Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Gala Celebrations ...

Greetings the guests at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Last Thursday night in Beverly Hills ... philanthropists, Hollywood and fashion’s elite gathered with Beverly Hills notables and community leaders to commemorate the Inaugural Gala Celebration of The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Visionary and Co-Chair of the evening, Wallis Annenberg, and fellow Co-Chair Jamie Tisch, hosted a night to remember with cocktails, performance pieces, dinner and an exclusive one-night-only performance starring some of Hollywood’s most distinguished and celebrated actors including Kevin Spacey, John Lithgow and Diane Lane.
Charlize Theron and Wallis Annenberg
Diane Lane
The exclusive evening began with a star studded red carpet with celebrity and notable guests including: Co-ChairsWallis AnnenbergJamie Tisch and Chairman, Board of Directors Jerry Magnin, along with guests Charlize Theron, Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, Amy Adams, Jason Bateman, Nicole Richie, Camilla Belle, Maria Bello, James Caan, Abbie Cornish, Courteney Cox,  Geena Davis, Josh Duhamel, Jodie Foster, Marcia Gay Harden, Joe Jonas, Diane Lane, Evangeline Lily, John Lithgow, Lori Loughlin, Demi Moore, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Sidney Poitier, Tim Robbins, Dita Von Teese, Debbie Allen, Chord Overstreet, Poppy Delevingne, Israel Broussard, Caroline Sieber, Suzanne Somers, Gia CoppolaAngela Lindvall, Jacqui Getty, Vanessa Getty, Jessica Hart, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Lil Buck, Becca Cason Thrash, Miroslava Duma,Jourdan Dunn, Sofia Sanchez Barrachnea, Olympia Scarry, Amber Valletta, Candy Spelling, Paz Vega, Eli Brod, Anne Vyalitsyna, Joe Zee and more, with a performance by special guests. Also in attendance were Ferragamo executives, family members and notables Massimiliano GiorenttiFerruccio FerragamoMassimo andChiara FerragamoJames FerragamoMichele NorsaVincent Ottomanelli, President and Regional Director, Ferragamo USA, and Diego Di San Giuiliano.

Throughout the opening of the evening, guests were treated to a whirlwind of special performances and event attractions to dazzle the senses including: Australian troupe, Strange FruitDJ Michael Smith, Tours of the Jamie Tisch Sculpture GardenFlamenco Guitar Trio, lavish Couture Floral creatures, passed hors d’eouvres byWolfgang Puck, wine tasting selection provided by Tuscan Estates of Il Borro & Castiglion del Bosco, an exclusive musical act by Amadeus Leopard and personal tours of the new venue.
Charlize Theron
Kevin Spacey
Courtney Cox
Upon the conclusion of the artistic performances, guests were directed into the Bram Goldsmith Theatre for the night’s original and main performance, entitled A DREAM IN AN ENVELOPE starring Kevin Spacey, John Lithgow and Diane Lane featuring dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, and Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. The program paid tribute to the many letters of such notable figures as Tennessee Williams, Martha Graham, Groucho Marx and Peter Tchaikovsky that traveled through the historic Post Office over the years.  Broadway star and vocalist Terri White opened and closed the performance with musical numbers featuring a 24-piece orchestra and an ensemble of singing and dancing Postmen.

Guests were then escorted to the dinner tent and greeted by twenty-four enormous copper mirrors and sculpted moldings which accented the walls. Dinner tables were dressed in rich blue linen each topped with an architectural “light box” centerpiece, inspired by the design of architect Zoltan E. Pali. Accents of Ferragamo’s signature red were threaded throughout the ceremonial dinner centerpieces featuring floral accents, and a program/menu card. Three 15x30 feet video walls featured Intelligent Dance by Wilderbe, a performance project mixing human imaging with computer projection to create a dynamically choreographed duet between human and computer.
Freida Pinto and Dev Patel
Tony and Liz Goldwyn
After welcome speeches by Mayor of Beverly Hills, John A. Mirisch, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jerry Magnin, guests enjoyed a dinner performance by Amadeus Leopold, as well as a Ferragamo Fashion Show, introduced by Gala Co-Chair Jamie Tisch and evening’s sponsor Ferruccio Ferragamo. Italian tenor and one of the most highly regarded and respected opera singers of our time, Vittorio Grigolo performed during the runway presentation of the Spring / Summer 2014 collection by Creative Director, Massamiliano Giornetti including new and exclusive looks that premiered during the evening.

