Thursday, July 10, 2014

Swan Balls, Garden Parties, and Summer Premieres

The 52nd Annual Swan Ball in Nashville, Tennessee featured Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.
The 39th Annual Garden Party, to benefit Monmouth County Historical Association, was held on a beautiful summer evening on Sunday, June 29th at the private waterfront home of Geri and Jim Roper in Rumson. Close to 400 guests attended the event, which honored Mark Gilbertson for his efforts to preserve the traditions and history of Monmouth County. A special posthumous recognition to preservation philanthropist Morgan E. Cline was also made. In addition to the camaraderie, guests were treated to live jazz music and delicious fare, and a silent auction featuring unique items.
Board of Trustees President Claire Knopf presenting Mark Gilbertson with his award
At the party a display of objects that can be found in the Association's museum collection was on view. The Association has extensive items in its collections, which can be seen at the rotating museum exhibitions featured at the Museum at 70 Court Street in Freehold. Currently, Properly Dressed: Art and Reality in 18th and Early 19th Century Dress in Monmouth is on view through August 2, and Farm: Agriculture in Monmouth County 1600 – 2013 is open through the end of 2014. The Library and Archives are also housed at 70 Court Street, where many patrons visit for genealogical or other research.
Mark Gilbertson accepts his honor
Monmouth County Historical Association, founded in 1898, collects, preserves, and interprets its extensive museum, library, and archival collections that relate to Monmouth County's history and culture and makes these resources available to the widest possible audience. The Association promotes the study and appreciation of regional and national history through educational programming, publications, special exhibits, and research services. The Association also preserves and interprets five significant historic sites, which represent the County's vanishing architectural heritage. The historic houses are open now through the early fall and can be visited from 1-4pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. Visit to learn more.
Colin and event Co-Chair Sarah Bradley
Jim Roper, party host
Co-Chair Courtney Trent
Martha Glass, Duncan Sahner, and Polly Onet
Sheila Labreque and Clara Dale
Hope and Charlie Jones
Julie and Peter Gilbertson
Sheila Labreque, Ann Unterberg, Mark Gilbertson, and Nina Stanford
Evelyn Tompkins, Tom Unterberg, and Deidre Metcalf
Laura and Carter Whisnand
Amanda McKane
Brian Hencke and Michael Holcomb
Margot and Randy Takian
Kara Short
One of the South's most prestigious white tie galas, the 52nd Annual Swan Ball was held on June 7th, 2014 at Cheekwood in Nashville, Tennessee. The Ball defined chic sophistication in an elegant Southern garden's setting. More than 730 guests attended the main Ball with an additional 270 at The Late Party, held for the younger Swan set.

Under the leadership of The Swan Ball 2014 Co Chairmen Mrs. Randall Loftin Kinnard (Peggy) and Mrs. Toby Stack Wilt, Jr. (Betsy), local ball designer Gavin Duke, along with event planner Jenny Richter Corts and floral designers extraordinaire Mark O'Bryan and Jane Sloan, created a decadent and chic garden affair with all the accoutrements and gracefulness of a magical yet classical evening. The Ball netted more than $1 million for Cheekwood.
Guests mingle on the Wisteria Arbor
Swan Ball decor
This year's Swan Award was presented to the internationally-renowned designer Bunny Williams of New York City. Ms. Williams has many connections with the Nashville crowd, including her long-time support of Cheekwood and its annual Antiques & Gardens Show. The event's special headline entertainment, always a favorite, was Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. Yes, the same "wild and crazy guy" who is also one of the country's leading Americana genre musicians.

The Swan Ball 2014 brought back Verdura, one of Ball's most beloved jewelers, with a very special and exclusive 75th anniversary showing.

Immediately following dinner, five select lots were sold in a live auction led by Sotheby's own Jamie Niven.
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
The Swan Ball party band, Atlanta-based Jessie's Girls, had ball goers dancing into the wee hours of the morning!

