Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The philanthropic gala stage

Walking north through the allées and bosques of trees leading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1:45 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016. A beautiful day in New York with temperatures in the mid-70s, with dark clouds moving in in early evening.

There is so much going on in the city right now, particularly in the philanthropic gala stage. The Robin Hood Foundation, which holds an annual dinner (although I’ve never heard of it referred to as a “gala”), at which some of the heaviest hitters in town attend, raised $61 million for their portfolio of philanthropic interests on a Monday night a couple of weeks ago. In One Night at One Dinner.
Alfred Sisley's 1878 painting, Allée of Chestnut Trees, part of the Met's permanent collection.
On another note, historical/cultural, you may have seen the American Friends of Versailles’ New York schedule which we published here last week. It was a fantastic five days of luncheons, lectures, tours of private houses and collections, cocktail receptions, dinners, and finally a Grand Ball which took place at the Metropolitan Club.
David Rockefeller surrounded by Baron Roland de l'Espee, Patsy Callahan, Le Vicomte Olivier de Rohan, Juan Pablo Molyneux, and Chateau de Versailles President Catherine Pégard at Saturday's lunch at the Playhouse at Kykuit hosted by Steve and Kimberley Rockefeller.
Among the fetes was a cocktail dinatoire hosted by Elizabeth Segerstrom at her Fifth Avenue apartment. We were unable to attend but Sharon Hoge got there, had a camera and raved  about it – the food, but mainly the entire production. This is her account, camera and in words:

American Friends of Versailles from around the globe assembled in New York this week for five days of events in support of their project to restore the ceiling of Marie Antoinette's Queen's Guards Room in her suite of rooms in the Chateau.
French Consul General Bertrand Lortholary, American Friends of Versailles Presidente Baron Roland del'Espee, American Friends of Versailles founders Catharine Hamilton and Le Vicomte Olivier de Rohan, and Catherine Pegard at the reception for the American Friends of Versailles.
French Ambassador Gerard Araud addresses the American Friends of Versailles with Catharine Hamilton.
After a reception at the French Consulate where they were greeted by the French Ambassador and Consul and by the President of the Chateau, they adjourned for a cocktail dinatoire at the home of Elizabeth Segerstrom where they were treated to caviar, lobster, and creme brulee served among cascades of white orchids and tulips.  A model of Versailles molded of chocolate was a dessert centerpiece.
A liveried footman with champagne greeted guests at dinner following the reception at the French Consulate. Guests entered a hallway filed with candle lit lanterns and blossoms.
Lanterns lit up the entry hall.
White asparagus, lobster tails, and foie gras creme brulee were served at the buffet.
Orchids and tulips cascaded over the buffet table. All the rooms were decorated with cascades of orchids and tulips.
Dinner hostess Elizabeth Segerstrom and American Friends of Versailles co-founder le Vicomte Olivier de Rohan. Princesse Beatrice Bourbon des Deux Siciles and Michele Fouan.
Hostess Elizabeth Segerstrom, Marjorie Vickers, and Bonnie Deutsch.
A string trio performed for guests.
Mini swan cream puffs in the dessert buffet.
The Chateau de Versailles was modeled in chocolate.
Guests were given lily of the valley bouquets to take home.
Then there was Thursday, a week ago, when The New York Public Library's Spring Dinner was held at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Cocktails began at 7 in Astor Hall, followed by the program and dinner held in the Celeste Bartos Forum. The Library recognized Carnegie Corporation of New York as the 2016 Spring Dinner honoree. This year's Dinner will focus on the Library Stories theme and several Library Stories participants were at the Dinner to share how the Library has helped them find a job, learn English, make a life, and accomplish their dreams. 
The evening's program.
Event Co-chairs for the evening were: Lisa and Jeff Blau, Abby and Howard Milstein, Kisa and Richard Plepler, Loren Eng and Dinakar Singh, Alexandra Wentworth and George Stephanopoulous, Merryl and James Tisch, Nanar and Anthony Yoseloff.  Vice Chairs were Barbara and Evan Chesler, and Vicky Ward and Richard Cohen.
Annik and Michael Wolf. Astor Award Winner Louis Azar and Lisa Blau.
NYPL President Tony Marx, Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, Vartan Gregorian, and Queens Library President Dennis Walcott.
Zibby Schwarzman. Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris and Maria Laurino.
Candice Bergen and Vartan Gregorian.
Howard and Abby Milstein with Vartan Gregorian. Beth Kojima and Lisa Blau.
Also a week ago, with more than 450 guests attending, NYU Langone Medical Center’s 2016 Violet Ball raised $7 million to attract and retain brilliant young minds through scholarships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Paolo Fresco, former chairman of Fiat and former executive vice chairman at General Electric, was honored at the event for his visionary leadership in establishing NYU Langone’s Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders.

