|New York City Center’s annual Gala, held Monday, October 24, honored business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht with the 2016 Fiorello H. LaGuardia award for distinguished service to New York City and New York City Center. Past honorees include Doug Cramer, Bobbie and Lew Frankfort, Raymond A. Lamontagne, Patricia and Jesse Lovejoy, Stephanie and Fred Shuman, and Dolores and Clifton Wharton.
New York City Center was built in 1923 as a meeting hall for the members of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Two decades later, the building was saved from the wrecking ball by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who transformed it into Manhattan's first performing arts center—an accessible, affordable home for the best of theater, music, and dance—calling it “the people’s theater.”
|Monday evening’s event began with a concert performance of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, the cast featured Hollywood and Broadway performers including Phylicia Rashad, Carmen Cusack, Ruthie Ann Miles, and Zachary Levi.
Following the magnificent performance, guests including Bernadette Peters, Cicely Tyson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ruth Wilson, Anna Wintour, Laura Osnes, Peter Sarsgaard, Tommy Tune, and William Ivey Long joined City Center President Arlene Shuler and event chairmen Clive Davis, Perry and Marty Granoff, Stacey and Eric Mindich, Daryl and Steven Roth, Jolyon F. Stern and Nelle Nugent, and Lisa and Richard Witten for an elegant dinner at The Plaza Hotel. The event raised $2.6 million dollars and will ensure City Center can continue to fulfill its mission to make the best in the performing arts accessible to the widest possible audiences by subsidizing affordable tickets throughout the year to programs such as Fall for Dance and Encores! Off-Center.
|The 33rd annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala was held last Tuesday evening at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event raised nearly $2 million for critical Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. There are now more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Sarah Rafferty, actress and star of the USA Network legal drama Suits, emceed the event and poignantly shared her experience of her Grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.
|Gala General Chair and Founder Princess Yasmin Aga Khan spoke about mother, film star Rita Hayworth’s long and difficult affliction of Alzheimer’s. It was Hayworth’s illness that inspired Yasmin to “do something” about it. More than three decades later she could proudly announce at this year’s gala that the funds raised this year at the New York, Chicago and Palm Beach events crossed the $70 million mark. Yasmin praised Karyn Kornfeld for her energy and passion as this year’s Gala Chair. Kornfeld also shared the story of her “powerhouse” Grandmother who died of Alzheimer’s. She told the guests how her grief quickly turned to guilt which motivated her to take action by getting involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.
President of HSN and chief marketing officer at HSNi., Bill Brand, was honored with the Rita Hayworth Award and hockey legend and President of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan was honored with the Champion Award. Both men were honored for their commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s and their many efforts to raise awareness of the disease.
|Brand was introduced by long-time supporter and friend of the Alzheimer’s Association Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSNi. Grossman shared anecdotes from her more than ten years of knowing Brand and the passion he has shown for helping others and for charity through HSNi Cares. In his remarks Brand proudly shared that HSN has just surpassed the $1 million mark in funds raised for the Alzheimer’s Association during their 5 year partnership with the organization.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman introduced Shanahan before a moving video tribute to the hockey legend was shown, which chronicled Shanahan’s life and close relationship with his father, Donal Shanahan, whom he lost to Alzheimer’s while in the early stages of his hockey career, which his Father supported greatly. The video included poignant footage from Shanahan’s 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame speech, which was dedicated to his father. Shanahan recognized the sports community for their support of the cause and presence that evening, including the NHL, NBA and NFL.
|Hugh Hildesley, the Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s, hosted the evening’s live auction which included a custom Domingo Zapata painting as well as a suit from the famed UK bespoke tailor Huntsman. The suit, which features a lining with the design from Ed Ruscha’s 1987 painting ‘Boy Meets Girl” is one of six created in the collaboration and was the only available for purchase, prompting an energetic spree of bids from guests, generating a top bid of $26,000.
Attendees included: HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman, talk show host Wendy Williams, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, TV personality and style expert Robert Verdi, fashion designers Nicole Miller and Zang Toi, Sharon Bush, Margo and John Catsimatidis, Liliana Cavendish, Hilary Dick, Diandra de Morrell Douglas, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Anne and Jay McInerney, Robin Meltzer, Louise Kornfeld and Daryl Simon.
The theme of this year’s Gala, ‘The Time is Now’ highlighted the gala steering committee’s commitment to end Alzheimer’s disease.
|The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health hosted its 22nd Annual Sports Ball Black Tie & Sneakers Gala on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Cheryl Wills, Award-winning NY1 News Anchor and best-selling author returned to co-host the gala with David Ushery, Award-winning NBC 4 New York Anchor, creator of The Debrief with David Ushery, and co-host of Moms and the City and a Dad named David.
