Monday, December 7, 2015

Longtime commitments

Citymeals on Wheels held its 29th Annual “Power Lunch for Women” at The Plaza Hotel. Front row: Citymeals Board Member Lillian Vernon, Citymeals Board Member Patricia Wexler, M.D., and Mamie Gummer. Back row: Patti Cohen, Maryliam Crespi, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dr. Shereene Idriss, Meryl Streep, and Bernadette Peters.
More than 400 women – leaders of industry, media, government and the arts – attended the Citymeals on Wheels held its 29th Annual “Power Lunch for Women” at The Plaza Hotel. This by-invitation-only benefit, emceed by Norah O'Donnell, Co-Host of CBS This Morning, raised $1.2 million – enough to provide nearly 187,000 nutritious meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers. 

Citymeals Board Member Yusi Gurrera of Citarella was honored for her longtime commitment to the charity and compassion for the frail aged New Yorkers Citymeals nourishes. A Citymeals Board Member for more than 10 years, Yusi has established Citarella as a tireless supporter of the organization. Over the years, Citarella’s annual in-store Round-Up – a program through which customers can donate to Citymeals at checkout – has raised more than $620,000.
Citymeals Board Member Yusi Gurrera of Citarella and the event honoree, Norah O'Donnell, event emcee
This year’s Power Women included Donatella Arpaia, Aliyyah Baylor, Carol Becker, Carolyn Tisch Blodgett,Samantha Boardman, M.D., Anne E. Cohen, Patti Cohen, Donna Corrado, Cristina Cuomo, Ariane Daguin, Lucy Schulte Danziger, Laura Day, Dasha Epstein, Florence Fabricant,Georgette Farkas, Ruth Finley, Randy Fishman, Audrey Gelman, Kathie Lee Gifford, Colleen Goggins, Gael Greene, Marjorie Gubelmann, Mamie Gummer, Donna Hanover, Caroline Hirsch, Dana Ivey, Rita Jammet,Suri Kasirer, Anne Keating,Barbara Lazaroff, Alexandra Lebenthal, Stephanie March, Zarela Martínez, Julie Menin, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Enid Nemy, Liz Neumark, Bernadette Peters, Jennifer Raab, Ruth Reichl, Daryl Roth, Peggy Siegal, Silda Wall Spitzer, Grace Spring, Linda Stasi, Marcia Stein, Meryl Streep, Laurie M. Tisch, Barbara Tober, Kathleen Turner, Lillian Vernon, Patricia Wexler, M.D., Tren’ness Woods-Black,Judith Zabar, Paula Zahn, Carly Zakin and Leslie Ziff among others.
Melanie Young, Citymeals on Wheels Co-Founder and Board Chair Gael Greene, Silda Wall Spitzer, and Joannie Danielides
A few men were allowed the privilege of lunching with these powerful and famous women for an admission price of $10,000.  This year’s “$10K Men” included Daniel Boulud, Bill Fischer, Robert S. Grimes, Michael Lynne, John Shapiro, Bob Shaye, Jonas Tåhlin, and Donald Tober.

The silent auction was chaired by Citymeals Board Members Bobbi Brown and Lizzie Tisch. Also in attendance was actor David Burtka.

Official sponsors of Citymeals on Wheels are American Airlines, Official Airline of Citymeals on Wheels, and FIJI Water. Major sponsors included Absolut Elyx, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomingdale’s, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Citarella, Citi, First Republic Bank, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Sabatino Tartufi, Specialty Food Association, Tao Group, The Travelers Companies, Inc., and Zabar’s.
Vice President of the Citymeals Board of Directors Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Citymeals on Wheels Board of Directors Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud, Karen Page, Citymeals Board Member Patricia Wexler, M.D., Herb Karlitz, Margo Catsimatidis, Ann Froman, Laura Day, and Mike Warren
One hundred percent of the money raised from ticket sales and the silent auction at Power Lunch, and all Citymeals events, goes toward the preparation and delivery of nutritious meals to homebound elderly in the five boroughs of New York City.  All funds needed to cover administrative and fundraising expenses are raised separately and specifically for those purposes and not from the general public.

All Citymeals on Wheels recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.  More than 60% of our meal recipients are over 80 years old, 23% are over 90, and more than 300 have lived at least a century. Nearly all meal recipients need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66% use a cane, 39% use a walker and 16% use a wheelchair. Our meal recipients are also isolated. 57% live alone, 40% rarely or never leave their homes and 8% have no one with whom they can talk.

