Thursday, May 25, 2017

An Evening of Readings

The scene during last night's Literacy Partners Evening of Readings and Gala Dinner Dance at Cipriani 42nd Street. Photo: JH.
Thursday, May 25, 2017. Mild, sunny day in New York yesterday, with temperatures in the high 60s.

Michael's List, 5/24
• Mickey Ateyeh
• Nina Griscom
• Marshall Cohen
• Andrea Eastman with Marla Maples
• Pete Hunsinger
• Jack Kliger
• Barry Frey
• Paul Lerner with Jennifer Gould Keil
• Christopher Long
• Alice Mayhew
• Michael Peterson
• Maureen Reidy with Mark Gilbertson
• Kevin Rippey
• Sarah Simms Rosenthal
I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Nina Griscom. The place was very busy with some interesting guests.

Michael's List, cont.
• Jane Hartley
• Lucianne Goldberg
• Jack Myers
• Roxann Paulson
• Ellen Brockman
• Bill Siegel
• Roger Friedman with Monica Crowley
• Glenn Horowitz with Diego Cortez
• Star Jones
• Michael Huffington
• Louise Beylerian
• Melissa Breitbart
• Marvin Schein
Always politics everywhere; Sarah Rosenthal was lunching with Obama’s Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley; Roger Friedman was with Monica Crowley; Michael Huffington whose ex-wife — and father of her children — started a major internet news site of the same name; former agent (now retired and living in Montana) Andrea Eastman was lunching with Marla Maples whose ex-husband is now President of the United States; Lucianne Goldberg, the literary agent who broke the news about another President and a young lady named Monica Lewinsky.

Last night at Cipriani 42nd Street, Literacy Partners held their annual “Evening of Readings” at a fund-raising gala. Hosted by Maurice Dubois, they honored Joanna Lipman, Chief Content Officer of Gannett (Editor-in-Chief of USA Today), introduced by her friend Katie Couric; Fareed Zakaria of CNN, who was introduced by Peter Brown. Liz Smith introduced her friend HBO Documentary Film’s Sheila Nevins who was presented with the Fifth Annual “Lizzie” Award (named for Liz who with Parker Ladd and the late fashion designer Arnold Scaasi and more than a little help from their friends founded this wonderful organization).
Sheila Nevins, recipient of he Lizzie Award.
Champion of Literacy recipient, John H. Josephson.
Lee V. Eastman introduced Jill Kargman.
Jill Kargman.
Ms. Nevins read from her memoir “You Don’t Look Your Age…And Other Fairy Tales,” a chapter on her decision and experience having a face-lift. Hilarious. (And she doesn’t look her age, but then she’s very young – at least to some of us). There was also a Presentation of the champion of Literacy Award to John Josephson, Chairman and CEO of SESAC. Jill Kargman read from her latest book, “Sprinkle Glitter On My Grave.” Also hilarious.

The 2017 Literacy Partners Student Speaker was Marchette Hellams who moved the audience with her story about why she came to Literacy Partners and how it changed her life, after which she sang a song about her experience which brought the entire room to a standing ovation.
Maurice DuBois served as the evening's MC.
Katie Couric, who introduced honoree Joanne Lipman.
Joanne Lipman, Chief Content Officer, Gannett, and Editor in Chief of USA Today & USA Today Network.
Executive Director Anthony Tassi introduced Literacy Partners Student Speaker Marchette Hellams.
Marchette Hellams.
Marchette received a standing ovation after her speech and rousing signing performance.
Katharine Raymond Hinton, President of Literacy Partners spoke about how “A child’s most important teacher is his or her parent,” and how reading to your children before they can read sets them on a lifetime road of reading.

I can attest to that. As a child, before I learned to read, my mother read to me every night before I went to sleep. What I recall most about those readings was how after a chapter of a story, she’d tell me she had to stop because her voice was getting hoarse. It seemed to me at the time that her voice sounded just fine. Years later, however, I realized that after a long day which included a full time job, she was tired. Nevertheless, it left me with wanting more which I continue to satisfy on my own. All children deserve this gift.
Peter Brown, who introduced Fareed Zakaria.
Honoree Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Literacy Partners Board Co-Chair Mike Steib bids us good night.
Hinton also pointed out that Literacy Partner’s classes (for adults learning to read for the first time) not only helps people improve their literacy and language skills but also how to use their skills to boost their children’s early learning and school readiness.

Since its founding, Literacy Partners has raised more than $20 million to fund assisting adult learning to read for the first time. What so many of us take for granted – reading – is a treasure that we all can possess for free once someone has taken the time to teach us.
Liz with Sheila Nevins. On the right: Joni Evans and Billy Norwich.
DPC with Elizabeth Peabody, Jackie Weld, and Liz.
Stephanie and Bill Joseph.
Denis Ferarra and Joni Evans.
Books for dessert.
The pink peonies as the table centerpieces. Not one bouquet was left by the end of the night.
The goody bags contained books by Fareed Zakaria and JIll Kargman.

Contact DPC here.