The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health honored:
• Loreen Arbus - Disability Rights Activist, Altruist, Producer, Author, first woman to head up programming at a major television network.
• Dr. James E. Cottrell - Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Member of the Board of Regents at New York State Education Department.
• Howard Cross - Sports Analyst for NBC Sports, Senior Vice President of Cresa New York and NFL Super Bowl Champion.
• Richard Levychin - CPA, CGMA, Managing Partner, KBL LLP.
• Patrick J. McGovern - Senior Director, Government Affairs, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
• Robin Roberts – Four time Emmy winning Co-Anchor, Good Morning America, and Author, Sports Ball Leadership Award honoree.
|Leading sponsors for Sports Ball 2016 include Seth & Lynn Abraham, AETNA, American Express, The Loreen Arbus Foundation, Alliant Insurance Services, BMW of North America, BNY Mellon, Empire Blue Cross, Gilead Sciences, GNYHA, Heritage Medical Systems KBL, LLP, Korn Ferry, MACY's, Maimonides Hospital, New Balance, Northwell Health, Mike Stocker, SUNY Downstate, Tetteh Consulting Group, USTA, Vladeck, Raskin & Clark.
|The funds raised at Sports Ball support the Institute's innovative community health education programs and research initiatives. Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, in partnership with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, just two months before his death from AIDS and in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable causes. Arthur knew that many diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection and insufficient health education.|
|On October 24, 2016, Action Against Hunger hosted its 17th Annual Gala Against Hunger at 583 Park Avenue in New York City honoring Weight Watchers International, with an acceptance by Oprah Winfrey, and Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, the World Food Programme.
The event benefitted Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving, international hunger relief programs. Leading event sponsors included luxury jeweler Chopard and Bavarian bath, body and skincare brand Kneipp. The 2016 Gala Co-Chairs were Carmen Debbane and Sandra Tamer. Presenters included Action Against Hunger’s Chairman of the Board Raymond Debbane and CEO Andrea Tamburini, along with special performances by the National Dance Institute.
|The evening’s Corporate Honoree was Weight Watchers International, the world’s leading commercial provider of weight management services. Weight Watchers shares Action Against Hunger’s commitment to good nutrition, health and well-being. In 2008, Weight Watchers partnered with Action Against Hunger to launch the Lose for Good campaign to fight global hunger and chronic malnutrition, inviting members to lose weight to benefit Action Against Hunger’s mission. Over the last eight years, Weight Watchers has generated over $1.9 million in life saving funds for Action Against Hunger. A steadfast partner in the fight against deadly hunger, Weight Watchers continues to explore unique opportunities to have an even greater impact on global nutrition and healthy living.
Oprah Winfrey accepted the Action Against Hunger Corporate Honoree Award on behalf of Weight Watchers International, where she sits on the company’s Board of Directors. As a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, Oprah has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. Her accomplishments have established her as one of the most respected and admired figures today.
|Action Against Hunger presented its Humanitarian Award to Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization with approximately 14,000 staff serving over 80 million people in 80 countries across the world. As the leader of the World Food Programme, Ms. Cousin guides the organization in meeting urgent food needs while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger. She is a leading advocate for improving the lives of hungry people worldwide, and travels extensively to elevate solutions for food insecurity and chronic malnutrition. Ms. Cousin brings more than 25 years of national and international non-profit, government, and corporate leadership experience focusing on hunger, food, and resilience strategies.
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and healthcare. We enable entire families to be free from hunger. In 2015, our programs reached 14.9 million people in 47 countries. For more information about the 2016 Gala Against Hunger and Action Against Hunger, visit www.actionagainsthunger.org.
|Last Thursday evening Coco and Arie Kopelman hosted a cocktail party at their home, kicking off the 2017 Winter Antiques Show which will take place January 20th through the 29th at the Park Avenue Armory. This great art and antiques show will benefit the East Side House Settlement, a community resource in the South Bronx which is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The Show provides new and established collectors, curators, dealers, and design professionals with opportunities to view and purchase exceptional pieces showcased by more than 70 exhibitors.
The East Side House programs focus on education and technology as gateways out of poverty and as the keys to economic opportunity. All revenues from the show’s general admissions and the net proceeds from the preview parties and other events go to the East Side House and contribute substantially to its private philanthropic budget.