The evening came to a close with guests enjoying After Glow in the Grand Hall with cappuccinos, espressos and sweets with contemporary music by DJ Michael Smith.
Gia Coppola, Jacqui Getty, and Demi Moore
Jamie Tisch, Eric Buterbaugh, and Demi Moore
Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) will officially open its doors to the public with the Martha Graham Dance Company (November 8th-9th). This new venue transforms a Beverly Hills city block into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater.

Additionally, the opening festivities unveiled a Salvatore Ferragamo pop-up shop, open through November 15th to the public, within the Center’s Grand Hall. The pop-up shop will showcase an exclusive line of accessories reflective of the House’s roots in Los Angeles.
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
Lou Moore
Jamie Tisch and Julian Gratry
Nicole Richie with Hilary Tisch and Kelly Sawyer Patricof
About 600 of New York's crème de la crème from the finance, technology and entertainment sectors joined forces on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, to pledge and raise almost $2 million in funding for education efforts targeted at India's underprivileged children.

"It was not an outfit one could disappear in ..."
Pratham's annual NYC gala attracted CEOs of major U.S. corporations and financial and investment firms, senior diplomats and celebrities who enjoyed a star-studded evening on board the USS Intrepid.

Guest speaker Chelsea Clinton shared a story about her parents being the first in their families to seek higher education. The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize contender and education activist, Malala Yousafzai, sent a special video-taped message applauding India for the gains it has made in making primary education universal and reminding the audience of all that remains to be done in other parts of the world. Hollywood and Bollywood actor Omi Vaidya emceed the gala for the second year in a row, and King of Bhangra, Bikram Singh, closed out the evening with his melodic, high-energy music.

A live telepresence with children at a Pratham school in Pune, India, was one of the highlights of the evening, along with live and silent auctions that had guests out-bidding each other throughout the evening.

"What sets an organization like Pratham completely apart is that we are run almost fully by volunteers," said Dinyar Devitre, Chairman of Pratham's Tristate Chapter Board. "From our programs in India to our galas all over America, volunteers dedicate hundreds of hours of their time, allowing us to utilize 96% of the monies we raise directly for the children."
Bollywood Actor Omi Vaidya emcees
Isheeta Ganguly performing
Since its start in Mumbai 20 years ago, Pratham has become one of the most influential forces in India's educational system. It currently serves the education needs of underprivileged children in 20 of India's 28 states and is one of the WORLD's largest non-profit organizations in the field of primary education. Pratham's innovations have been recognized with the Kravis Prize for Leadership, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and most recently, the WISE Prize, which is equated with a Nobel in Education, for its CEO & Co-founder, Dr. Madhav Chavan, who spoke at the gala about four of Pratham's major programs: Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Read India, Second Chance, and Vocational Training.

"I applaud Pratham for the strides it has made in helping expand quality education for every child in India," said Chelsea Clinton. "Pratham's strategy of engaging all the sectors that need to work together to ensure any child anywhere gets the education he or she deserves -- the government, businesses and private citizens that work collectively toward a common goal -- is remarkable and should be the model followed by other countries who have similar education challenges around the world."
Pratham USA Chairman Arvind Sanger, Sanjiv and Sangeeta Sobti (gala co-chair), and Salonika and Venk Lal
Bhangra artist Bikram Singh
Friends of Pratham
Pratham Tristate Chairman Dinyar Devitre with Chelsea Clinton
Pratham co-founder and CEO Madhav Chavan (on right) with guest
Guests dancing at Pratham Gala
The Children's Storefront, an independent school in Harlem, held its Annual Harlem Luncheon on Thursday, October 17 from 12-2pm at the Red Rooster Harlem. The benefit event was chaired by Storefront Trustee Holly Peterson, and featured opening remarks by Red Rooster Chef and friend of the Storefront Marcus Samuelsson.

