Thursday, February 18, 2016

Celebratory evenings

H.E. Ambassador Liu Jieyi (Honorary Chair), Angela Chen (Co-Chair), H.E. Consul-General Zhang Qiyue (Honorary Chair), Maurice R. Greenberg (Co-Chair), Washington SyCip, George SyCip, and Gary W. Parr at New York Philharmonic's fifth-annual Chinese New Year Gala.
On Tuesday, February 9, the New York Philharmonic held its fifth-annual Chinese New Year Gala. More than 300 guests attended and $925,000 was raised for the Philharmonic. A portion of the proceeds will support the New York Philharmonic's School Partnership Program at P.S. 120 in Flushing, Queens, which serves a large population of Chinese-Americans and recent immigrants from China.

The celebratory evening ushered in the Year of the Monkey with a Gala concert highlighting the cultural heritage of China and honoring the Chinese-American community. Long Yu led the program, which featured violinist Maxim Vengerov performing Chen Gang and He Zhanhao's The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Kreisler's Tambourin Chinois. Principal Harp Nancy Allen performed the New York Premiere of Tan Dun's Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women — based on the language Nüshu, a disappearing vocal tradition created by and for women in Huna, China in the 13th century. Spring Festival Overture, Li Huanzhi's traditional work celebrating the Chinese New Year, once again opened the concert.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing the audience
Principal Harp Nancy Allen performs the New York Premiere of Nu Shu The Secret Songs of Women
Violinist Maxim Vengerov performs The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, conducted by Long Yu
For the fifth consecutive year, a traditional Dragon Dance was performed by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company on Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza preceding the concert and inside David Geffen Hall during the evening. The dancers also performed a Monkey Dance and were joined on the plaza by students from the National Dance Institute.

Guests of the Chinese New Year Gala arrived at David Geffen Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m. for an hour-long cocktail reception on the Grand Promenade. The concert began at 7:30 p.m., followed by a traditional Chinese attire/black-tie dinner, also on the Grand Promenade.
Table decor by Van Vliet and Trap, LLC
The evening's event was catered by Restaurant Associates, and the décor was provided by Van Vliet & Trap.

Honorary Gala Chairmen were Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg, H.E. Ambassador Liu Jieyi, and H.E. Consul General Zhang Qiyue. The Gala Co-Chairmen were Angela Chen, Guoqing Chen and Ming Liu, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang, and Shirley Young. The Starr International Foundation was the Presenting Sponsor of the Chinese New Year Gala.
Committee of 100, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Matthew VanBesien, Honorary Gala Chairmen H.E. Consul-General Zhang Qiyue, and H.E. Ambassador Liu Jieyi
Bobby and Phoebe Tudor
Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang (Gala Co-Chairmen)
Alfred Abraham, Florence Seligman, Brian Hunter, and Dolores Clarke
Angela Chen (Gala Co-Chairman), Larry and Klara Silverstein, Enita Pu, and Can Zhu
Christian and Heidi Lange with Corina and Clemens Maier
Composer Tan Dun, Jane Huang, Ming Liu, and Guoqing Chen (Gala Co-Chairmen)
Conductor Long Yu, Karen T. LeFrak (Special Events Chairman), and Nancy Allen
Eric J. and Daria L. Wallach
Han Feng, Allyson Tang, and Susan Scharf
Gala Co-Chairmen Guoqing Chen and Angela Chen, Honorary Gala Chairmen H.E. Ambassador Liu Jieyi and H.E. Consul General Zhang Qiyue, and Xu Chen
Shirley Young (Co-Chairman), Karen T. LeFrak (Special Events Chairman), Maurice R. Greenberg (Honorary Chairman), and Angela Chen (Co-Chairman)
Susan and Elihu Rose
Zhang Xin and Oscar L. Tang
Gary W. Parr (Chairman Emeritus), H.E. Consul-General Zhang Qiyue (Honorary Gala Chairman), Shirley Young (Gala Chairman), and Donald Newhouse
Harold Mitchell, AC and Tan Dun
Jane Huang and Tan Dun
Helen and Jim Neuberger
Henry Tang, Patty Tang, and Howard Li
Jean Doumanian, Yue-Sai Kan, and Vivienne Tam
Karen T. LeFrak and Richard S. LeFrak
Kate Gibbs
President Matthew VanBesien, Rosie Jowitt, and Maurice R. Greenberg (Honorary Gala Chairman)
Phoebe Tudor, Concertmaster Frank Huang, Laura Chang, and Arnold J. Chavkin
Joan Kahn and Christopher Forbes
Shirin Bebe Schade, Noreen Buckfire, and Dora Ching
President Matthew VanBesien, conductor Long Yu, and Gary W. Parr
Principal Oboe Liang Wang with Fred and Irene Shen
Monina and Frederico Lopez with Tony and Grace Tan Caktiong
NY Philharmonic leadership and philanthropists behind the Chinese New Year Gala with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
On January 21st, 240 guests filled Mar-a-Lago Club's ballroom for a sold-out evening of lively bidding and exquisite food and wine that raised money than ever for children's arts education programs at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.  It was the most successful Auction to date, bringing the event's nine-year total in net proceeds to over $3 million.

