Thursday, May 26, 2016

Boys and Girls

Walking in pairs along Fifth Avenue. 4:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, May 26, 2016. Very warm for May, but a lovely, sunshine-y 90 degrees yesterday in New York. Some of my weather-forecasting friends have been predicting that Summer would be early this year. Like last year, June 1st.

I went down to Michael’s to lunch with an old friend. The original 2000 year old man, Mel Brooks, was in the room – or so I was told, not having seen him in the media melee that makes up the front room on Wednesdays. (The bankers and hedge funders prefer the serenity of the garden.) The man is still batting a thousand.
Among the tables: Mickey Ateyeh with Sharon Casdin; Cliff Sobel, US Ambassador to Brazil; Danny Lufkin; Elizabeth Goodman; Gerry Byrne;  Mickey Ateyeh and Mrs. Casden; Suzanne Dawson; Jonathan Estreich; Jay Fielden, new E-I-C of Esquire; Dr. Gerry Imber with Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer; Lucianne Goldberg; Jay Kriegel of the Related Companies;  PR guru Jacqui Lividini; literary agent Esther Newberg; Marc Rosen; Charles Schueler; Andrew Stein; Michael Tannenbaum; Bob Towbin; Karen LeFrak and Kimberly Rockefeller;  Scott Marden; Tom Rogers; Pauline Brown; Harris Kattleman, former president of FOX-TV; Neil Lasher of EMI Publishing; Wednesday Martin with Jennifer Baumgartner and Liz Welch; Emilia Saint-Amand; Elizabeth Belfer; Daniel Glass of Artemis Records; Pierre Levai of Marlborough Gallery; Diane Clehane with PR guru Lisa Linden and Melinda Henneberger of Roll Call. David Sanford and Lewis Stein.

Society in New York today is entirely about charity/ philanthropy
. Last Wednesday night, at the Mandarin Oriental, the Boys’ Club of New York held its Annual Awards Dinner and honored William B. Tyree, who was just named BCNY’s board president after serving as a trustee for 26 years, and Jacqueline Williams, former Women’s Board president and current member of the BCNY Women’s Board and Board of Trustees.
Jackie and Gene Williams.
Like all of these dinners, it is the biggest and most crucial fundraiser of the year, and they did well, raising nearly $1.6 million which will support BCNY’s high-quality programs. 

We’ve all heard about the Boys’ Club. It’s a common name in communities across the country. Theirs is a noble objective and like organizations that focus on assisting children and young people into positions of self-reliance, independence and initiative, they are making a great contribution not only to the boys (and girls in many organizations), but to the communities.

I was invited to this one by Jackie Williams. Jackie I know each other through her late mother Lady Sarah Churchill who was a very good friend. Sarah grew up in Blenheim Palace in a very different life in terms compared to that of the children her daughter nurtures. Sarah’s father was the 10th Duke of Marlborough and her grandmother was the icon of the Gilded Age in New York, Consuelo Vanderbilt. Sarah herself  cut her own swath and was one of the original jet-setters with  houses in New York, Beverly Hills, Montego, and on the Peloponnese, and “life was a (kind of) banquet.” She was a woman with a big, international personality, comfortable with anyone no matter their rank, and very kind to the underprivileged although not philanthropic.
Kitty Sherrill, Stephen Sherrill, and Jackie Williams. Jamee and Peter Gregory.
Jackie was the youngest of four daughters growing up mainly in New York, in a life that might be considered comparable to “Auntie Mame.” After school and college, she got a job with Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. Then she married a guy named Gene Williams, and they started a family – three boys.

I don’t know what it was like for her bringing up three boys after growing up in an all girl family and a father and two (sort of) stepfathers. I never knew except that Jackie and Gene had a very stable marriage and they happily spent a lot of time with their family.

Seeing Jackie accept her award a week ago Wednesday night, I saw a woman who operates on gratitude. It’s actually thrilling for her to participate in an organization and on projects that can guide inspire boys and young men who have come to the table under all the distresses, psychological, social and financial, that confront so many today. As proud as Jackie might be of her work with the Boy’s Club over the last two decades, you can see she’s mainly grateful for the opportunity, and thrilled with the results.
Stephen Tosh, Jackie Williams, and Bill Tyree.
Listening to her acceptance I could only think how she’s the mother she never had in terms of maternal attention; and yet, not deprived: she’s very much like her mother, generous of heart. Thousands of boys and young men benefit and have benefited from Jackie’s maternal instinct and her mother’s humanity.

Following Jackie’s award came Bill Tyree, the BCNY’s new board president, after serving on the board for 26 years. Mr. Tyree was a young trainee with Brown Brothers Harriman, a big benefactor of BCNY, when he was told it was good for him and his business to do some volunteer work, and one of the opportunities was the BCNY.

That was in 1985, and he’s been a devoted member of the club’s staff volunteers. In the meantime, he married and became a father himself. Banking remains his vocation but the BCNY is his avocation and no doubt, like Jackie Williams, a deeply rewarding experience.
Kitty Gerry, Ebby Gerry, Amy Gerry, Susan Yonce, Cliff Yonce, and Bill Tyree.
About the Boys Club. The membership is $5 a year, and all are welcome. There are now thousands attending different programs and facilities every month. The Boys’ Club of New York is committed to nurturing, mentoring, and guiding boys and young men to prepare them to reach their fullest potential. 

