|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.
|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.
|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 www.monmouthhistory.org to learn more.|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|The Awards Presentation was hosted by Becky Quick of MSNBC’s Squawk Box. Arthur 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.”
|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.
|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.
|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."
|Photographs by Ken Howard, RGB Photography, Kate Russell (Santa Fe); Annie Watt (Christofle)|