Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A different mantle

The bloom in Central Park. 1:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016. A beautiful, warm Spring day in New York with lots of sunshine and the temperature in the low 70s. Lots of sunshine and lots of people on the street in midtown.

I had a lunch meeting at Michael’s. On my walk down Fifth, I pass the Trump Tower.  Yesterday there were three television news trucks parked by the sidewalk – leaving ample room for limousines and taxis to drop of and take on passengers.  And a small crowd of journalists and curious bystanders (with cameras) were waiting at the sidewalk’s edge, keeping everything clear for us pedestrians as well as to see The Donald when he emerges.
The entrance to Trump Tower has always been a big tourist gazer, hoping to get a shot of the man. They often stand in small crowds, on both sides of the avenue, cameras ready to get a picture of him. But now there is a distinctly more serious feeling in the air. The man they’re all waiting for may just be the next President of the United States. That’s a different mantle from that of a media celebrity, and it’s beginning to subtly change the atmosphere.

The calendar has been packed these days and nights, for it is the season for the galas and the fund-raising. The school vacations are over now until Memorial Day and New Yorkers are busy and out there. It’s impossible to cover everything or even a lot of things but we try to keep a record of generally what is going on. So today’s a catch-up with that in mind.
TUSK, the wildlife conservation organization held its annual wildlife gala at Guastavino’s Thursday April 7th. This year’s Gala launched their 2020 Strategy. There pledge is to double their commitment to the wildlife and people of Africa.  Tusk is a catalyst for change and a voice for conservation. 

Zain Verjee was host/emcee. They honored Katie Carpenter, Bryan Christy, John Heminway and JJ Kelley, the creators of the groundbreaking film “Explorer: Warlords of Ivory.”

The Legacy Award was present to Sir Richard Branson in recognition of his continued and unwavering dedication to conservation and the environment. Branson could not be there but delivered his message by video.  David Yarrow, TUSK’s affiliated photographer, was also honored for his work in protecting the elephant. Actor and television personality Bill MCuddy conducted an auction raising more money for the project.
Pav Volkert, Eliza Glaister, and Laura Glaister. Revell Carpenter and Katie Carpenter.
TUSK is a voice and a vote for conservation. When I first heard about it, it was formed to “save” the elephants. Elephants in Africa are being killed by poachers at the rate of 100 a day! They are killed only for one reason: their ivory. And that is because the Chinese mainly like objects made of ivory. So the elephant loses his life so someone can have a cute or clever looking object, bracelet, sculpture made from the ivory of the elephant’s tusk.

The price of ivory reached $1500-$2000 per kg in 2015 making a single tusk worth up to $200,000 in today's market. The global illegal wildlife trade is now estimated to be worth $18-$20 billion every year. There are the poachers and then there are the buyers. All killers. The living end of us all.
Bridgit Lombard and Charlie Mayhew. Felicia Taylor.
One of the most prominent elements in English speaking classrooms is an alphabet chart stating that “E” is for Elephant.”  At the rate of 100 elephants being killed for their ivory every day, it is a distinct possibility that these extraordinary animals will cease to exist within the next couple decades. Like the dinosaur or woolly mammoth, they will be beloved behemoths of the past. Similar fates will befall the African lion, rhino and other iconic species. Since 1970, the African rhino population has dropped from 70,000 to 4,800 today. There are even fewer lions left than rhinos. In fact global wildlife populations have declined by 52% since 1970.

TUSK has been working for 25 years to protect African wildlife for generations to come. Its approach is to invest in three core areas.  The first piece of the puzzle is funding boots on the ground and anti-poaching efforts.  TUSK supports training programs for rangers – which prepares the first life of defense in the fight against poaching and provides professional training for well paying highly respected jobs.  
JJ Kelly, Katie Carpenter, and John Heminway.
TUSK has learned that the solution for their survival lies in education, learning to survive by employment and protecting their environment including the wildlife.  Since 2013, more than 1000 rangers have lost their lives in the fight to save their country’s natural heritage. TUSK provides training and employment as well as the backup of tracker dogs, vehicles, aircraft and additional support.

The second component is education. TUSK’s education programs have reached over 350,000 children. By building schools, providing environmental education, and offering career paths, children learn the value of the wildlife and nature. They become part of the solution by joining the next generation of our planet’s caretakers.
Missy Hargraves and Anna Tagliabue. Sue and Bill McCuddy.
The third component is community development and income generating programs. Projects supported by TUSK directly employ more than 6000 and support the construction of clinics, water projects, roads, airstrips and schools. By introducing employment, increasing security and alleviating poverty, local communities realize the economic benefit of their natural resources and become stewards of conservation.

Patrons and Ambassadors of TUSK: Wendy and Henry Breck, Glenda and John Burkhart, Suzanne and Fred Fehsenfeld, Mindy and Thomas Fortin, Sonia and Paul Jones, Richard Leakey, Martha and Joe Linhares Ai MacGraw, Maurice Marciano, Liz and Craig Phillips, Alan Rogers, Steve Tisch, Ronnie Wood, David Yarrow. The Royal Patron is HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG KT.

