Amazing feats and fetes

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The crowd along Fifth Avenue taking in the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon. Photo: JH

Monday, November 6, 2023. Daylight Savings Time ended yesterday and so now it’ll start to get dark in the late afternoon. And the weather will be whatever that kind of weather will be wherever you are on the map.

Here in New York it used to mean grey skies, piles of snow and bundling up until the New Year on the way to Springtime. Nowadays, these coming Winter days remain to be seen. Last year I think it was, we didn’t have one snowstorm, and certainly none on the ground. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t be in for a blizzard in the next few weeks. Or minutes.

Rooting on the nearly 50,000 runners who participated in yesterday’s 2023 New York City Marathon.

In the meantime this is the busy season for New Yorkers of all kinds of interests and pursuits. Community and Philanthropy remain at the enter of interest among our citizenry who are involved in the wide variety of  philanthropic activity here in New York.

What continues to fascinate is seeing how people created solutions to very real problems that touch upon the real life of most of us. A lot of it, on the outside, looks like good times, good parties, good times. Part of the time. It’s all part of the fund raising engine that shows who we really are in this experience called Life.

The Party Pictures to remind: Last Wednesday, a week, about 175 guests and supporters gathered at a private club in Manhattan for the 2nd Annual Luncheon of the Women’s Committee of the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick in the City of New York. The Society is one of the oldest charitable organizations in New York State. It embraces its historical mission by focusing its charitable efforts on primary and secondary education, Irish arts and culture, and legal immigration assistance.

Proceeds from this luncheon  support the Friendly Sons Scholars Program which is administered in partnership with the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. Guests enjoyed an entertaining presentation by Robert O’Byrne, The Irish Aesthete as well as gifts and a benefactor prize kindly donated by Asprey London. Very Reverend Enrique Salvo, Rector of St. Patricks Cathedral, offered the opening prayer.

Sarah Miller Dearie, Very Reverend Enrique Salvo, and Suzanne Cutler.
Chele Farley and Robert O’Byrne.
Anne Lentini and Catherine Lenihan.
Carol Carbonetti and friends.
L. to r.: Christina Murphy and Megan Scott; Elizabeth Lynch and Christina Frank.
Cynthia Chapman, Arlene Cruz, Bernadine Gilfond, and Julie Killian.
Margarita Leinfelder, Kristina Gimbel, and Zari Callahan.
L. to r.: Lisa Bytner and Tiff Metcalf; Karen Klopp and Michele Heary.
Mark Gilbertson, Susan Burke, and John Coleman.
Maureen Hurley and Christine Miller Martin.
Nan Smith, Cyndy Stam, Marilyn Frank, Suzie Knechtel, and Martha Rhein.
L. to r.: Melissa Gibbons and Wendy Mullen; Ritika Ravi and Evelyn Tompkins.
Robert O’Byrne and Jackie McCarthy.
Peter McGuire and Mark Gilbertson.
Noel Momsen, Paige Rustum, and Georgine Ratelband.
L. to r.: Heather Leeds and Tom Leeds; Jack Lynch and Barbara McLaughlin.
Nina Richter, Robert O’Byrne, and Tiff Metcalf.

French Heritage Society will host its annual Gala Dinner Dance at the University Club in New York City on November 16th. This year, they will honor award-winning architect Gil Schafer III. As the author of two bestselling books, The Great American House and A Place to Call Home, Gil is a member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and winner of Veranda’s “Art of Design Award.” This highly anticipated, black-tie affair will have music and dancing provided by the Alex Donner Orchestra.

Last Wednesday, October 25th, FHS kicked off its busy gala season with cocktails hosted by FHS Board Member Jean Shafiroff at her residence. It was reported that Guests were further delighted to see New York State Congresswoman Rebecca Seawright present Elizabeth Stribling, Jean Shafiroff and Gil Schafer III with certificates of recognition from New York State for their contributions and service to French Heritage Society.

Jean Shafiroff, Rebecca Seawright, and Elizabeth Stribling.

Among the guests: FHS Board Members CeCe Black, Judy McLaren, and Kazie Metzger Harvey. Also present: Alixandra and Stuart Baker, Susan and Jerry Baker, Tomaczek Bednarek, Bettina Bennett, Lee Black, Liliana Cavendish, Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, Jennifer Farrell, Vincent Festa, GiGi Fisdell, Maria and Kenneth Fishel, Meera Gandhi, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Dr. Penny Grant, FHS Executive Director Jennifer Herlein, Sylvia Hemingway, Dr. Claudine Holt,Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson, Margo Morton Langenberg, Valerie A.E. Lettan, Vicky McLoughlin, Robert Murray, Sue Phillips, Guy Robinson, Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, Courtnay Schafer, Patricia and Thomas Shiah, Elizabeth Steimberg, Miss VanBuren-Brown, Julissa Tudor, Allison Baroness von Arnim, David Weiner, Andrew Werner, among others.

French Heritage Society (FHS) is an American nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the French architectural and cultural legacy in France and the United States.  Generous patrons help ensure that these treasures survive to inspire future generations by supporting the three key areas of our mission — Preservation, Education and Cultivation of French-American Friendship.

Gil Schafer, Elizabeth Stribling, and CeCe Black.
Lee Black, Brenda Johnson, and CeCe Black.
L. to r.: Paul Panello and Virginia Loving; Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley.
Margo Langenberg and Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe.
Patricia and Tom Shiah.
Valerie Lettan, Dr. Penny Grant, Tomaczek Bednarik, and Katlean De Monchy.
Jennifer Herlein, CeCe Black, Judy McLaren, Jean Shafiroff, Kazie Harvey, and Elizabeth Stribling.

