Thursday, December 11, 2014

Family Gatherings

The scene along Park Avenue for the 70th annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting.
This past Sunday evening, several blocks of Park Avenue were closed for traffic, and families gathered in the street in front of the Brick Presbyterian Church to sing carols and dedicate the Park Avenue Tree Lighting. This was the 70th time the trees have been lit along the ten blocks of avenue.

There are a few occasions when New York City feels like a small town and the night of the annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting is one of them. This beloved New York City tradition began after World War II when a few families put up trees on the malls in remembrance of loved ones who had lost their lives. The Fund for Park Avenue manages this program which is made possible by solely by annual contributions from the community.

Each year, the Brick Presbyterian Church hosts a ceremony led by Reverend Michael L. Lindvall, and choirmaster Keith Toth. It’s an evening to remind one of the original meaning of the lights as well as a celebration of the holiday season.
Reverend Lindvall and the members of Brick Church Children's Choir. Knickerbocker Grey cadets served as the Color Guard.
As the trees began to sparkle up and down the avenue, the large crowd grew silent while trumpeter, Thomas Hoyt played Taps; Knickerbocker Grey cadets served as the Color Guard.  Rev. Lindvall offered a special prayer this year “for our City and nation in our current quest for justice and reconciliation in the wake of the events of these last weeks.”

Before and after what can only be described as a “Park Avenue Block Party,” families and friends gathered for celebrations in homes and restaurants all around the neighborhood. Some people never had to leave their homes and could be seen in the windows and on the rooftops of neighboring apartments and townhouses. J. McLaughlin, Island, and Swifty’s also donated a percentage of their evening’s proceeds to The Fund for Park Avenue in support of the Tree Lighting.
Chris McLaughlon, Eliza Madison McLaughlin, Joan & Jay McLaughlin, Sarah Hansen, and John McLaughlin.
Mili Johnson, Alex Johnson, Barbara McLaughlin, and Julia Cahill.
Ann Colley and Karen Klopp.
The Carey Family: Bryan, Catherine, Paul, and Bryan.
Blair Burnham Brock and Patricia Burnham Brick.
Gillian Boyer, Jack Lynch, and Morgane Boyer.
By making a contribution to The Fund for Park Avenue, you have helped ensure that one of the For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit
The scene along Park Avenue for the annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting ceremony ...
On the Monday before Thanksgiving,  The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the Lupus Research Institute held their annual Life Without Lupus Gala and raised $2 million to support novel research that can transform patients’ lives while advancing towards prevention and a cure.  About 600 members of the metropolitan New York’s philanthropic, government, business, art, music, society and health care communities joined to “Celebrate Innovation” in lupus research and care. 

Tony Bennett was introduced via videotape by his collaborator Lady Gaga who noted, “Fighting lupus is a cause very close to me, my family and to my friend, the one and only Mr. Tony Bennett.”  Bennett performed such classics as “They All Laughed,” “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” His performance was met with a standing ovation.
Tony Bennett
This year’s Gala Honoree Iris Cantor, who is Chairman and President of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, was celebrated as a trailblazer in bringing the power of philanthropy to transform medical research and care.

Particularly fitting, the award was presented by Herb Pardes, M.D., retired president and chief executive and current executive vice chairman of New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Board of Trustees.  It was there that Mrs. Cantor created the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center, and New York’s first men’s health center as well.
As Scientific Honoree, Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca, Head of MedImmune was recognized for her leadership in helping the company fulfill its commitment to furthering biomedical innovation that can change the face of autoimmune treatment.

The biggest single lupus event and highly-anticipated annual fundraiser Gala was held at the American Museum of Natural History. NBC’s Today Show Co-host Willie Geist was emcee for the 4th consecutive year.
Willie Geist
A live auction conducted by Sotheby’s Chairman Jamie Niven generated donations for research and services to help people with lupus now and in the future.
Jessye Norman was Honorary Gala Chair and Gala 2014 Dinner Chairs were Jennie and Richard DeScherer, Anna R. Fisch, Susan Golick and Alan Wasserman, D.D.S., Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, Pamela and Arnold Lehman, and Bing Yao, Ph.D.

