aoife O'Donovan, Julian Lage, Rob Moose, and ACME
Gabriel Kahane, Rob Moose, Aoife O'Donovan
Julian Lage
Aoife O'Donovan
Gabriel Kahane
Ahmed Alabaca and Ramon Brown
Robert Shmalo (right) and friend
Linda Nelson, Timothy Peterson, Stuart Nelson, Gabriel Kahane, Daniel Montilla, Adriana Herrera, and Alex Goldberg
The after-party begins at the Empire Hotel Rooftop with music by DJ's Timo and Alan
Julian Lage and friends
Timo Weiland and James G. Brooks Jr.
Maryn Tillman, Ramona Dessouki, Elizabeth Taveras, and Tom Burke
Jeremy Geffen and Emma Tepfer
Ceyla Cubukcu and Kimberly T. Hastie
Notables dance the night away
Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation’s oldest community music school, recently celebrated its 118th Anniversary Luncheon at Gotham Hall. This annual fund-raising event serves as the occasion for Third Street to honor extraordinary artists and supporters of the arts.

Receiving the award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts was Audra McDonald, five-time Tony Award-winning singer and actress; and Claude Kelly, Grammy Award-nominated songwriter and Third Street alumnus, received the Rising Star Award.  Hal Prince, Tony Award-winning director and producer, served as master of ceremonies.

Honorary Co-chairs of the Luncheon were Anna-Maria Kellen and Hal Prince; Co-chairs were Third Street board members and their spouses, Peter Flint and Sarah Gordon, and Roni Kohen-Lemle and Robert Lemle.
Hal Prince, Audra McDonald, Claude Kelly, and Lee Koonce
Guests enjoyed performances by Third Street students.  A group of the School’s youngest violin students, affectionately called the “Twinklers,” performed three traditional songs from the Suzuki method repertoire.  The audience was wowed by solo performances from Third Street students – Lian, age 7, performed Clementi’s Sonatina in C Major, Santino, age 16, gave a stunning performance of Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, and Kelvin, age 15, delivered a moving rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp Minor.  It all culminated with a performance of St. Louis Blues by Third Street’s trumpet ensemble with students ranging in age from 10 to 18.

Touching presentation and acceptance speeches were given by both honorees and the master of ceremonies, inspiring both love and appreciation for music and arts education. Proceeds from the Luncheon benefit Third Street’s students in need. More than 75% of students—both at the main school and through school partnerships—receive some type of need-based financial aid or discounted or tuition-free instruction and honors enrichment programs.
Diana Huggin, David Huggin, Nancy Morgan, and Kerry Greene
Roni Kohen‐Lemle, Jane Polin, Christina McInerney, and Sonnet Takahisa
Barbara Field and Hal Prince
Ellsworth Stanton, Margaret Stocker, and Arthur Wallander
Anthony Macchiarulo, Peter Flint, Sophie Brechu‐West, and Ben Kaplan
David Stull, Robert Lemle, Roni Kohen‐Lemle, and Steven Natterstad
Dan Lipman and Claude Kelly
Audra McDonald and Stowe Phelps
Jeannie Park, Erica Ahdoot, and Kerry Greene
Lawrence Spielman and Dan Lipman
Jan Amorosi, Katie Firth, Jonathan Bank, and Litsa Tsitsera
Joan Forsyth, Ted White, Judy White, and Susan Innamorato
Helena Finn, Jonathan Bank, Katie Firth, and Maria Szabo‐Goessler
On December 17, 2012, the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund hosted its First Annual Holiday Party at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, in Manhattan. The families of fallen first responders and volunteers celebrated the season with food, drinks and holiday fun. Stephen J. Dannhauser, Chairman, New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, and Chairman of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, greeted the guests and extended his gratitude for their commitment and steadfast support. The 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by Arielle Lenza, Benefit Fund Director of Development, was awarded to Karen Hartnett of Scarsdale, New York for outstanding dedication over the past year.

