All in the Family

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2023 Nutcracker Family Benefit Leadership: Rebecca Hessel Cohen (Chair), Jonathan Stafford (NYCB Artistic Director), Wendy Whelan (NYCB Associate Artistic Director), Catherine Fraise (Chair), Megan Brodsky (Chair), Shannon Caspersen (Chair), Lauren Muzinich Dickinson (Chair), Marcella Guarino Hymowitz (Chair), Carrie Hinrichs (SAB Executive Director), and Katherine Brown (NYCB Executive Director).

On Saturday, December 9, 2023 New York City Ballet and The School of American Ballet joined forces, once again, for The Nutcracker Family Benefit — one of New York’s favorite holiday events for families. Megan Brodsky, Shannon Caspersen, Rebecca Hessel Cohen, Lauren Muzinich Dickinson, Catherine Fraise, and Marcella Guarino Hymowitz served as Event Chairs.

The Promenade at the Nutcracker Family Benefit.
Gingerbread Houses by Margaret Palca Bakes at the Nutcracker Family Benefit.

With more than 650 guests in attendance, the benefit began with a performance of the timeless classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, followed by a holiday party on the Theater’s Promenade where the Sugarplum Fairy and characters from the production signed autographs and mingled with guests.

The event, which raised over $950,000, is a critical source of support for New York City Ballet and its Education and Outreach Programs as well at The School of American Ballet’s Scholarship Fund.

NYCB apprentice Mia Williams with a young guest.
NYCB Apprentice Claire Kim with a young guest.
School of American Ballet students signing autographs.
Rebecca Hessel Cohen (Chair) with School of American Ballet students from the cast.
Megan Brodsky (Chair) with School of American Ballet students and a young guest.
A young guest showing off her holiday face painting and balloon art by Illuminated Faces.
School of American Ballet students with a young guest.
School of American Ballet students from the cast enjoying the party.
School of American Ballet students from the cast waving goodbye to guests at the party.

“In Austria the Mozarteum is a well-known national treasure, loved and venerated for their beautiful concert hall and their museum collection. But tonight, it’s like a coming out party for New Yorkers,” offered the hostess Marifé Hernández last Monday night when she and her husband, Joel Bell, opened their Manhattan duplex to nearly 100 friends to celebrate the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and meet Linus Klumpner, Director of Mozart Museums, Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, President of the International Mozarteum Foundation, Stefan Schnoll, Vice Governor of Salzburg and State Counselor for Cultural Affairs, and Reiner Heneis, General Manager of the Mozarteum.

Linus Klumpner and Rainer Heneis.
Tomas Restrepo and Santiago Avila.

To make the evening even more special, a priceless violin belonging to Mozart, one of six in the Mozarteum collection. made its first trip to America and was played at the reception. The 18th century Italian instrument was Mozart’s favorite and one he used to compose and perform.

A priceless violin belonging to Mozart, one of six in the Mozarteum collection.

Deemed too difficult to package, the directors of the Foundation carefully walked it onto their flight to New York as hand luggage. “We, of course worry, and protect it in every way possible,” explained Linus Klumpner, “but really just carrying it ourselves onto the airplane is the best way.”

Introducing the music Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, added “We know that when God listens to music it’s Bach. But when he turns his back, the Angels listen to Mozart.”

Among the guests were Noreen Buckfire, Philippe de Montebello, Carol and John French, Isabelle Harnoncourt, Elbrun Kimmelman, Sana Sabbagh, Jill Sackler, Pat Schoenfeld, Barbara Tober, Adrienne and Gigi Vittadini.

The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation owns the largest collection worldwide of original letters, portraits, and instruments of the Mozart Family. In 1880 Mozart’s widow, Constanze, as well as his two sons, Carl Thomas and Franz Xaver Wolfgang, donated the majority of his personal belongings and memorabilia to the Foundation. Ever since Mozarteum has exhibited these musical treasures and arranged superb concerts.