It accomplishes this through an approach that includes music and arts programs, social and recreational activities, academic support and athletics. By introducing boys to new ideas, expanding their interests, developing their hobbies, providing a safe and nurturing environment and offering ongoing counseling and mentorship, helping to shape boys and young men into the best adults they can be. For more information, visit
Betsy and Rob Pitts. Alexia Hamm Ryan and Mary Snow.
Claudia Overstrom, Kathryn Tyree, Laurie Meskin, and Judy Tyree.
Stephen Tosh and Tom Dixon. Sara Ayres, Amy Griffin, and Kitty Sherrill.
Diane van Amerongen, Cynthia van Eck, and Elaine Langone.
Maggie Maffione and Chantal Haldorsen. Calvert Moore and Lyon Polk.
Kana Nakajima, Lyon Polk, Joan Gillings, and Edmund Agresta.
Robert and Liz Gardiner. Audrey Puente and Karyn Ravin.
Andree Carroon, Leslie Stevens, Nathalie Kaplan, and Jennifer Tsou.
Friederike Biggs and Nancy Phelan. Shabnam Henry and Eleanor Dejoux.
Gilberto Moretti Hamilton, David Brathwaite, and Aaron Reid.
Averell Mortimer, Ebby Gerry, and Peter Friedman. Alexandra Toskovich and Carter Sullivan.
Rebecca de Kertanguy, Evie McNiff, and Averil Meyer. Sallie Giordano and Debbie Loeffler.
Howard Clark, Michele Linen, and Bill Tyree.
David Rappa and Dan McCann. Cosby George and Kerry Gaine.
Laurie Meskin, Cosby George, and Brooks Armour.
Charles Russell and Josephine Callahan. Mike Drake and Tim Faselt.
Sarhay Alvarez.
Brophy Tyree, Kathryn Tyree, and Hutch Tyree. Gigi Mortimer and Kitty Friedman.
Lisle and Scott Whitworth. Loic de Kertanguy and John Loeffler.
I don’t know where Ruth Shuman got the idea, but more than 20 years ago, she hatched this idea that it would be helpful to boys and girls and teen-agers in (public) schools,  to participate in projects livening up the old and often neglected physical environment of their schools. Namely by painting the rooms – hallways – in bright and cheerful colors of their choosing. And Publicolor was born.

Publicolor is a long-term development program that engages high-risk students in their education throughout the year with a continuum of design-based programs that mentor them for success in college, career, and life. 
Ruth Lande Shuman with students and alumni.
The Publicolor work projects have been helpful to thousands of student volunteers who learned first hand about helping themselves by improving their physical environments. This simple objective ends up fortifying many young people with a self-reliant and independent attitude. 

Publicolor celebrated its 20th Anniversary at their annual Stir, Splatter + Roll 2016 Gala that Monday at the Metropolitan Pavilion. They honored Michael Bloomberg and John Rosenwald for their longtime support.

The evening included 20 stations where guests enjoyed colorful cocktails while painting totes alongside some of our city's leading architects, artists, and designers including Kenneth Cole, Nicole Miller, Cynthia Rowley, Michelle Smith, and Madeline Weinrib. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Jeffrey Banks.
Ruth Shuman, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rikki Klieman, Diana Taylor, and Michael Bloomberg.
Michael Bloomberg.
John Rosenwald.
Guests included Georgina Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Bratton, Sascha Bauer, Paula Cooper, Chancellor Rudy Crew, Patti Harris, John Ehrenkranz, David Karp, Betsy Perry, Diana Taylor, and Shelby White.  

Mr. Bloomberg has been a supporter of Publicolor since its earliest days, making annual donations but also painting with Publicolor students, receiving Publicolor donors in his home for a cocktail party, and declaring October 8th, 2009 “Publicolor Day” in an official proclamation. A gift from his foundation is supporting a five-year strategic growth plan. A champion of employee volunteerism, for 20 years the former mayor’s staff have volunteered with Publicolor every year since 1996.

John Rosenwald is also a longtime supporter of Publicolor making strategic contributions throughout its 20-year history. The New York Times called him Philanthropist of the Year in 2016 for his commitment to many of the city’s leading charities.
More than 500 dynamic New Yorkers and luminaries from the worlds of business, fashion, politics, design, education, and philanthropy took part in the evening, which exceeded its $1.5 million goal by over $200,000.

The Publicolor guests weren't the only ones who had a memorable evening, a former staff member Clyde Smith upstaged Michael Bloomberg, his current boss and the evening's honoree, by dropping to one knee on stage and proposing to Publicolor staff member Kayla Porter —  SHE SAID YES! The engaged couple met at Publicolor in 1999 as students and have both worked for the nonprofit. 
Marilyn Kirschner and Jeffrey Banks.
Charlotte Neuville, Betsy Perry, and MIchelle Ateyeh.
Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Rudy Crew.
Jamie Drake and Patti Harris.
Nicole Miller and team.
Hazel and Bob Siegel.
Michael Bloomberg and Georgina Bloomberg.
Michael Bloomberrg with the newly engaged couple Clyde Smith and Kayla Porter.
The happy couple!

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Boys' Club); Annie Watt (Publicolor)

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