Other prominent guests included Michael Bloomberg; Edward and Arlyn Gardner; Joan and Arthur Sarnoff; Carol and Michael Weisman; Christina and Robert Baker; and Fox-TV political commentator Jeanine Ferris Pirro; and Miss New York 2014 Jillian Tapper.
Sandra Mack, Carol Weisman, and Felice Axelrod
Hope and John Hetherington, Gordon Murphy, Joy Luk, and Mimi Haik
Heidi Fiske and Sarah Friend
Dr. Bahija Jallal and Iris Cantor
Dr. Dimitris Skokos, Jessye Norman, and Dr. Joseph Norman
Iris Cantor, Richard DeScherer, Willie Geist, and Michael Bloomberg
Jerome and Simona Chazen
Arlyn and Edward Gardner
Dr Herb Pardes, Iris Cantor, Jeanine Pirro, and John Desiderio
Denise Wohl, Steve Lieber, and Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg
Catching up: on Friday, November 21st, 280 attended the New-York Historical Society hosted its annual History Makers Gala at the Mandarin Oriental, and presented its distinguished 2014 History Makers Award to Hillary Rodham Clinton. The evening raised $2.5 million for the N-YHS, which will benefit the programs of the New-York Historical Society, including major exhibitions and educational programs on American history.

The event featured a 40-minute conversation between Secretary Clinton and Walter Isaacson, the noted historian and Aspen Institute President and CEO. Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society announced plans for the establishment of a new Center for the Study of Women’s History, located on New-York Historical’s fourth floor within a fully-renovated Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.
Hillary Clinton
Walter Isaacson
Among the guests: Helen Appel, Norman Benzaquen, Judy Berkowitz, Lois Chiles, Jim Dale, Susan Danilow, Beth Dater, Barbara Debs, Betsy Gotbaum, Richard Gilder, Roger Hertog, Agnes Hsu Tang, Patricia Klingenstein, Sid Lapidus, Ernest Tollerson, Glen Lewy, Tarky Lombardi, Wynton Marsalis, Carl Menges, John Monsky, Emily Rafferty, Rick Reiss, Charles Royce, Pam Schafler, Bernard Schwartz, Clarice Smith, Michelle Smith, Lesley Stahl, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Eric Wallach, and Sue Ann Weinberg.
Holland and Robert Appel
Michael Halle and Phillip Singer
Harold Holder
Constance Spahn, Stephen Spahn, and Betsy Gotbaum
Stan and Sandra Warshawsky
Bernard Schwartz and Pamela Schafler
Ambassador Carl Spielvogel and Barbara Lee Spielvogel
Barry and Meryl Ginsberg
Carlton Varney, Nina Taselaar, and Peter Taselaar
Sarah Holmes and Amanda Jones
Susan and Rober Hertog
Hillary Clinton and Christian Renait
On Thursday, November 20, 2014, over 250 guests gathered at Pillars38 to support ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation for their “Art Of This World” fundraiser. The event featured nine unique artists, hailing from New York, California and Florida, to create one of their masterpieces live, to auction at the end of the evening, while guests watched the art unfold over the course of the night. The room was also filled with artwork created by ArtWorks kids who are affiliated with our 39 partner hospitals. All proceeds from the event directly supports ArtWorks’ creative and performing art programs for children and young adults battling chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
Maria Bremberg, Rebecca Fale, Alexander Lowry, Peter Bremberg, and Liza Streiff
Among the prestigious donors, ArtWorks is grateful for the tremendous support of The Russell Berrie Foundation, Adam and Jessica Hirsch,  Henry and Myrtle Hirsch Foundation, The Kaufthal Family, Paul Smith, Laura and Daniel Kaufthal, Koyfman Family Foundation, Kensington Vanguard National Land Services, Jeff Fields and Robin Allstadt, Tamar Feder and David Greenberg, Nancy and David Gurfein, Lori and David Kaufthal, Marks Paneth LLP, Elana and Leslie Mendelsohn, Jillian Nuebauer, Fred and Gertrude Perlberg Foundation, Gail Propp, Lisa Perry, Michael Smith and Sabrina Weiss. Much thanks goes to ArtWorks’ dedicated Board of Directors, the amazing host and benefit committees and the tireless efforts of its volunteers.
Hilary Koyfman, Mo Koyfman, Jessica Hirsch, and Adam Hirsch
The roster of talent at Art Of This World was truly out of this world. Each artists donated their time and talent for the night, all for a good cause. The line-up included Brooke Borg, Rena Grosser, Ed Heck, Greg Kalamar, Boy Kong, Ariela Robinson, Adam Suerte and Paul St. Savage with a live beatboxing performance by Duv. 

