Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Three steps forward, two steps back

McKayla Maroney and Dr. Mary L. Pulido in conversation at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's annual Spring Luncheon.
Last Tuesday noon at the Pierre,  The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) held its annual Spring Luncheon. This has become a very important and well attended lunch, with several hundred guests, the majority of them being men and woman of the young parental age. This year featured an intimate conversation between Olympic Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney and Dr. Mary L. Pulido, Executive Director of The NYSPCC.

Abuse of children, sexual and otherwise is everywhere in our society and rarely noted even when seen. Teachers see the results in the schoolrooms. Hospital emergency rooms see it. Sexual abuse is often part of it. And most of it is concealed by the abusers who are criminals exploiting the weak and unprotected.
Dr. Mary L. Pulido and McKayla Maroney
These were McKayla’s first public remarks since revealing her abuse by former U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. In a room of 250 guests, Maroney discussed her road to recovery, her thoughts on USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University (MSU), and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC)’s role in enabling Nassar’s abuse, and what she plans to do moving forward.

“Within the gymnastics world, there’s no question we need to rebuild from the ground up so this never happens again,” Maroney said. “I definitely see a future where athletes are safe and succeeding. My team won gold medals in spite of USA Gymnastics, MSU, and the USOC. They don’t build champions, they break them. But we’re changing that.”

“I at times question if my gymnastics career was really even worth it because of the stuff I’m dealing with now, because sometimes you’re just left in the dust,” Maroney continued.“You have to pick up the pieces of your life. That has been the hardest part for me, but it’s always three steps forward, two steps back.”
Dr. Mary L. Pulido
Valesca Guerrand-Hermes
Elizabeth Mayhew
Maroney also stressed the importance of prevention and awareness via initiatives like The NYSPCC’s Safe Touches program. She advised to contact their local representatives to push for legislation that will close New York state’s private school child abuse loophole: currently, private schools are not required to immediately report child sexual abuse as public schools are mandated to do.

Dr. Pulido, expressed her gratitude  for Ms. Maroney’s participation, and also delivered a heartfelt speech about the need to protect children from sexual abuse.

“When you hear about a horrific story in the media like the indescribable abuse from Larry Nassar, it’s easy to become discouraged and lose hope. It’s The NYSPCC’s mission to help children who have endured abuse like McKayla’s with our trauma recovery program. We hope that her remarkable bravery both in her sport and in her personal life inspires others to join the fight to end child abuse.”
Maarit Glocer, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, McKayla Maroney, Dr. Mary L. Pulido, Elizabeth Mayhew
The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) was established in 1875 as the first child protection agency in the world by Elbridge Gerry (who coincidentally lived in a mansion which existed on the very corner now occupied by the Pierre). The NYSPCC laid the groundwork and assumed the main role in the protective investigation, removal, and placement of abused and neglected children when no other organization was willing.

Today, they offer and promote programs aimed at the prevention of child maltreatment and the lessening of its harmful effects.

Since its incorporation 140 years ago, The NYSPCC has investigated more than 650,000 cases on behalf of over 2,000,000 children. The NYSPCC has also educated over 50,000 professionals who work with children on how to identify and report suspected child abuse and neglect.
Karl Wellner, Elizabeth Mayhew, David R. Stack, and Valesca Guerrand-Hermes
Holly Kelly, Mary Alice Sherrill, and Maarit Glocer
Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner McKayla Maroney and Dr. Penny Grant
Gigi Grimstad, Coralie Charriol Paul, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, and Juliette Longuet
Kathleen Giordano, Dawn Wells, and Dr. Penny Grant
Vicky Cornell and Dr. Mary L. Pulido Wendy Neuss and Lee Fryd
Jake Montagnino and Susanne Schalin Diana Douglas
Jean Shafiroff, Flo Anthony, and Dr. Penny Grant
Regina Calcaterra, Dr. Mary L. Pulido, and McKayla Maroney
Last Monday night, (4/16) the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) held their annual LOOT Opening Benefit. It began with a three-hour cocktail portion on the second floor gallery. The lengthy cocktail hour(s) was necessary because guests were mainly in a flurry of jewelry shopping. 

Dinner followed eventually at MAD’s ROBERT restaurant with its fabulous view of Columbus Circle and Broadway moving North. It was here that the  annual Awards Presentation followed.

They honored four studio jewelry and arts philanthropists: Loreen Arbus was presented with her award by LOOT’s Chair Marsy Mittlemann; Carolee Lee was presented by MAD’s Board Member Ann Kaplan, Michael and Karen Rotenberg was presented by LOOT’s Curator Bryna Pomp.
Bryna Pomp
Karen Rotenberg, Michael Rotenberg
Carolee Lee
All four honorees took to the podium expressing their love for the Museum and the field of jewelry. During Loreen Arbus’s acceptance speech, she announced that MAD was her favorite museum in the world. The Museum’s Chair and Board of Trustees Michele Cohen made the opening remarks at the benefit dinner. Chairman Emerita Barbara Tober and husband Donald Tober were present, as well.

