The magic of Motown came alive for one dazzling night in November as the theme of one of the Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, which took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria now in its 23rd year is still one the town’s most glamorous charity galas.
Furthermore, the event raised over $3.1 million for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Phyllis George was this year’s honoree in recognition of her years of dedication to Alzheimer’s disease awareness and research. PrincessYasmin Aga Khan, Rita Hayworth’s daughter by Prince Aly Khan,was General Chair. Deborah Grubman was the Gala Chair, and Donna Dixon Aykroyd was Vice Chair, Underwriting Chairwas Allen Brill; Muffie Potter Aston, the Sponsor Chair, Claudia Cohen and Susan Hess, Auction Co-Chairs,Nurit Kahane Haase was the Journal Chair, Anne R. Hearst and Andrea Stark, the Gift Bag Co-Chairs; Mark Locks and Dennis Basso were the Corporate Committee Co-Chairs, and Hilary Dick was the Associates Committee Chair. Rolex Watch USA, Inc. was the gala’s Underwriter.
The cocktail reception for this black tie gala began at 6:30 p.m., followed by the awards presentation, dinner and dancing at 7:30 p.m. Michael McDonald gave a special performance.
Over the past 22 years, the Rita Hayworth Galas have raised more than $44 million for Alzheimer’s Association research, services and programs. Princess Yasmin Aga Khan established the Gala in memory of her mother, Rita Hayworth, who suffered from the disease for many years before her death.
The Alzheimer’s Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s. For more than 25 years, the donor-supported, not-for-profit Alzheimer’s Association has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes.
John Hess and Dan Aykroyd
Harry Johns, President of the Alzheimer's Association, Deborah Grubman, Phyllis George, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, and Allen Brill
Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney
Amy Fine Collins and Ivana Trump
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
Kathie Lee Gifford
Deborah Grubman, Phyllis George, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
Andrea, John, and Margo Catsimatidis
Michael McDonald and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
Denise Wohl, Andrea Stark, Lucia Hwong Gordon, and Della Rounick
Anne Hearst, Muffie Potter Aston, and Candace Bushnell
Hilary and Bryant Gumbel
Dr. John Connolly and Ingrid Connolly
The 9th Annual Savannah Film Festival ended two weeks ago and was possibly the strongest, most attended and most praised of them all.
Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the largest art and design school in the world--NEWSWEEK Magazine recently called it the "hottest art and design school in the country." There are 1500 film and digital animation students there alone, but the festival is comprised at least fifty percent of adult and very erudite and sophisticated Savannahians. Savannah is, after all, where the Cotton Gin was invented and where Johnny Mercer, Flannery O'Connor, and Conrad Allen were born.
It's probably the most beautiful city in the country, the most interesting historically, and the most stunning architecturally. And the food is to die for. This opinion, incidentally, is that of a native Savannahian, transplanted New Yorker, Mr. Bobby Zarem. So he should know.
Rex Reed made the pilgrimage to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for Entertainment Journalism--ostensibly. He really went to eat at Mrs. Wilke's Boarding House where he's wanted to go for too many years to acknowledge. And, boy did he dish the Hollywood stars of at a Q&A following a screening of Pedro Almadovar's "Volver."
Academy Award winner (for "The Fugitive") Tommy Lee Jones received a Lifetime Achievement Award following a screening of "The Three Burials of Malquiades Estrada," which he directed and starred in. He did a Q&A with the film's screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, who also totally coincidentally wrote the screenplay to the opening night film "Babel" the night before.
Fabian Basabe, Kathy Sloane, and Martina Borgomanero
David Zucker with SCAD students
The film company wouldn't allow French press who were there to interview Arriaga because he had trashed the film's director Alexandre Innuratu and was barred from attending the Caanes Film Festival where "Babel" had world-premiered.
Liev Schreiber's directorial debut "Everything is Illuminated" was screened and the students were wild--especially the girls who threw themselves at him.
Liev dinned at Lady and Sons--the most famous restaurant anywhere (the proprietor Paula Dean has her own weekly Food Channel show) and was joined by Hildy and Walter Hill, the director who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award the next night. Walter's mini-series "Broken Trail" had the highest raitings this summer of any mini-series in the years it was on AMC and starred Bobby Duvall, (Robert to his fans).
David Zucker, who made the hit, hit, hit movie "Airplane" and the "Scary Movie" movies talked to film students at an overpacked lecture, and Bruce Dern received a Lifetime Achievement Award following a screening of the film "Smile." Dern, Rex Reed, and D.B. Sweeney were huddled at the Moon River Cafe and the next night Dern and Sweeney held court at Bar Bar.
The other great films shown at the festival were "The Queen", "Little Children", "The Last King of Scottland", "Lives of Others"--the extraordinary German movie which will open in January.
Martina Borgomanero and Fabian Basabe
Peter Horvath and Maeleen Hing
Guests came from all over the world--SCAD has campuses in La Cost, France--but especially from Los Angeles and New York.
There is an International Student Film Competition--unique to the Savannah Film Festival--with the winner receiving an award and cash prize from HBO who had never gotten included in a film festival until Savannah. The winner three years ago--"Left Behind"--went on to win the Academy Award for Best Student Film eight months later.
Paula S. Wallace--co-founder and president of SCAD--introduced and presented the Awards each evening.