Citymeals on Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, over 15,000 individuals volunteered nearly 69,000 hours of their time.
Lauren Vernon and Barbara Lazaroff
Citymeals Board Member Aliyyah Baylor and Tren’ness Woods-Black
Citymeals on Wheels Board Member Suri Kasirer and Citymeals Board Member Yusi Gurrera
Carly Zakin, Roxanne Palin, and David Burtka
Bernadette Peters, Patti Cohen, and Dr. Shereene Idriss
Citymeals Board Member and event silent auction co-chair Lizzie Tisch and Norah O'Donnell
Citymeals Board Member Patricia Wexler, M.D. and Meryl Streep
Citymeals Board Member Aliyyah Baylor, Citymeals Board Member and event silent auction co-chair Bobbi Brown, and Claudette Blackwood
Enid Nemy and Kathleen Doyle
Rita Jammet, Ruth Reichl, and Michele Sherman
Bill Fischer and Leslie Ziff
Vice President of the Citymeals Board of Directors Michael Lynne, Norah O'Donnell, and Citymeals on Wheels Board of Directors Co-President Robert S. Grimes
Tess Wachs, Citymeals Board Member Ruth Finley, and Sue Murphy
Donatella Arpaia and Vice President of the Citymeals Board of Directors Michael Lynne
Kathie Lee Gifford and Bernadette Peters
Yusi Gurrera
"Engaging!" "Exciting!" "Exactly where I wanted to be!" This was the sentiment expressed by those recently in attendance of the Evening of Opportunity hosted by Services for the UnderServed (SUS). First Lady Chirlane McCray was among the nearly 300 guests from the civic, business and philanthropic communities who filled the historic Weylin B. Seymour's in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The evening featured opportunities to support SUS' services with a special focus on services for individuals with autism, the homeless and veterans.

The fundraising dinner honored former SUS Board Chair and entertainment attorney Andrew Hurwitz along with SUS' Person of the Year, Valerie Stanback.
While serving as SUS Board Chair, Andrew Hurwitz oversaw the organization's phenomenal growth to $185 million over a span of three years. Andrew Hurwitz is a partner in the Entertainment Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. He has represented award-winning entertainment talent and leading media companies for almost 20 years, and is widely considered one of the nation's top film and television industry lawyers. 

Being named SUS' Person of the Year is a tall order but Valerie Stanback exemplifies the best of who SUS is and what we do. Valerie is not someone who lets her personal challenges hold her back from achieving her goals. Her resilience and fiery passion for urban farms, her love of life and her volunteer work delivering meals to homebound elderly people qualified Valerie to be honored this year.
Gareth Old, Donna Colonna, and Andrew Hurwitz
Honoree Valerie Stanback
Services for the UnderServed (SUS) envisions a city where everyone has a roof over their head, is healthy, productive and can enjoy the social connections that create a life of purpose. We're a nonprofit with a staff of close to 2,000 that provides $185 million in services. Most importantly, our vision allows us to deliver the same quality of services to one individual or to thousands. No challenge is beyond our scope.  For more information about SUS' programs and services, visit 
Judith Jackson, Jen Press Marden, Chirlane McCray, and Donna Colonna
Mohit Singla, Amanda Walker, Anly Pasquinelli, Tom Morelli, Melanie Fenter, Henri Nika, and Peter Lattangio
Saundra Thomas
Harry Smith and Andrea Joyce
Fabrice and Anly Pasquinelli
Josh and Cara Lanberg
Bob Smith, Jill Smith, Nancy Poses, and James Martin
Anly Pasquinelli and Liza Watson
Peter Friedland and Harry Smith
Lewis Charles and Samantha Leder
Meg Gourd and Scott Millnet
Robin Kramer, Anly Pasquinelli, and Kelly Dunne
Sam Goodkind, Marjorie Kuhn, James Kuhn, Bruce Mosler, and Jen Press Marden
Sol Shapiro, Andrew Hurwitz, and Ariella Hurwitz
Donna Colonna, Harry Smith, and Andrea Joyce
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO)hosted its annual New York Benefit on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at the Essex House. The event was co-chaired by Rita and Charles Bronfman and Lauren and John Veronis. AFIPO Patrons enjoyed a post-concert dinner where Board President David A. Hirsch spoke, thanking everyone for their support which makes a tremendous difference to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.  The dinner was preceded by a concert with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta.
Charles Bronfman
Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Maestro Zubin Mehta