Mr. Samuelsson welcomed guests to the event, and in a dialogue with Ms. Peterson, spoke about his life and career. He spoke about his move into the Harlem neighborhood, and choosing to establish the Red Rooster in the community.
Marcus Samuelsson, Trustees Lise Evans, and Event Chair Holly Peterson
Mr. Samuelsson has been a supporter of the school for many years. He has hosted several classes at the Red Rooster to teach the students about everything from healthy eating to molecular gastronomy. During one class last semester, a student was so enthusiastic that Mr. Samuelsson invited him to spend an evening in the kitchen, working with his professional team. He also included Storefront Students in a recent taping for Public Television. Last year, Mr. Samuelsson was honored at The Children's Storefront's Spring Gala.

The afternoon also highlighted Storefront Eighth grader Jasmine Q., who spoke about her experiences at the school, challenges she's overcome and her plans for the future. Students were also on hand to give tours of The Children's Storefront before the luncheon.
Storefront student Jasmine Q. with Marcus Samuelsson
The Children's Storefront is an independent, tuition-free school in Harlem, providing a private school experience to students who would not otherwise get the opportunity. Located at 70 East 129th Street, the school is a safe haven for 174 students from pre-K through 8th grade, teaching them core values which take them to some of the most prestigious high schools in the area. The Storefront also teaches the whole child, offering students experiences that encourage them to succeed in their lives away from the school.

For additional information on The Children's Storefront, please visit our website at
Trustees Ellen-Jane Moss and Dorian Brown
Trustees Lise Evans and Amanda Low
Trustee Elsie Aidinoff, Storefront Principal Hassan Turner, and Trustee Anne Rivers
David Howe, Kathleen Howe, Christine Moore, and Trustee Chris Moore
Storefront Executive Director Wendy Reynoso, Trustee and Luncheon Chair Holly Peterson, and Deborah Roberts
On Thursday, October 17th at The IAC HQ they held the annual ASPCA Young Friends Benefit.

Each year, the Young Friends Benefit inspires young professionals to make a difference in the lives of animals through social, educational and philanthropic activities. It's a wonderful evening of cocktails, dancing, hors d'oeuvres, and a silent auction that benefits  our four-legged friends. In addition to ASPCA adoptables, guests included Christiane Seidel (HBO's Boardwalk Empire); Domingo Zapata, and Joe Gatto. Music was provided by DJ Kiss.  
ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker and an adoptable dog
Christiane Seidel and ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker
Christiane Seidel
Alexandra Lyon and Domingo Zapata
Guests arriving
Joe Gatto
Maggie Norris
DJ Kiss
Internationally accomplished philanthropist, author and art patron Dr. Carolyn Farb and Blue Cure Foundation Founder and President Gabe Canales co-chaired The Fred and Mabel R. Parks Inaugural Lectureship Series event. The luncheon and silent auction took place on Friday, September 27, 2013 at the Hotel ZaZa in Houston. NBC KHOU News Anchor Dominique Sachse did a masterful job as Mistress of Ceremonies. The program flowed smoothly and enjoyably.

Dr. Rod Paige received the Inaugural Blue Cure Foundation Award for his extraordinary service to our country as one of the finest individuals who began his brilliant career as a classroom teacher, advancing to become Houston Independent School District Superintendent, and serving as the 7th United States Secretary of Education. Henceforth, the annual Blue Cure Award will be named in honor of Dr. Rod Paige, who is a member of the Blue Cure Foundation Board and a prostate cancer survivor. At the event, guests wished "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Paige on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Honoree Dr. Rod Paige, Stephanie Nellons Paige, Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., Co-Chair Dr. Carolyn Farb, and Gabe Canales
Gabe Canales, also a prostate cancer survivor, introduced guest speaker Dr. Margaret Cuomo, MD, author of A World Without Cancer, who provided a look at how profit, personalities, and politics obstruct real progress toward prevention, cure of the disease, and what individuals can do to live a cancer-free life.