In total, the event featured 62 lots of remarkable wines and spirits from around the globe, exceptional luxury travel experiences and unique treasures all sold under the direction of. While the auctioned items fetched over $427,000, Michael Troise, retired Auction Director for NY Wines/Christie's Fine and Rare Wine Department paused the regular bidding to ask guests for donations - earmarked to underwrite even more educational programming at the Kravis Center - which brought in another $67,000.
Patrick Park with Cindy and Ted Mandes
Co-Chair Patrick Park greeted guests and Mandes recognized the evening's honorees – the six women currently serving on the Kravis Center's Board of Directors: Barbara Evans Golden, Jane Mitchell, Monika Preston, Laurie Silvers, Kathryn Vecellio and Lee Wolf.

The Auction's proceeds help fund Kravis Center arts education programs such as the S*T*A*R (Students and Teachers Arts Resource) Series, which brings thousands of students to the Kravis Center each year for diverse performances in theater, dance and music.
Barbara Golden, Kathryn Vecellio, Monika Preston, Jane Mitchell, Laurie Silvers, and Lee Wolf
The 2016 Palm Beach Wine Auction Chair was Ted Mandes. Co-Chair and International Ambassador was Patrick Park. Also serving on the auction committee were Amos Dare, Edward Dudnyk, Susan Hurley Esson, Roderic Fink, Barbara Evans Golden, Steven M. Gottlieb, Ashley Hoffman, John Kessler, Shelley Menin, I. Jeffrey Pheterson, Martin Rivard, Jeffrey Sabean, Lewis Schott, Laurie Silvers, Richard Sloane, Daniel J. "Rusty" Staub, Michael Troise and Jill Wachter.
Ashley and Harriet Hoffman
Rod and Madeline Fink
Phil Reagan, Emily Clifford, and Paul Hess
Richard and Carolyn Sloane
Steven Gottlieb and Laurie Raber-Gottlieb
Al and Elizabeth Rahm
Craig and Shelley Menin
Bill and Marilyn Lane
Maria and Amos Dare
Christine and Martin Rivard
Michael and Hanni Troise
Susan Esson and Patrick Egan
Henni and John Kessler
Barbara and Jerry Golden
Judy and Jim Mitchell
Bill and Jill Wachter
Eddie Schmidt and Ozzie Medeiros
Amin and Julie Khoury with Judy and Jim Harpel
Jeffery Bland and Jane Mitchell
Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein
Mike Rendina and Richard Rendina
On Saturday, February 6th The Horticultural Society of New York hosted its 4th annual Green Bean Bash at Temple Israel. Over 350 children and adults gathered for an afternoon of fun activities: pickling vegetables, inspecting scorpions and tarantulas, showing off glittery tattoos, and posing for a picture with everyone's favorite mustachioed friend: Mr. Green Bean. For three hours, families learned the intricacies of our natural world while having bundles of fun.
Mr. Green Bean
Alatia Bradley Bach, Paige Betz, Meg Chamberlin, Melanie Chisholm, Jessica Cho, Ashley Christopher, Dana James, Kamie Lightburn, Alison Strong, and Mary Van Pelt co-chaired the event which supported The Hort's programs to beautify low-income communities across the five boroughs and help make New York greener.

The Hort's Green Family Circle membership empowers New York City families to connect with nature in their everyday lives. The hands-on activities, educational programming, exclusive events and more, encourage healthy, active lifestyles that nourish the mind, body and spirit of kids and parents alike.
John Haller, Isabel, Charlotte, and Kristan Haller
Lesley Dryden and Erin Dere
John and Alycia Kilpatrick with Bailey and Emily
Kim Vinnakota, Annie Pell, and Norris Daniels
Kamie Lightburn and Carter Lightburn
Lorena O'Brien, Hope, Brooke Ooten, and Sarah Jane
Meg Chamberlain, Mr. Green Bean, Mary van Pelt, and Alison Strong
Melanie Chisholm and Paige Boller Malik
Talene Baroyan, Lucy, Olivia, Margot Takian, and Emilia
Lula and Sarah Jane
Over 40 supporters of the Gardens Conservancy joined Frances Fisher, founding chairwoman of the special membership group at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, on January 20th at Neiman Marcus Palm Beach for a luncheon and Oscar de la Renta fashion presentation. The event honored Conservancy members, celebrated the recent opening of the Gardens' "Flowers" exhibition and served as a kick off for the Conservancy's upcoming April 1st cocktail reception.

