|Last Thursday, April 21, The Versailles Foundation, Inc. hosted its annual black tie benefit dinner of "The One Hundred" Patrons in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Braganza, the Royal House of Portugal at the Lotos Club.
Every year, Barbara de Portago, President of the Foundation "imports" one of her Royal pals from Europe who is asked to speak at the very beginning of dinner for fifteen minutes, no slides, no podium, to speak informally about the world and the life of a member of a royal family, as well as its history.
|The Valley Forge Military Academy & College Cadets are present also every year to escort the ladies who attend on their own, and to provide the necessary red plumed fanfare that has become the trademark of this evening.
On arriving, guests are welcomed by the royal receiving line at the end of which a Cadet ushered guests into the wood-paneled Library of the Vanderbilt-Schiefflin house for a Taittinger Comtes de Champagne reception. When dinner is announced guests move into the Ballroom, where they stood for the posting of the Color Guard.
|This was followed by the duly heralded entrance of their Royal Highnesses. The Duke, Dom Duarte, was full of interesting facts about his family's history. His ancestor, Catherine of Braganza, when she married King Charles II of England, brought in her dowry to the Indian city of Bombay (today's Mumbai) as well as the then unheard of and untasted proverbial tea. When his talk was over, the duke was led to his seat next to Foundation Director and the Gala's underwriter, Gillian Spreckels Fuller. After dinner, the evening continued with the Fin de Soirée at Lavo for dancing, which was organized by the Foundation Junior Committee.
|The Foundation continues restorations at the Château de Versailles, funds Fellowships for Artists and Volunteers at Giverny, the home and garden of Claude Monet. This site was put on the world's cultural map by Barbara's late parents, the former Curator and his American wife, Gerald and Florence Van der Kemp, who lived and fundraised in the left wing of the Palace at Versailles. Barbara continues their legacy and the Foundation has added projects French in origin, as in the underwriting of the catalogue for The Frick Collection's upcoming exhibition of the painter Watteau, etc.|
|Scully & Scully was bustling with energy last Monday night as a record number of people turned out for the annual "Tulip Party." First held in 2009 to coincide with the blooming of the tulips on Park Avenue, this party is now firmly ensconced on the April social calendar. In addition to celebrating Park Avenue in full bloom, the event raises awareness for the work of The Fund for Park Avenue, the NYC non-profit that is responsible for planting and maintaining all the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls (from 54th to 86th Streets).|
|This year the party also celebrated four books written by Park Avenue authors and each created a tablescape inspired by their book. Andrea Robinson's pink-themed dressing table paid homage to her book "Toss the Gloss" while Jennifer Ash Rudick, author of "Palm Beach Chic" created a tropical table with accents of purple (a coincidental tribute to Prince perhaps?). Reminiscent of their conversations with artists during the creation of their book "Artists Living with Art," Amanda Benchley and Stacey Goergen created a welcoming bar utilizing an eclectic mix of objects and glasses. Jacqueline Bograd Weld, author of "Peggy: The Wayward Guggenheim," which inspired the recently released documentary "Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict," put together a chic and festive table that brought together a variety of textures and colors.|
|In her remarks, Barbara McLaughlin, President of The Fund for Park Avenue, encouraged everyone to shop (since Scully & Scully donates a percentage of sales to The Fund each year). She then thanked those who had made (or were about to make!) contributions and reminded everyone that their support was what made The Fund's work possible. When the time came to thank the evening's host, Michael E. Scully, she surprised him by wishing him Happy Birthday and presented him with a custom-made "Scully & Scully shopping bag cookie" from Eleni's New York. As they do each year, guests received The Fund's signature party favor, a yellow tulip cookie also from Eleni's. Music was supplied by Alex Donner Entertainment.|
|On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center held its Health Education Seminar and Luncheon at the Rockefeller Research Laboratories Auditorium. The seminar, partially underwritten by Sima Ghadamian, was titled "Cancer Caregiving: How MSK Prepares and Supports You—the Modern Caregiver," and offered an informative take on caregiving at a time when patients are leaving the hospital after surgery much sooner and more aspects of their recovery and treatment are handled at home.|
|The presentation featured three of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's distinguished experts Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Quality and Safety, Kate Niehaus, Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality Chair, Larissa K. F. Temple, MD, FACS, FRCS(C), Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, Director of the Caregivers Clinic. Their work at Memorial Sloan Kettering coupled with their research and extensive clinical expertise set the basis for the information discussed at the lecture.
Eleanora Kennedy served as Chairman of the event, along with Anna Kennedy Safir who served as Associates Chairman. The panel discussion occurred over lunch and was followed by a compelling question and answer session.
|Guests Included: Lavinia Branca Snyder, Heather Leeds, Claudia Overstrom, Alexandra Lind Rose, Virginia Tomenson, Kate Allen, Jessica Sailer van Lith, Eleanora Kennedy, Kamie Lightburn, Hilary Dick, Dr. Annette Rickel, Leslie Heaney, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Alexis Waller, and more.|
|Photographs by Annie Watt and Jay Brady (Versailles Foundation); Annie Watt (Fund for Park Avenue).|