Among the guests were Nancy and Larry Bossidy, Marjorie and Walter Buckley, Barbara and David Calhoun, Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD, Isabel and Francesco Genuardi, Trudy Elbaum Gottesman and Robert Gottesman, Sheree and Marc Holliday, Julia Koch, Ofer Nemirovsky, Laurie Perlmutter, Klara and Larry Silverstein, Leonard Tow, Gwen Towns and Representative Ed Towns, Patty Newburger and Bradley Wechsler, Suzy and Jack Welch, and Beatrice and Anthony Welters.

A view of the Sackler Wing during NYU Langone Medical Center's 2016 Violet Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Proceeds raised at the gala will be used to attract and retain brilliant young minds through scholarships, advance the medical center’s bold vision, and strengthen the medical center’s role as a resource for the diverse communities of New York and beyond.

Addressing an audience of over 450 guests, Robert L. Grossman, MD,  the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center said, “Paolo Fresco is a man who has gone above and beyond to ensure that our past will be prologue to the extraordinary.”

Mr. Fresco is committed to promoting excellence in patient care, education, and scientific discovery for Parkinson’s and movement disorders here in the United States—at the Fresco Institute headquarters in New York City—and in his native Italy. Through a first-of-its kind collaboration with the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone and the clinical and scientific community in Italy, the Fresco Institute is promoting international scientific collaboration to improve treatments and find cures.

The Fresco Institute has made significant progress towards its goal of becoming the world’s top Parkinson’s and movement disorders institution.

Underwriting support for this year’s Violet Ball was provided by Nancy and Arthur Calcagnini, Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn and Gary Cohn, Lori and Laurence D. Fink, and Elaine and Ken Langone, chair of NYU Langone’s Board of Trustees, and the Tisch family. Mr. Langone also served as Gala Chair, and Dr. Grossman was the Gala Physician Committee Chair. 
Ken Langone, Elaine Langone, Robert I. Grossman, Elisabeth Cohen, and Paolo Fresco.
Klara Silverstein and Larry Silverstein. Gary Cohn and Lori Fink.
Happy birthday, Dezia!
Today is our friend Dezia’s birthday, May 24th. Dezia is a Gemini, as you may know if you follow these things. Dezia is a numerologist, as well as a tarot card reader and also psychic.

Couldn’t she have been just one, you might ask? Well, she’s a Gemini, what do you expect. I’ve known Dezia for more than 35 years. She’s given me a couple of readings during that time. The first one was when I met her, and I was about to change my life and move to California to pursue a new career. Her reading was a going-away gift of friends of mine.

On meeting, she knew what I was about to do when we met and so she told me several things about my future there. I didn’t remember much of it but a couple of the things she told me were uncanny, incredible and came to pass.

I talked to Dezia yesterday about her birthday and she told me that anyone out there who shares her birthday, she’d like to give them a gift of answering one question they might like to ask her. You can reach Dezia via email here.

Photographs by Aria Isadora/BFA (NYPL); Monica Schipper/Getty Images (NYU)

Contact DPC here.