Blue Cure educates families and their loved ones with the knowledge of healthier dietary and lifestyle habits to significantly become proactive in the war against all cancers- especially prostate cancer. Today in the United States, one out of two men is diagnosed with cancer; one out of three women is diagnosed with cancer; and one out of four Americans die due to some form of cancer. Yet, according to the National Cancer Institute, more than half of all cancers are preventable. Blue Cure's mission is to prevent cancer before it begins and to reach a younger generation with the life-saving message of prevention.
Betty Hrncir, Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., Gabe Canales, Co-Chair Dr. Carolyn Farb, and Harlan Hrncir
Some of the guests and supporters in attendance were fashion designer Jonathan Blake, Mary and Tony Gracely, Vern Montross of Bernstein Global Management, Reverend and Mrs. Joe Samuel Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist Church, Jonathan Pursch of Frost Bank, Deborah M. Colton, Betty Hrncir, Minute Maid's Fred Arnold, Ben Hall III and Saundra Hall, Beth Wolff and Ed Wolff, Dr. Robert Ivany, Maidie Ryan, Dr. Jack Christie, Lily and Charles Foster, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, Jose and Daphne Rincon, David and Alviz Sierra, Jim McClellan of the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation, Peter Remington, Brad Deutser, Elizabeth and Glenn Howard, Winell Herron of H-E-B, Brandon and Cindi Coleman, Thomas and Anna Au of Poung Au Design, and Lee Slataper. Contributions were made in honor of Dr. Paige from the Edythe and Eli Broad Foundation, Richard Weekly, and the Fant Foundation.
Honoree Dr. Rod Paige, Daphne Rincon, Stephanie Nellons Paige, and Jose Rincon
Magic happened when Judge Eric Andell stopped in to auction the singular Live Auction item, a three-night, four-day all-inclusive trip for two to Merida, Mexico, at the Presidente Intercontinental Merida Hotel (including golfing, green fees, and round-trip airfare from Aeromexico, donated by Patricia Herrera in memory of her late husband, Rafael, who lost his brave battle to prostate cancer). Initially, George Mickelis of the iconic Cleburne Cafeteria was the high bidder on the package at $4,000 and generously passed it back for re-auction; then Elizabeth Howard won it for $3,500 and also passed it back; the final winning bid of the package went to MD Anderson urologist, Dr. John Papadopoulos, who bid $3,000, bringing the grand total to $10,500.

Auction items included, a photograph by Jay Rusovich, donated by Deborah Colton Gallery. Other items included: "Blue Cure Boot" painting by artist Billy Miller, two personally inscribed copies of Decision Points by President George W. Bush; four tickets to the Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots game donated by NFL Texans Pro Bowl Player Chris Myers and wife Jenny; a Corner Table three-course dinner for 10; a Q Clothier custom made sport coat; and a Billy Reid canvas tote bag, among others. High-bidders Damian and Jessica Garza were delighted to take home the BellaVetra Van Gogh hand-cut mosaic tile of Armand Roulin.
Tony Gracely, Blue Cure Founder Gabe Canales, and Mayor Pro Tem Ed Gonzalez
In a letter written to Dr. Rod Paige by President George W. Bush in Blue Cure's tribute and read aloud by co-chair Carolyn Farb, the President thanked everyone for their efforts to increase prostate cancer awareness, prevention and promote healthy living.

Guests lunched on a specially created menu from ZaZa chef Jeff Axline – divine and healthy – punctuated by a chocolate flourless cake with a Chambord-raspberry coulis sprinkled with berries. In true Carolyn Farb style, no detail was overlooked from the enchanting pale blue hydrangeas in crystal bowls donated by Kroger to the black chiavari chairs and linens by Distinctive Details.

For more information, visit
Tara Miller, Jenny Myers, and Lauren Miller
Honoree Dr. Rod Paige, Co Chair Dr. Carolyn Farb, and Dr. John Papadopoulos
Marie Myers Bruns and Christian Bruns
Mark Sullivan and Emcee KPRC Anchor Dominique Sachse
Lance Livingston, Dana Phillips, and Richard Phillips
Thomas Au, Deborah M. Colton, and Eduardo Garza
Damien and Jessica Garza of Electronic Services Unlimited, and David Fink
Gabe Canales and Thomas Au
Pastor Keion and Felicia Henderson
Kimberly Delape, Sofia van der Dys, and Meredith Loving
Laurie Schaub, Chad Gonsoulin, and Geni Gonsoulin
Ben Hall, Saundra Hall, and Stephanie Nellons Paige
Harlan and Betty Hrncir
Gina Rovegno and Jennifer Dolman
Cindi and Brandon Coleman
Gina Bhatia and Dr. Devinder Bhatia
Dani Murphy and Meghan Argo
Gabe Canales and Elizabeth Howard
Guest Speaker Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D. and Dr. Carolyn Farb
Jay Rusovich

Photographs by Patrick McMullan, Annie Watt, and Emmett Findley, Rommel Demano (God's Love)