Founded by Mrs. Jane Anderson Dudley, for more than 50 years the Swan Ball has benefitted Cheekwood, a 55-acre estate built by the Maxwell House Coffee heirs in Nashville, Tennessee, and one of the finest examples of an American Country Place Era Estate in the U.S. The Botanical Gardens are a spectacular showcase of color and horticultural diversity. With 11 specialty display gardens and stunning natural landscapes, every season offers something new.  The Museum of Art has Collections of American and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture along with English and American Decorative Arts.  Visitors can enjoy year-round family-friendly activities for all ages. 
Chrissy and Bill Hagerty, Ruth Hagerty, and George Stadler
The Swan Ball 2014 Swan Award recipient Bunny Williams and John Rosselli
The Swan Ball 2014 Honorary Chairman Jane Anderson Dudley chats with guests
The Honorable Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee First Lady Chrissy Haslam
Tommy and Trish Frist
The Swan Ball 2014 Auctioneer, Jamie Niven
John and Ashley Rosen with Cannon and Catherine King
Perian Strang and Keith Meacham
Randy Kinnard, The Swan Ball 2014 Co-Chairmen Peggy Kinnard and Betsy Wilt, and TJ Wilt
David Brown, Judith Landrigan and son Nico Landrigan, Kathryn Brown, and Ward Landrigan
Billy and Jennifer Frist
The Swan Ball 2014 Swan Award Recipient Bunny Williams escorted by Benson Sloan IV
Rob Hull, The Swan Ball 2014 Auction Co-Chairmen Jody Hull and Amy Liz Riddick,and John Riddick
Don MacLeod and Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod
The Swan Ball 2014 Ball Designer Gavin Duke, The Swan Ball 2014 Auction Co-Chairman Lorie Duke, and Gabe Coltea
Doug and Sylvia Bradbury with Laura and Charlie Niewold
Julie Stadler models Verdura earrings for Laurel Buntin
Beth Alexander, U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn, and Karen Moore
Sandra Lipman and Scott Borchetta
Senator Bob Corker, Justin and Julia Spickard, Elizabeth Corker, and Jimmy Spradley
The Santa Fe Opera, the premier summer opera festival in North America, opened its 58th season on June 27th. The Opening Weekend Celebration was a three-day event that kicked off on Friday with an elegant black-tie dinner on the stunning grounds of the Opera, followed by the opening performance of a new production of Bizet’s Carmen starring Daniela Mack.

Opening Night also marked the opera’s second annual tailgate picnic contest, where concert-goers showed off their own dinner creations. Dinners ranged from the extravagant and unique to the simple and sophisticated.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Chad Graham, Adam Franklin, and Brenda Rae judging the annual tailgating contest on Opening Night
Robbi Firestone, Cindy Conn, David Lamb, and Joanne Lefrak
Gina Browning and Joseph Illick
Act 2 of Friday's performance of Carmen
Chester Gougis, Shelley Ochab, Roberto De Biasio, and Michelle De Biasio
Daniela Mack and Roberto De Biasio in Friday's performance of Carmen
Michael Namingha and David Barker on Opening Night in the Opera Club
Joyce El-Khoury, Zachary Nelson, Haley Clark, Alek Shrader, Daniela Mack, Kostas Smoriginas, and Shelley Jackson at the Company Party following the opening of Don Pasquale
On Saturday afternoon, guests were treated to a backstage tour and lunch at the theater.  With an in-house Scene Shop, Prop Shop and Costume Shop, The Santa Fe Opera fabricates nearly all of its original designs in more than 80,000 square feet of workspaces behind and beneath the theater.

On Saturday evening, members of the board and donors hosted private dinners in some of Santa Fe’s most magnificent homes. This was followed by the opening performance of a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale starring Shelly Jackson, a second-year Vocal Apprentice who filled-in as Norina at the last minute for Laura Tatulescu, who was indisposed.
On Saturday evening, guests enjoyed dinner in a private home
Shelley Jackson, Alek Shrader, and Andrew Shore in Saturday's performance of Don Pasquale
The weekend’s festivities concluded on Sunday with brunch in the beautiful gardens of the Nedra Matteucci Galleries in downtown Santa Fe.