Approximately $1.4 million was raised at this New York benefit to help sustain the financial future of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Major sponsors and benefactors include Rita and Charles Bronfman, Suzanne and Jacob Doft, Sara and Charles Fabrikant, Laura Flug, Arlene and Morris Goldfarb, Rochelle and David A. Hirsch, Linda and Michael Jesselson, Chaim Katzman, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Jane Stern Lebell and Don Lebell, Dalia and Larry Leeds, Ruth and Theodore N. Mirvis, Julie and Hal Mitnick, Tricia and Jason Pantzer, Penny and Claudio Pincus, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, Lily Safra, The Sandler Family, Ambassador Alfred Moses and Fern Schad, Carol Schussler, Kathleen and Alan Shamoon, Herb and Jeanne Sorensen Siegel, Judith and Michael Steinhardt, Bonnie and Steven Stern, Lauren and John Veronis and Elaine and James Wolfensohn.
AFIPO Board President David A. Hirsch, Shelley Goldberg, and Harry Strulovici
New York Gala Co-Chairman Rita Bronfman and AFIPO Vice President Sara Fabrikant
Judith Taubman and Judy Ney
Penny Pincus and Lois Sharzer
Elaine Wolfensohn, Naomi Wolfensohn, and Fern Schad
Lynn Syms with Judith and Burton Resnick
Rabbi Josh Lookstein, Georgie Lookstein, Suzanne Doft, and Debbie Doft
Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert with Sabina Richman
Helene Roses, Hal and Julie Mitnick, and Cindy Kurtin. Back row: Daniel Roses, Kathy Gantz, Laura Flug, and Helene Stein
William Kuhel, Harriet and Ronald Weintraub, Lauren Veronis, Gordon Smith, and Judy Ney
Thursday evening November 19th was a busy night of art openings in Chelsea despite the torrential downpours that bathed Manhattan, but none more significant than the Suzanne LaFleur Exhibition opening reception at the Hollis Taggart Gallery at 521 West 26th Street. Attended wall-to-wall, canvas-to-canvas by lovers of abstract expressionism at its best, LaFleur’s meteoric rise among art critics and collectors alike has established her as one of the preeminent artists of her generation in the genre.  

Comparing her to the legendary Helen Frankenthaler,  Hollis Taggart himself has described LaFleur as, “One of the very few masters of this technique that I know of in today’s world, of this type of color field painting on unprimed canvas.”

None better represented, for example, than LaFleur’s Blue Vortex. It is a massive canvas of poured interaction of rose, indigo, yellow, purple and terracotta that travel from the exterior boundaries of the canvas then stop and encircle the clearly defined center of what would best be described as a pristine blue Hamptons’ summer sky. Rumor has it that this piece, after exhibition, is already destined for Gin Lane.
Suzanne LaFleur's Blue Vortex
Among other notables joining Ms. LaFleur were David Grossman, Barbara Lawrence, Daniel Mitnik,  Andrew & Elizabeth Yanev, Michael A. Esbin,  Barbara Ann Michaels, Tammie Shamvlin, Hollis Taggart, Jay Gryta, Ronanne DeRosa, Joseph Bellavia,  Jonathan Hallgrey, Chandra Darice, Shaun Muis, Landon, Ouma Sannanikone, Howard Rosen, Mark Humphrey, Muriel Vancauwen, Michele Aboud, Katie Murphy, Mike Gorbovitski, Carolina  Wuethrich, Margaret Lewis, Maria Rappa, Elena Popova, Anna Zolkova, Yuko Shimizu, Charles Riley, Vicky Chen, Tiffany McKay, Don Sanders, Anita Moura, Roberta Bizzarri, Lorenzo Zanini, Sarah McNamara, Haim Zitman, Matthias Rhoads, Nicole Schultheis, Doug Harrington, John Wegorzewski and many more.    
Suzanne LaFleur and Mike Gorbovitski
The Artists Magazine selected LaFleur’s drawing Flight of Passion as a finalist in its 32nd Annual Art Competition. She is a 2014 Guild Hall Museum prize-winning artist. The National Arts Club honored her with the 2014 Art Spirit Foundation Gold Medal and 2013 Flora Giffuni Memorial Award.

The organic convergence of precisely melted colors with specific subject intention in Suzanne LaFleur’s paintings make this an exhibit not to be missed, particularly by serious collectors in search of the next significant voice in abstract expressionism. The exhibition will run through November 25th and a portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to Friends of Cancer Research.

For more information regarding Ms. LaFleur go to:
David Grossman, Barbara Lawrence, and Daniel Mitnik
Barbara Ann Michaels and Gene Seidman
Landon, Hollis Taggart, and Andrew Yanev
Doug Harrington, Suzanne LaFleur, and John Wegorzewski
Margaret Lewis and Maria Rappa
Jay Gryta, Ronanne DeRosa, and Joseph Bellavia
Doug Harrington and Gene Seidman
Landon and Shaun Muis
Howard Rosen and John Wegorzewski
David Grossman and Mark Humphrey
Michele Aboud and Muriel Vancauwen
Katie Murphy
Elena Popova and Anna Zolkova
Yuko Shimizu
Carolina Wuethrich and Jean Leong
Haim Zitman
Matthias Rhoads and Nicole Schultheis
Lucien Chidiac, Anita Moura, and Barry Meisel
Patricia Walker and Mike Newton
Photographs by Eric Vitale Photography (Citymeals); Rob Rich/ (LaFleur).