Many of the artists invited attendees to join them in creating their works of art, all of which were auctioned off. Guests enjoyed fine food, provided by Fresko and prepared by renowned executive chef Tim Sullivan, while delighting in a full bar sponsored by Manhattan Beer Distributors, Kuka Beer, Starr African Rum and Anheuser Busch. To end the night on a sweet note, guests enjoyed specialty treats from New York City sensation, Treat House.
Greg Kalamar
Paul St. Savage
Proceeds from the event provide thousands of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, and siblings of these children, access to creative and performing arts programs that encourage the use of the creative process as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development. ArtWorks seeks to empower, validate, and honor these children by offering them the hands-on experience and materials with which to create, as well as the opportunity to publicly share their artistic accomplishments.

For more information, visit:
Ariella Cohain, Leora Kanner, Rachel Samuels, Daniela Mendelsohn, and Keren Greenberg
Danette Ott and Heather Ramin
Ed Heck, Daniela Mendelsohn, and Allan Ishac
David Kaufthal and Pamela Gold
Sharona Tabacznik, Shirley Parcon, and Brooke Borg
Jonathan Rubenstein, Samantha Rubenstein, and Josh Kaufthal
Judy Kaufthal, Uri Kaufthal, Jeremy Kaufthal, and Keren Kaufthal
Tamini Farah and Allan Ishac
Kristian Glynn and Avi Gitler
Rachel McKenny, Rebecca Fale, and Liza Streiff
Rena Fischler, Carrie Rose, and Yael Baker
Rena Grosser and Ariela Robinson
Carla Schorr Rose, Meghan Kelly, and Daniela Mendelsohn
Mendy Schmookler, Daniel Kaufthal, and Laura Kaufthal
Yosaif Cohain and Daniela Mendelsohn
Chez Bushwick & Jonah Bokaer held its 2014 Annual Benefit Party at LightBox, the new interactive digital arts and event space dedicated to pioneering performing artists and innovation, providing an exclusive and curated experience for the evening. The party was structured in 3 main parts: the projection of an exclusive video of Jonah Bokaer's Airlocks by Doug Aitken with cocktails; 4 short choreographic pieces of Merce Cunningham, Robert Wilson, Yoko Ono, and Eija Liisa Ahtila; followed by a live music show.
Jonah Bokaer, Stephanie French, Armand Batos, and Steven Ladd
Chez Bushwick, founded by Jonah Bokaer in 2002, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary art and performance, with a strong focus on new choreography. Since its inception in 2002, the organization has been acknowledged as a new model for economic sustainability in the performing arts, offering New York City's only $8-10/hour subsidy for rehearsal space, and thereby fostering the creation, development, and performance of new work. Chez Bushwick is also responsible for a number of annual performance programs that encourage artistic collaboration, and creative risk-taking. The organization also oversees, structures, and supports the choreography of Jonah Bokaer in the United States, and internationally.
Tom Lee, Ron Rudolf, Kimberly Bailey, and Paul McCann
Muriel Quancard and Jonah Bokaer
Valda Setterfield and Sara Procopio
Fred Seegal, Muriel Quancard and Robin Seegal
Renuka Sawney
Tom Lee
Photographs by Annie Watt (Park Avenue Lighting).