The Opening Weekend Celebrations benefit The Santa Fe Opera’s renowned Apprentice Program, the oldest such program in the country, which provides over 115 opportunities for talented young singers and technicians each summer.
Roberta Aidem, Sam Gualtieri, and Kathleen Ritch
David Sontag, Joan Cohen, Peter and Eleanor Frank, Mark Geller, and Beth Beloff
Bob and Ellen Vladem with Peter Townsend
Judy Sherman, Henrietta Hall, and Elaine Cole
Conductor Laureate Kenneth Montgomery, Jody Gilmore, and Jan van Dooren
The Santa Fe Opera's Chief Conductor Harry Bicket, and Marilyn and John McConnell
Irwin Sugarman, Barbara Moore, Cindy Aloi, and Chuck Moore
Fred Haas, Daniela Mack, Alek Shrader, and Kevin Burdette
The American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) Benefit Gala on Monday, June 23rd, attracted a powerhouse crowd comprised of the financial world’s most influential leaders who turned out in force to honor two giants in their community – Jack Welch and Jes Staley – with the Freeing Voices Changing Lives Award.

The award is presented to individuals who have overcome their stuttering disorders and later established themselves in rewarding and influential careers.
Arthur Blank, Suzy Welch, and Jes Staley
The Awards Presentation was hosted by Becky Quick of MSNBC’s Squawk BoxArthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Co-Founder of The Home Depot, served as Gala Co-Chair and The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers provided an idyllic backdrop for a fantastic evening. 

Vice President Joe Biden sent a congratulatory video to the honorees with an important and hopeful message aimed at young clients and their parents – “Stuttering need not define you.”
Ken and Elaine Langone, Dean John Farmer, Suzy Welch, Honoree Jes Staley, and Becky Quick
Blank led the award presentation for Jack Welch and Suzy Welch accepted the award on his behalf since he had recent back surgery and could not join in the festivities.  She shared poignant tales of how stuttering formed Jack’s character and taught him a valuable lesson to “be authentic and people will want to be around you.”

Dean John Farmer, Senior VP and General Counsel of Rutgers University and principal author of the 9/11 Commission’s final report, introduced the award to Jes Staley, a lifelong friend.  The audience included longtime AIS board member Sir Harold Evans, Fox News Channel’s John Stossel, communications guru Michael Sheehan and his wife Riki and Kenneth Langone.  The AIS Board of Directors, chaired by Nolan Russo, was on hand to salute the honorees.
CNBC Becky Quick, AIS Board Member Sir Harold Evans, and Suzy Welch
Ellis Lankster of the New York Jets and Trumaine McBride of the New York Giants teamed up with Arthur Blank in a show of unity to tackle the public’s misperceptions about stuttering.  Blank, a previous recipient of the award, took the opportunity to jokingly caution both players not to perform too well next time they’re up against the Falcons.

AIS is a pioneer in the treatment of stuttering and is one of the few non-profit organizations in the U.S. that provides assistance to people of all ages who stutter as well as to their families.
Eve Tannery and AIS Board Chair Nolan Russo, Jr.
AIS client speakers Bares family
AIS client speakers Ojo family
AIS Benefit Co-Chair and Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank with NY Jets Ellis Lankster and NY Giants Trumaine McBride
Home Depot Co-Founders Ken Langone and Arthur Blank
Honoree Jes Staley and wife Deby Staley
AIS Board Member Michael and Riki Sheehan
AIS Benefit Co-Chair Tony Hooper and AIS Board Member Sander Flaum
The Russo family
AIS Board Member John Stossel and wife Ellen Abrams
AIS Junior Board Member Aman Kumar
Priscilla Almodovar, AIS Board Member Eric Dinallo, and Becky Quick
AIS Speech Clinicians
AIS Board Member Susan Jensen and auctioneer Patrick Shane O'Neill
Suzy Welch and Elaine Langone
AIS client speaker Joel Viera
Christofle hosted a reception last month at their Madison Avenue boutique at 846 Madison Avenue (between 69th and 70th). It was a theme event as part of their Star Table monthly series. Last month's theme, "A Wedding Celebration," featured fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who created an installation exhibiting their wedding dress and table setting chosen from Christofle’s Albi pattern. It was a lovely, inspiring installation: flowers were from ZeZe and the table linens were from their friends’ company Leonline Linens, who create beautiful monogramed linens.

The Star Table series is an ongoing design inspiration program featuring Christofle tablescapes designed and set by celebrity designers and introduced with a unique special event each month. This month's theme stars interior designer Thom Filicia's "Summer Fete."
Mark Badgley and James Mischka with their "Wedding Celebration."
Photographs by Ken Howard, RGB Photography, Kate Russell (Santa Fe); Annie Watt (Christofle)