A little night music. Concerts in Motion gathered music enthusiasts and friends at the Upper West Side duplex of Navah Perlman (board member) and Robert Frost for an intimate performance.

“I am an opera singer. To prepare, I like to rehearse in front of a live audience, so I thought that nursing homes and veterans’ hospitals would be an ideal setting, especially as so many older adults cannot attend live concerts. They’re alone and isolated,” explained Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Carnahan. 

“14 years ago, I started Concerts in Motion because I experienced an incredible sense of joy while singing and engaging these individuals. They appreciated the quality of performance and the kind gesture. They really enjoyed talking about memories that the music evoked. We strive to alleviate social isolation for young and old. It’s an epidemic now and our way of addressing this public health crisis is by creating community and connection through music.”

Alex Shapiro and Aviva Frost.

Pianist Alex Shapiro and Cellist Aviva Frost (daughter of Navah and Robert) played variations by Frédéric Chopin and Reena Esmail.

Guests included board members Rhett Brandon, Shari and Adam Brooks, Roni Jacobson, Debi Korzenik, Monica Rich Kosann, as well as Nora Coblence, Irene Rosner David, Mark Fichandler, Ronnie Fisher, Marilyn and Shelly Fireman, Margaret and Ben Grossman, Sylvia Hemmingway, Alice Lutz, Tara Milne, Caryn Resnick, Kathy Roeder, Jonathan Rondinelli and Zachary Weiss, Lesley Schulhoff, Eileen Solomon, Sara Tayeb-Khalifa, Patricia Underwood and John Moynihan, Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi, and Maggie Zhang with son Tom Liu.

CiM is a non-profit that brings the healing force of music to New York’s isolated, homebound residents through personalized live concerts. For more information visit

Ken Gorfinkle, Rhett Brandon, Jack Resnik, and Caryn Resnick.
Navah Perlman, Roni Jacobson, Adam Brooks, and Shari Brooks.
L. to r.: Monica Rich Kasann and Rhett Brandon; Jennifer Carnahan, Monica Rich Kasann, and Carol Berne.
Shelly Fireman, Marilyn Fireman, Ben Grossman, and Margaret Grossman.
L. to r.: Eileen Solomon and Debi Korzenik; Amanda Marsted and Irene Rosner David.
Zachary Weese, Navah Perlman, Alex Shapiro, and Jonathan Rondinelli.
L. to r.: Ilana Green and Tara Milne; Stephanie Labeilli and Nora Coblence.
Patricia and John Moynihan.
Gabriella Khristov, Liliana Cavendish, and Silvia Hemingway.

Playing catch-up: The Association of Community Programs for the Homeless celebrated its 2023 gala — ACE “Wednesday Night Fever” — on October 11th at historic Capitale.

ACE was founded by Henry Buhl more than 30 years ago when he bought a residential loft in in SoHo and learned that there were a lot of homeless barely surviving.  He found ways to assist and motivate some and today ACE empowers homeless men and women to change their lives by giving them the tools and opportunities they need to succeed — including educational and vocational classes, mental health counselling services, and a support network designed to help with self-sufficiency. It’s an amazing feat created by one man out to help another.

Barbara Tober, Henry Buhl, and Donna Soloway.

This year’s honorees included Barbara Tober, Donna Soloway, and Colleen Hess. The three women were recognized for their long association and support of ACE.

Other guests included Adrien Arpel, Dr. Samuel Guillory Harrison Bader, Carlos Morrison, Luann de Lesseps, Patricia Falkeberg, Frank & Alicia Grande, Jorge Iraggorri, Lauren Imperato, Richard and Donna Soloway, Kim Jackson and Zach Lebeau, Mariebelle Lieberman, Dina Lohan, former Gov. David Paterson and wife Mary Paterson, Nicole Perrotta, Gregg and Lisa Schenker, Dale Schlather, Daniel Willis and wife Agatha Kluk, HRH Prince Dmitri of Yugoslavia, Craig Dix, Vicki Downey, Paolo Martino, former Lieutenant Gov. Betsy McCaughey, Ramona Singer, among others guests.

Richard and Donna Soloway, Julia Costello, and Gianni Russo.
L. to r.: Alicia Grande, Luann de Lesseps, and Frank Grande; Romana Singer and Luann de Lesseps.
Andrew Torrey and James Canner.
L. to r.: Daniel Wallis, Agatha Kluk, and Jorge Iragorri; Lana Smith and Danny Fontana.
Cartier’s Fetije Madzuric, Ekta Jaisinghani, Ashley Hurd, and Vivian Ho.
Richard Soloway, Bara and Roger de Cabrol, and HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia.
L. to r.: Joe Mangrum and Lauren Imperato; Adrien Arpel and Ramona Singer.
Colleen Hess.
Dina Lohan and Henry Buhl.
Sandra Sanches and Carlos Morrison.
Dr. Robi Ludwig and Rob Shuter.
Kim Jackson and Zach LeBeau.
Harrison Bader and friend.
The New York Bee Gees.
Celebrity auctioneer Gabriel Butu.
Sandra Sanches and Rita Cosby.

Photographs by Jared Siskin (CiM); Jill Nelson & John Sanderson/ (ACE).

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