Guests were greeted with champagne and seated at beautifully appointed tables among the racks of gorgeous Oscar de la Renta floral creations. Beth Pine, vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus Palm Beach, welcomed guests and introduced Mrs. Fisher, who greeted the crowd and thanked them for their generous support.
Frances Fisher and Beth Pine
Karyn Lamb and Gita Costa
Launched in 2014, the Gardens Conservancy is a multi-category membership and stewardship program dedicated to honoring Ann Norton's legacy by cultivating creative community partnerships that enhance educational programs and cultural awareness of the Gardens, and by implementing exciting horticultural projects to maintain the garden as a vibrant feature of the community.  

Mrs. Fisher discussed the upcoming event for Conservancy Members that will feature special guest and author, Jack Staub, who was also a guest of honor at the luncheon. On Friday, April 1st, Mr. Staub will debut his latest book, Private Gardens of South Florida, which features 22 lush landscapes, including nine gardens from Palm Beach at a special cocktail reception for Gardens Conservancy members.
Renny Reynolds, Frances Fisher, and Jack Staub
The historic Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Inc. is a recognized 501 (c) (3) operating foundation, established in 1977 by the prominent sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982). The rare palm and sculpture gardens, exhibition galleries and artist studio are currently open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  For Conservancy membership information or details about upcoming exhibitions at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, visit
Margaret Costello and Polly Reed
Regan Rupp and Pam Dupuis
Christine Goodman and Mina Patel
Susie Belton, Sarah Benitz, and Suzanne Frisbee
Helene Lorentzen and Afsy Pottash
Shelley Menin and Dede Merck
Katrina Lee and Brenda Swanson
The Wild Center, acclaimed natural history museum and dynamic science center located in New York's Adirondacks, hosted its 10th anniversary celebration at The Metropolitan Club on January 25, with distinguished honorees Neil deGrasse Tyson and Former Governor George Pataki.

The theme – New York has a Wild Center – was set by a commissioned work of moose and otter frolicking in the snow in Central Park by New Yorker cover artist Eric Drooker, and that scene was not that far-fetched after Winter Storm Jonas had the effect of bringing the Adirondacks to New York City two days before the party.
George Pataki, Nancy Simpkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Joe Beck
Guests for the evening included Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, television personality Jane Pauley, and actor and screenwriter John Phillips. The event was chaired by Wild Center Trustees Nancy Klingenstein Simpkins and Joseph G. Beck. Guests included Dick Guilder and Lois Chiles, Karen and Dave Thomas, Donald "Obie" Clifford, Terry and Lynn Birdsong and Sylvia and David Goodman. Corporate Sponsors included International Paper, Hearst Corporation, Raymond James and Nevil, Rodie & Shaw, Inc.
Lynn and Terry Birdsong
Peter Kindler and Chris McFadden
Paul Alioto, Betsy Lowe, Obie Clifford, and Stephanie Ratcliffe
Nancy Simpkins, Karen Thomas, and Amy Elrod
Tom Vitti and Nancy Simpkins
Lois Chiles, Dick Gilder, Alice Young, and Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the theory of the Ninth Planet to Wild Center Trustees Peter Shrope and Stephanie Ratcliffe in the Library using candles as planets.
Lisa and Bob Schultz, Andy and Julie Klingenstein, Pat Klingenstein, and Tom Vitti
MaryBeth Reiss, Kingsley Rooney, and Allison Birdsong
Cricket Laun, Betsey Metz, and Ann Welles
Gregory Cole and Kathy Welch
Margi Arquit, Sterling Thomas, Karen Thomas, Gina Fiorile, David Thomas, Annie Thomas, and Jeffy Benedict
Back row – Lee Teslik, Rick Godin, Garry Trudeau, Joe Beck, Betsy Lowe, Chris Verner
Front Row – Kate Ryder, Melissa Godin, Jane Pauley Trudeau, and Caroline Verner
Photographs by Julie Skarratt (Chinese New Year); Capehart (Gardens Conservancy); Cutty McGill (Wild Center).