Barbara Tober and Tom McGrath.
Dimity Milberg, Rolando Villazon, Adrienne Vittadini, and Horacio Millberg.
Dimity Milberg, Sana Sabbagh, and Elbrun Kimmelman.
Galina Novikova and Louis Bofferding.
Leo J. O’Donovan, Dame Jilian Sackler, and Steven Aronson.
Noreen Buckfire and Horacio Millberg.
Noreen Buckfire, Isabelle Harnoncourt, and Barbara Tober.
Stephen Harnick, Helene Steinhausl, Debbie Harnick, and Hubert Heiss.
Matthias and Maria Ederer.
Sana Sabbagh and Marifé Hernández.
Stefan Schnoll,​ Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, Linus Klumpner​, Reiner Heneis​, and Marifé Hernández.

The ADAPT Holiday Cheer Celebration benefiting ADAPT Community Network’s Children’s Programs throughout New York City, was held on Monday, December 4th, in New York City. ADAPT Community Network is the largest provider of pre-school education for children with disabilities in New York. The annual event raised over $50,000. The event took place at Slate NY in New York City. This year’s event celebrated ADAPT’s volunteers.

Kori Chambers, multi-Emmy-winning PIX11 News Anchor, returned as host of the event. Chambers is a longtime ADAPT celebrity ambassador. He is both a past Co-Chair and host of the Santa Project Party Casino Night and, last year, served as a Team Captain for ADAPT’s Virtual 5K/1 Mile Fun Run/Roll/Walk.

Kori Chambers, Shirley Chan, and Mr. G.

“We thank Kori Chambers and all of this year’s sponsors for their incredible support and concern for our children and families in need,” says Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network. “They truly exemplify the spirit and generosity of New Yorkers.”

Shirley Chan, PIX11 News Anchor, and Mr. G, PIX11 News Weatherman and past Santa Project Co-Chair, also made appearances at the party.

VIPs in attendance included: Edward R. Matthews, Kori Chambers, Shirley Chan, Mr. G., Linda Laul, James Hausman, Michael Berger, Dahlian Porter, Laura Hickman, Dr. Matthew Kaufman, Peter Anzalone, Mark Heffner, Camilla Barungi, Patrick Hazlewood, Alyson Cambridge, Chris McDonnell, and Jamie Pressman.

James Hausman, Ed Matthews, Linda Laul, Kori Chambers, and Camilla Barungi.

ADAPTS’s programs are supported by generous annual sponsors including: Colliers International, Pilot RB, Mutual of America, Sachs Policy Group, Station MD, Stop Pest Control, and TD Bank.

ADAPT Community Network is the leading human service not‐for‐profit and a pioneer in providing cutting‐edge programs and services for people with disabilities. Every day, we build a more inclusive world for thousands of New Yorkers through education, technology, health, residential, and recreational programs in all five boroughs. Our schools and services encompass many people who have challenges beyond cerebral palsy such as autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and neuromuscular disorders, among others. We are the largest provider of pre‐school education for children with disabilities in New York. ADAPT’s 100 comprehensive programs serve over 20,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families.

For more information about ADAPT Community Network, go to:

Patrick Hazlewood and Alyson Cambridge.
Matt and Tracy Pickar.
Adam Denissoff, Beth Matthews, and David Foster.
Connie McCoy, Maxine Vaughn, and Camilla Barungi.
A’Isha Torrence and Dahlian Porter.
Ed Matthews, Linda Laul, and Patrick Matthews.
Gina Campbell, Anne Brady, Michael Berger, Zach Redding, and Andrew Jacobs.
Kevin and Laura Hickman.
Khadijah Grant, Jillian Aguis, Yekaterina Melnichenko, Wanda Alexis, and Gisvet Delgado.
Kori Chambers, Jamie Pressman, and Chris McDonnell.
Laura Hickman, Ed Matthews, Shirley Chan, Kori Chambers, and Mr. G.
Michael Berger and James Hausman.
Peter Anzalone and Gabriella Hernandez.
Roberta and Daniel Koenigsberg.
Laura Hickman.

Photographs by Andrei Jackamets (ADAPT); Patricia Burmicky (Nutcracker); Michael Ostuni (Mozarteum).

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