Guests included: Susan Ach, Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, Paola Bacchini, Dennis Basso, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Liliana Cavendish, Paolo Costagli, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Caroline Blackman Coakley and Patrick Coakley, Brian Damaris, Patti and Michael Dweck, Patricia Falkenberg, Joanna Fisher, Boo Grace, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Joan Hornig, Michele Gerber Klein, Suzan Kremer, Lewis Kruger, Nanette L. Laitman, Francine LeFrak, Shari Loeffler, Linda Plattus, Liz Peek, Barbara Regna, Peter Regna, Heidi Rigney, Toni Ross, Jean Shafiroff, Barbara and Donald Tober, Barbara Winston, and Debbie Wheeler. 
Michele Cohen
Shannon Stratton
LOOT: MAD About Jewelry is a five day annual exhibition and sale of contemporary art jewelry, with all proceeds benefiting the Museum’s programs and exhibitions. Now in its 18th edition, LOOT remains the only event in North America to provide the public with the opportunity to meet and directly acquire contemporary pieces from the most skilled, innovative, and creative jewelry artists working globally today. Open to the public from April 17 through April 21, this year’s LOOT featured a curated selection of jewelry by thirty-five international emerging and established artists. 

LOOT 2018 welcomed 35 artists from fifteen countries, most of whom have never been shown in New York. In addition to artists from Argentina (2), Denmark (2), France (5), Germany (2), Greece (3), Israel (1), Italy (4), Japan (1), Romania (1), South Korea (1), Spain (1), Switzerland (1), United Kingdom (8), and the United States (2), LOOT will feature an artist from Thailand for the first time in the event’s history.
Karen Rotenberg, Bryna Pomp, and Michael Rotenberg
Niiamar Felder, Loreen Arbus, and Marsy Mittlemann
One of the evening highlights was Shannon R. Stratton’s, Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), announcement that artists Isabelle Molénat and Sarran Youkongdee have been awarded the third annual LOOT Acquisition Prize, on the occasion of the 18th edition of LOOT: MAD About Jewelry. The Prize seeks to recognize a LOOT jewelry artist whose work reflects a maturity in artistry and concept; exhibits both a superior and experimental understanding of materials and form; and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution. 

The LOOT 2018 Chair was Marsy Mittlemann, and fashion designer Dennis Basso joined the Opening Benefit Host Committee, which also included Iris Apfel, Davina Benshetrit, Andi Potamkin Blackmore, Noreen Buckfire, Marian C. Burke, Kathy Chazen, Caroline Blackman Coakley, Michele Cohen, Paolo Costagli, Jessica Kagan Cushman, Gino Di Geso, Patti Dweck, Joan Hornig, Ann Kaplan, Judith Leiber, Shari Siadat Loeffler, Ella McHugh, Robert Lee Morris, Rebecca Moses, Linda Plattus, Polina Proshkina, Angela Sun, Barbara Tober, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Kay Unger, and Barbara Waldman.
Mercedes Castro Corbat
Saran Youkongdee
Tania Clarke Hall
Isabelle Molenat
Asagi Maeda
Joanne Thompson
Jounghye Park
Grace Girvan Anna Dubessy
Monica Nesseler
Roberta and David Williamson
Tina Karageorgi
Marianne Olry
Shelby Fitzpatrick
Joyce Williams
Ellie Price, Tamara Chichian, Paolo Costagli, Erica Watkins, and Kelly Thomas
Joan Borinstein and Gary Gartsman
Gian Luca Bartellone and Waldemar Kerschbaumer
Karen Rotenberg, Marsy Mittlemann, and Heidi Rigney
Peter and Barbara Regna
Laurel Markus and Marilyn Kirschner
Bryna Pomp and Tina Karageorgi
Marilyn Kirschner with Michael and Karen Rotenberg
Toni Ross Syl Tang
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Suzan Kremer, and Paola Bacchini
Andra Lupu Louise Melin and Gaetan Essayie
Arlene Bascom and Shari Loeffler
Wendy Federman and Lucia Hwong Gordon
Marsy Mittlemann, Michele Cohen, and Joan Hornig
Patrick Coakley and Caroline Blackman-Coakley
Francine LeFrak and Michele Gerber Klein
Joanne Brecker and Linda Platis
Patricia Langer and Anne Harris
Laurel Marcus and Joyce Williams
Barbara and Peter Regna with Polina Proshkina
Jean Shafiroff, Joanna Fisher, and Barbara Tober
Robin Brown, Mary Foss-Skiftesvik, Mariana Foss-Skiftesvik, and Lynn Connelly
Donald Tober and Patricia Falkenberg
Jan Wysocki, Boo Grace, and Steven Wilson
Dennis Basso, Barbara Tober, and Dr. Joyce F. Brown
Michelle Ballan, Barbara Winston, and Maysoon Zayid
Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, Dennis Basso, and Barbara Tober
Bette Saltzman, Sylvia Lavietes, and Susan Ach
Debbie Wheeler, Doris Bern, Donna Ihnatowycz, Roz Alford, LuAnn Via, Diana Reid, and Cally Stavropolous
Photographs by  Patrick McMullan