|On February 3rd, 2016, The Central Park Playground Partners of the Women's Committee hosted their third annual Playground Partners Winter Luncheon. This year's luncheon was held at the iconic Rainbow Room with more than 300 guests attending. The event began with a festive reception followed by a luncheon, which included a conversation with Gigi Stone Woods, award-winning TV host, anchor, correspondent and producer and featured guest speaker Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of GLAMSQUAD and Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor of Gilt. The lively talk covered many topics including Alexandra's career, family, and love of Central Park. The event raised nearly $150,000 for the preservation, care, and daily inspection of Central Park's 21 playgrounds.|
|Karen Thornwell May, President of the Women's Committee, was joined by luncheon Co-Chairmen Shirin Christoffersen, Paige Boller Malik, Lara Marcon, Alison Strong, Margot Takian, and Women's Committee Board Luncheon Advisor Kamie Lightburn.
Guests included: Alison Brokaw, Serena Boardman, Angela Clofine, Michele Cohen, Suzanne Cochran, Amy Synott D'Annibale, Paige Hardy, Shannon Henderson, Stephanie Hessler, Kim Hilfiger, Tracey Huff, Sharon Jacob, Lauren Kenny, Kristy Korngold, Nyssa Kourakos, Alexia Leuschen, Neda Navab, Elyse Newhouse, Yesim Philip, Jenny Price, Amy Tarr, Sharon Teles, Vanessa Trump, Clemence von Mueffling, Shirin von Wulffen.
|The Playground Partners Winter Luncheon was sponsored by Madison Avenue Business Improvement District as part of their Platinum Jewels in Bloom promotion. Platinum Jewels in Bloom, a 10-day flower and jewelry show celebrating Central Park's flora, is sponsored by the Platinum Guild International. The 18 fine jewelry retailers participating in Platinum Jewels in Bloom provided the stunning floral centerpieces on display at the Luncheon. Stores include: Alexis Bittar, Asprey, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Chopard, David Yurman, De Grisogono, Fabergé, Fred Leighton, Graff, Hueb Fine Jewelry, Ippolita, Kwiat, Lalique, Paul Morelli, Pomellato, Sidney Garber, and Stephen Russell.|
|On the evening of Thursday, February 4th, a series of kick-off receptions and a "first look" at the Platinum Jewels in Bloom windows was hosted by the participating jewelry boutiques for the invited guests of the Playground Partners of the Women's Committee of Central Park Conservancy and patrons. The extravagant window displays paired vibrant flowers with sparkling jewels to emulate the purity and rarity of platinum in order to raise spirits in the doldrums of winter.
Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) is presenting Platinum Jewels in Bloom from February 4 – 13. Just in time for Valentine's Day shopping, the public is invited to enjoy the ten-day flower and jewelry show in the windows of 18 premiere jewelry stores located between 57th and 86th Street.
|Participating jewelry boutiques include Alexis Bittar, Asprey, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Chopard, David Yurman, de Grisogono, Fabergé, Fred Leighton, Graff, Hueb Fine Jewelry, Ippolita, Kwiat Boutique, Lalique, Paul Morelli, Pomellato, Sidney Garber, and Stephen Russell.
The event benefits the Central Park Conservancy's Playground Partners, whose mission is to fund the daily care and maintenance of Central Park's 21 playgrounds. A combined donation of $25,000 was made by the participating jewelry brands.
|On January 22, 2016, The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society’s “Nocturnal Jungle” was wild with excitement as Dinner Dance Chairman Candy Hamm was at the helm of the enchanted evening at Mar-A-Lago. Attended by nearly 400 supporters, the event raised more than $1 million to advance the Zoo’s mission of wildlife conservation.
The theme was chosen to celebrate two fascinating nocturnal hunters who make their home at the Palm Beach Zoo: the jaguar and the ocelot. Amid the exotic, glamourous ambiance, guests enjoyed a gourmet dinner and dancing to The Bob Hardwick Sound.
Mrs. Hamm welcomed guests and thanked Honorary Chairmen, JoAnna & Stephen Myers, Event Chairmen, Whitney Bylin and Thomas C. Quick, and she recognized the dedicated leadership of Michele Kessler, Chairman of the Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches’ Board of Directors.
The evening highlight was the presentation of the 2016 Gala Stewardship Award to longtime Zoo supporters, Carole and John Moran, in recognition of their generous support, which included funding of new homes for the Zoo’s ocelots and Florida panthers. Equally exciting was the announcement of a lead gift and challenge gift for a new entry facility for the Zoo by Ruth & Ted Baum, and that the challenge gift had not only been matched but doubled by Michele & Howard Kessler.
The lively live auction, conducted by former Sotheby’s Chairman of the Americas, Jamie Niven, included an exclusive fishing charter; a breathtaking Siberian Tiger photograph by David Yarrow; a private dinner for twenty at the Zoo catered by Table 26 with animal encounters and live music; a case of rare 100 point wines -- and one of the evening’ most lively bids, the very popular “Zookeeper for the Day,” which was won by Ann and Charles Johnson.