Others who attended included top casting directors Avy Kaufman, Nancy Klopper, and Deborah Aquila; producer David Ladd (son of movie star Alan Ladd) and his wife Dey, whose daughter Shane attends SCAD; Jon Furay, who's co-producing with Michael Douglas the film "Tragic Indifference" about the Ford Explorer which had to be recalled; Martina and Fabian Basabe; New York realtor Kathy Sloane; Diane Passage, who's producing the film version of Larry's McMurtry's "Desert Rose; the New York Film Festival's Joanna Ney; Carla Hacken, the executive vice president of production at 20th Century Fox; Diana Scarwid, Oscar nominated for "Inside Moves" and Emmy nominated for HBO's "Truman"; film editor John David Allen; financier and film producer Gil Donaldson, who lives in Paris; actress Dreya Weber (star of "The Gymnast" which screened there) the Actor's Studio's Elizabeth Kemp; TV's "Trading Spaces" decorator Hildy Santo-Tomas; actress Patti D'Arbanville; Producer (Mission Impossible III) and native Savannahian Stratton Leopold; NY Publicist Myra Scheer; Media Artist Peter Horvath and his girlfriend, stylist Maeleen Hing; and on and on.
Guillermo Arriaga, Walter Hill, and Tommy Lee Jones
Bruce Dern and Rex Reed
Rex Reed, Bruce Dern, and D.B. Sweeney
Stratton Leopold and festival guest
Walter and Hildy Hill
April Kramer, Paul Hipp, and Myra Scheer
Tommy Lee Jones and Paula Wallace
Paula Wallace and Guillermo Arriaga
Dreya Weber, Nancy Klopper, and Patti D'Arbanville
Tommy Lee Jones and wife Dawn
Hildi Santo Tomas, Liev Schreiber, and Ondine Angarola
Carla Hacken, Stratton Leopold, Susan Cartsonis, and Neil Kaplan
Art Resources in Teaching ( A.R.T.) held its annual benefit on a Wednesday at the beginning of this month at the Art Institute of Chicago. Best-selling author Frank McCourt was the featured speaker. Since 1894, A.R.T. has been providing art residency programs to Chicago’s public school children.
Born in New York City, but raised in Ireland, Mr. McCourt returned to the United States and graduated from New York University’s School of Education. He started out as a teacher in a vocational high school, later at New York’s Stuyvesant High School.
His memoir of his childhood in Ireland, Angela’s Ashes, became an international bestseller and won many awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the national book critics’ Circle Award and the ABBY Award.
A.R.T’s benefit was called, Exploring Connections, with the purpose of stimulating a discourse on the importance of the arts in the lives of young people. Frank McCourt is a true example of bringing art via literature and writing to students during his tenure in New York City’s public schools.
It was a capacity crowd of more than 800 peope in the Institute’s Rubloff Auditorium. The questions were many and were moderated by Edward Lifson of Chicago Public Radio.
Mr. McCourt had a busy day in Chicago. After landing at noon on, he was whisked off to Chicago’s Smyser Public School, the site of many of A.R.T.’s enrichment programs where he met with students and faculty. Prior to his 6 pm lecture, he attended a champagne reception for major sponsors; and following the lecture,there was a buffet supper for supporters was held in the Art Institute’s Trading Room.
Mr. McCourt graciously spoke with more than 200 supper guests the drinks and the sumptuous buffet of pork loin chipotle, turkey breast, along with a risotto station, crudites and assorted tartlets.
Reginald Reed and Frank McCourt
Shirley Ryan, James Cuno, and Marlene Phillips
A.R.T. is the oldest arts educational organization in Illinois and possibly in the United States. In its 112 year history, A.R.T’s role has escalated from placing prints in schools to giving art scholarships, as well as sending artists to instruct school children. The budget has grown from $96.00 to $1,500,000.
The organization is proud that such noted artists as Richard Hunt, Dennis Kowalski, the late Ed Paschke and clothing designer Jermicko Johnson were schooled by A.R.T.
Chairing the reception/lecture/supper were Kathleen Baran of Chicago’s near north side and Elizabeth Crowe of Winnetka. The president of A.R.T. is Reginald Reed of Hinsdale.
Guests attending included James Cuno, president of the Art Institute, Larry Feinberg Art Institute Curator, Department of European Painting, Justine and Jan Jentes, Lawrence Wechsler and Peter Kuntz of the Chicago Humanities Festival, Diane and Robert Newbury, Alice and Raymond Skilling, Marjorie and William Staples and Tammy and Eric Steele of Chicago. From the north shore were Elizabeth and Robert Crowe and Shirley Ryan of Winnetka and Barbara Rinella of Kenilworth. From the western suburbs were Carolyn and Henry Lang of River Forest, Lauren and Blair Haarlow of Oak Brook, Emmy and Robert King and Sally and William Barnard of Hinsdale.
Raymond Skilling, Alice Skilling, Frank McCourt, and Marlene Phillips
Sue Swan, Sally Barnard, and Raynelle Heidrick
Starr Siegele and Lawrence Feinberg
Frank McCourt with Teacher Man
Justine Jentes, Jan Jentes, and Lynn Boucher
Reginald Reed, Starr Siegele, and Lawrence Feinberg