“The festivities served as a thank you to the extraordinary volunteers and supporters who make it possible for the Benefit Fund to provide financial assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Firefighters, Port Authority Police and EMS personnel immediately after they lose their loved one,” said Linda Giammona, Benefit Fund Executive Director, “We are so happy we had the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with our families and our wonderful volunteers.”
First Sgt. Rafael Najera; Captain Craig Tooker; Sgt. Jorge Negron; Lt. Col. Richard Bordonaro; First Sgt. John Alicea - 6th Communications Battalion, Flatbush, Brooklyn
Following its inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the Benefit Fund provided 320 families with annual financial assistance. In 2012, the Benefit Fund distributed $2.48 million to more than 600 families of fallen first responders. The need has grown, but the mission remains the same: “Never Forget” those that put the safety of others before their own.  The Benefit Fund takes pride in “answering the call” as our fallen heroes have done to protect our city, courageously sacrificing their lives so we can live and work in a safer community. 
Cathleen Carousso, Pam Madison, JoAnn Atlas, Angela Callahan, and Arielle Lenza
Martha Williams, Shirley Johnson, Linda Giammona, and Jeanette Rivers
Sandra Schimenti, Diane Schimenti, and Kathleen Murray
NYC Mission Society honored Kathryn C. Chenault, Esq at The Pierre on December 12, 2012 with the Dina Merrill Hartley Public Service Award in recognition of inspirational volunteer efforts, philanthropic support and her long standing advocacy for children and youth. Legendary actress Cicely Tyson received the Alumni Award in honor of Ruby Martin for her artistry and her philanthropic work.  NYC Mission Society also honored two other New York City institutions that reach their bicentennials in 2012. Citibank, N.A. received the Community Development Award and City Hall received the Community Service Award.
Lloyd Brown, Stephanie Palmer, Bob Annibale, and Gene McQuade
The evening’s Honorary Chairs were Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and Dina Merrill Hartley. The Gala Chairs were Lloyd W. Brown II, Alicia Bythewood, Stanley H. Rumbough and Jean Shafiroff  and the Vice Chairs were The Honorable David N. Dinkins and Alexis E. Thomas. The Associate Chairs were Brie Bythewood, Benjamin Oaks, Nicole E. Rhodes and Cole Rumbough.

For the past two hundred years, New York City Mission Society has helped a multitude of New Yorkers by providing community-building and prevention services, education, workforce development and other programs that make a tremendous difference in the lives of New York's most under-served children, youth and families. So many years after its founding, New York City Mission Society continues its vital work, which includes operating a dynamic portfolio of out of school programs to help break the cycle of poverty for thousands of children and adults and help them achieve a brighter future.
New York City Mission Society Board of Directors
GUESTS included:  Amy Fine & Brad Collins, Star Jones, George & Christine Stonbely, Stephanie & John Foster, Kara & Carl Tiedemann, Bill Ritter, Gene McQuade, Bob Annibale, Patricia & Thomas Shiah, Dr. Amelia & Bayo Oguniesi, CeCe & Louis E. Black, Jay Moorhead & Missy Kilroy, Carol Sutton Lewis, Karen & Charles Phillips, Bayard Dodge, Christopher & Sally Dodge Mole, Yolanda Ferrell-Brown & Alvin Brown,  Anki Leeds, Philippe Bigar, Fleur & William  Dodge Rueckert, Cornelia Bregman, b Michael, Mark-Anthony Edwards, Dr. Joel Kassimi,  Jonelle Procope & Frank Terrell,  Saundra & Don Cornwell, Sharon Bowen,  Larry Morse, Hartley & Eleuthere Paul du Pont III, Emery Westfall,  Boo Grace, Penny Grant, Joy Marks, Dawne Marie Grannum, Donna Williams, Nancy Silberkleit, Caroline Firestone, Dr. Holly Phillips & Jose Tavarez, Sharon Bowen, Larry Morse, Suzanne & Norman Cohn, Kenneth Teaton and the Rumbough family.

For more information :
Star Jones, Kathryn Chenault, and Alicia Bythewood
Jean Shafiroff and Amy Fine Collins
Maggie Norris, Joy Marks, and Cole Rumbough
Stephanie Foster, Michael Grossman, John Foster, Cornelia Sharpe Bregman, and Wendy Sarasohn
Lee and CeCe Black
Jean and Martin Shafiroff
Christopher Geffrard, Alexis Thomas, and Jonathan Geffrard
Carole Bellidora Westfall and Emery Westfall
Frances Lagatta Shelton and Bill Bruder
Michael, Cicely Tyson, Kathryn Chenault, Kenneth Chenault, Mark Anthony, and Cole Rumbough
Andrew Flach and Brooke Laing
Dr. Penny Grant, R. Couri Hay, and Patricia Shiah
David Hindie and Nancy Silberkleit
Philippe Bigar and Anki Leeds
Dr. Daniel Blythewood with Christine and George Stonbely
Donna Williams
Julie Rahill, Nicole Rhodes, Hartley du Pont, and Paul du Pont
Yoland Ferrell-Brown, Jonelle Procope, Alicia Blythewood, and Brie Blythewood
Maxine Grandison and Faye Wattleton
Bayo and Amelia Ogunlesi
Alexandra Kindler-Mulitz and Caroline Firestone
Dawne Marie Grannum
The Rumboughs
Bill Ritter and Stanley H Rumbough
Reverend Dr. Calvin O Butts
Bill Ritter, Stanley Rumbough, Carl Sylvestre, and Kathryn Chenault
Cicley Tyson and Mayor David Dinkins
Jo Shields and Alden Sherman
Kari and Carl Tiedemann
Erik Bottcher, Saundra Parks, and Dr. Bert Peterson
Melissa Nobles and Abenna Abboa-Offei
Carole Bellidora Westfall and Christine Biddle

Photographs by David Crotty/ (StepUp4Vets); (Mission Society); Chris Lee (Notables).