To learn more, and to learn what you can do, visit: http://www.tusk.org
Rianne ten Haken and Phil Winsor. Maggie Norris and Andrew Le Pera.
Last Tuesday, Connie and Randy Jones hosted a booksigning at their Upper East Side aerie for their friend Marc Rosen and his new memoir “Rubbing Shoulders; My Life with Popes, Princes, Moguls, and Movie Stars.” With forward by Pamela Fiori.
Marc Rosen and Randy Jones.
Barbara Taylor Bradford with Stanley and Eva Mohr.
Jean Doumanian, Deborah Norville, and Susan Gutfreund.
Barbara Tober and Anna Bergman.
Tony Hoyt and Richard Turley.
Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl.
Anna Bergman, Carol Delouvrier, Marc Rosen, Jeanne Lawrence, and Felipe Sena.
Carol Delouvrier and Sharon Bush.
Christopher Mason and Richard Turley.
Robert Zimmerman and Simone Levitt.
John Marder and Sharon Hoge.
Last Tuesday, April 5th, Tom Gold Dance opened its fifth anniversary New York City season at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College with the World Premiere of Tom’s evening length Poetic Episodes, followed by a post-performance dinner and celebration for 130 guests at The Ribbon.
Fe Fendi, Tom Gold, Gillian Miniter, and Elyse Newhouse.
Dancers Sara Adams, Marika Anderson, Daniel Applebaum, Anthony Huxley, and Lydia Wellington of New York City Ballet as well as Lyrica Blankfein, Elinor Hitt, Shoshana Rosenfield and James Shee who performed the new work, were joined by Opening Night co-chairs Fe Fendi, Gilian Miniter, and Elyse Newhouse.

Other performance and dinner celebration guests included Mary Sharp Cronson wearing Isaac Mizrahi, Amy Fine Collins in Thom Browne, Paola Fendi, and Erin Fogarty Bittner and Dan Bittner. Anne H. Bass, Patsy Tarr, Jill and Harry Kargman, and others supported the event as Opening Night Host Committee members.
Tom Gold, Amy Fine Collins, and Elinor Hitt.
Founder and Director Tom Gold wore a specially designed suit by Thom Browne. Guests enjoyed Buffalo style cauliflower, Scottish salmon, and the Ribbon’s signature fried chicken.

The Opening Night event raised more than $90,000 for Tom Gold Dance programs in 2016.  To learn more visit tomgolddance.org.
Tom Gold with dancers (l. to r.) Daniel Applebaum, Lydia Wellington, Anthony Huxley, Marika Anderson, Sara Adams, Elinor Hitt, Shoshana Rosenfield, and James Shee.
International Fashion designer Romona Keveža hosted a Champagne Reception in honor of the 34th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards in her iconic New York Penthouse Flagship at One Rockefeller Plaza. Keveža presented her Spring 2016 collection which included red carpet classics favored by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Arianna Grande and Kate Beckinsale.
Robert Lujan, Romona Keveza, and Sean Young.
The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in dance on Broadway and in film at their annual gala, which will take place this year on Monday May 16th, 2016.

Among those attending the event were: Romona Keveža, Patricia Watt, Jean Shafiroff, Pamela Morgan, Suzan Kremer, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Sean Young, Judith Regan, Sara Johnson, Wilhelmina Frankfurt, Ruth Brenner, Scarlett Pildes, Anne Akers and Sharon Marantz.
Pamela Morgan, Sara Johnson, Suzan Kremer, and Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin.
The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards were established in 1982 to recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway and in film. The annual awards were established with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to also honor his sister Adele, who starred with her brother in ten Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931. The Fred & Adele Awards remain the gold standard for excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and film.  Since 1982, additional awards have been added, including the award for best choreography in film, the lifetime achievement award, and a unique award determined annually for exceptional contribution to the field. 

For more information on the Astaire Awards, visit www.theastaireawards.org/
Scarlett Pildes, Anne Akers, and Sharon Marantz.
Wilhelmina Frankfurt and Ruth Brenner.
Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas, Maya Henry, daughter of Azteca and Thomas J. Henry, celebrated her journey to adulthood with a star-studded Quinceañera in San Antonio, Texas. Maya’s father, power lawyer and founder of leading personal injury law firm Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, did everything to ensure the night would be a huge success for his daughter’s party. He hired New York social event planner David Monn and his team of 150 to orchestrate the lavish event.
David Monn-designed springtime-inspired décor, which included 30-foot tall cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
Monn rose to the challenge and produced a superb springtime-inspired décor, including 30-foot tall cherry blossom trees in full bloom to match the thousands of pink roses gathered in beautiful arrangements across the venue. Entertainers included world-renowned recording artists Pitbull and Nick Jonas.
Thomas Henry, Azteca Henry, Maya Henry, and Thomas J. Henry.
Ian Mahinmi (hat) and Nick Jonas with friends.
Maya dancing with her grandmother Theresa Crawford. Maya with Nick Jonas.

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Tusk; Marc Rosen)

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