The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society exists to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world, advancing its mission of conservation through endangered species propagation, education and support of conservation initiatives in the field.
|The Palm Beach Police Foundation’s Annual Palm Beach Policemen’s Ball on January 16, 2016 at the Mar-a-Lago Club, marked its 10th anniversary with a Palm Beach spin on “Miami Vice,” the 1980s television crime drama. The gala drew more than 650 guests and raised more than $1,000,000.00, surpassing last year’s record.
Monika and John Preston were the Dinner Chairmen, and Mary and Mark Freitas were Honorary Chairmen of the Ball, which paid tribute to Palm Beach Police Department’s men and women in blue and its non-sworn employees. Celebrated event designer, Tom Mathieu incorporated signature elements from “Miami Vice,” remembered for epic boat chase scenes, neon-lit landmarks, and the stylish clothes worn by Detectives Sonny Crockett Johnson and Ricardo Tubbs.
|The evening began with a poolside cocktail reception, which showcased the new Sea Vee boat, a purchase facilitated by the Foundation on behalf of the police department. Following cocktails, pomp and pageantry was provided by Palm Beach Pipes and Drums, and the Presentation of the Colors by the Palm Beach Police Department Honor Guard. A stirring rendition of America the Beautiful was performed by Palm Beach Police Sergeant Gary Walley, accompanied by Don DeMarco, Vic Damone’s personal guitarist. The Invocation was given by Fred Hess, a former captain who returned after retiring from handling the police department’s community relations. Throughout the evening, entertained was provided by dance band, Rhythm Collective.|
|The Tenth Annual Palm Tree Award was presented by Palm Beach Police Foundation co-founder and President, John F. Scarpa, and Foundation co-founder and Vice President Emeritus Tim Moran, along with the Prestons, to Palm Beach philanthropists, Kathryn and Leo Vecellio, who have supported a wide range of causes throughout Palm Beach County that include the Town of Palm Beaches, and the Vecellio Family Foundation has awarded $3.1 million in Scholarships to more than 350 students and dispersed millions in support of numerous educational, civic, health and charitable causes. Palm Beach Director of Public Safety Kirk Blouin and the Foundation’s First Vice President David Mack surprised Sergeant Tom Melnichok, with the Fifth Annual “Officer of the Year” award and a $5,000 check, sponsored by Iberia Bank.|
|An exciting live auction, conducted by Bill Bone, featured a Buccellati Losanghe Cuff, donated by Buccellati at Neiman Marcus Palm Beach, along with sports packages, an exclusive dining experience aboard Lady K, the Vecellio’s boat, and other items, culminated in raising a record $333,000 in proceeds that will benefit the Palm Beach Police Department and provide funding for scholarships, unmet needs and assistance, and Crime Watch. Event sponsors included Jewelry Sponsor, Bucellatti at Neiman Marcus Palm Beach.|
|The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation presented its 3rd Annual Bipolar Medical Briefing Luncheon on January 13, 2016 at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. Nellie Benoit and Joanie Van der Grift were the event Chairmen; Sheila Fine, Frances Fisher and Sally Soter were the Honorary Chairmen, and Micah Ford and Kristen Ray were the Junior Chairmen of the Luncheon entitled, Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder — The Science & The Stigma.
Modeled after the Foundation’s Medical Briefing Luncheons in Chicago, the 3rd Annual Palm Beach Luncheon drew more than 200 people. Dusty Sang welcomed the guests and updated the audience about the Foundation’s work over the past year and announced that Alexis Kauchick, a Benjamin School senior, had been presented with the Foundation’s inaugural Junior Shining Star Award at a reception the night before. He then introduced his wife, Joyce Sang, who presented the 2016 Shining Star Award, the Foundation’s highest honor, to Sally Soter in recognition of her unwavering support, leadership and commitment to the Foundation’s mission and goals.
|This year’s Bipolar Medical Briefing Luncheon featured a panel discussion designed to provide greater awareness, understanding and education about Bipolar Disorder, a medical illness of the brain. The panelists were Academy Award-nominee and bestselling author Mariel Hemingway; leading-edge Bipolar Disorder researcher Robin Nusslock, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) and, world-renown Bipolar Disorder researcher and clinician Janet Wozniak, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard). Hemingway told her moving personal story about how Bipolar Disorder and mental illness affected her family. Following the presentations, the panelists, led by moderator Ellen Frank, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), fielded questions from the audience.|
|This year the Foundation received corporate support for the Luncheon from Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services; Florida Power & Light; GL Homes; Gunster; Hanley Center Foundation; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC; Northern Trust; and Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc. And, to further spread awareness and understanding about Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder in the community, several donors underwrote professional tables so that teachers and counselors from public and private high schools in Palm Beach County could attend at no cost so they could bring back knowledge and awareness to their schools and students.
For further information, visit the Foundation’s website at: www.questforthetest.org
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan; Capehart Photography (Palm Beach Zoo; PB Police Foundation; Ryan Licht).|