The Visiting Nurse Service of New York held its 125th Anniversary Gala on November 8th in the recently renovated Ziegfeld Ballroom with the theme, Enriching Lives: 125 Years and Counting! Photos from the VNSNY archives adorned the Ziegfeld walls showcasing VNSNY’s 125-year history. The benefit made history in its own right with a record-breaking $1,320,000 in donations from the nearly 600 people in attendance.
Susan Fales-Hill, author, producer and head writer for the TV series A Different World, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Samuel L. (Tony) Milbank, Chair of the Board, Milbank Memorial Fund, and April Anthony, CEO of Homecare Homebase and Encompass Health – Home Health & Hospice, received the Lillian D. Wald Award, which is given to individuals or organizations for accomplishments benefiting the health and welfare of others. The Milbank family were original funders of VNSNY founder Lillian Wald.
Past recipients Doug Broadwater, Bert Brodsky, Nonnie Frelinghuysen, Bob Kaufman, Ruth Watson Lubic, Phyllis Mills, Julie Patterson, Carl Pforzheimer, Cory Rieder, Drew Schiff, Tara Stacom and Carol Raphael were also recognized.
Dinner was followed by a special guest appearance by Emmy-winning, three-time Grammy nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer and New York Times best-selling author, Jim Gaffigan, whose side-splitting stand-up performance paved the way for a gala evening of live music and dancing.
Proceeds from the evening support VNSNY’s vital charitable care and community benefit programs, which include a wide range of important safety-net initiatives such as VNSNY’s Nurse-Family Partnership, Hospice services and the VNSNY Research Center.
On October 31st, French Heritage Society (FHS) held its Annual New York Gala Dinner Dance at The Plaza Hotel. This year, the exquisite, much anticipated affair was festively themed The Black and Orange Ball, and black-tie clad guests wore elegant masks, disguises, and colorful accents.
The evening honored French luxury lifestyle brand LALIQUE and its founder René Lalique. It was organized under the gracious patronage of His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, and Mrs. Sophie L’Hélias-Delattre, Ms. Anne-Claire Legendre, Consul General of France in New York, and Mrs. Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States.
The Gala Chairmen were CeCe Black, Silvina Leone, Liz McDermott, Jay R. Paul, Jean Shafiroff, and Ann Van Ness. The New York Chapter Chairs are Guy N. Robinson and Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt, who also served as the Design Consultant. The Board of Directors includes Elizabeth F. Stribling, Chairman of the Board, Denis de Kergorlay, President, David M. Gray, Treasurer, and Jennifer Herlein, Executive Director.
A cocktail reception commenced with singer and performer Lenny Hoops providing the music and entertainment before guests sat for dinner. Attendees raised their glasses as Chairman of the Board, Elizabeth F. Stribling and Denis de Kergorlay welcomed guests, and CeCe Black thanked her fellow Gala Chairs.
The events wine consultant and emcee, George Sape then introduced a short video about LALIQUE before Elizabeth F. Stribling and Denis de Kergorlay presented a trophy to the LALIQUE team, which was accepted by Sarah Gargano on behalf of the brand. Celebrating their 130th anniversary in 2018, LALIQUE is internationally recognized as the ultimate symbol of French luxury.
A short dancing break set to the music of the Alex Donner Orchestra before Nicholas Dawes, Vice President, Heritage Auctions, the country’s leading expert on René Lalique, began the live auction.
Supporters were given the opportunity to bid on four lots that included Living LALIQUE – an exclusive cocktail party for up to 10 guests in an elegant space designed by LALIQUE, which served so popular a second party was provided with both selling at $4,500. A lavish travel package to Discover the Parisian Art-de-Vivre was sold for $6,500, dinner for four at Skybox at Daniel accompanied by superlative wines was placed for $3,500, and a stay at La Mamounia, the legendary 5-star palace hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco, resulted in a bidding war before being placed with the winner for $6,000.
A short video about the FHS Student Exchange Program, was then screened before Naomi Jabouin, FHS Student Exchange Program Alum, made brief remarks to express her gratitude for the program. The auctioneer then collected bids for the Student Exchange Program, before dessert was served and dancing resumed.
French Heritage Society was founded in 1982 as a two-way street for Americans and French to share their love of historic architecture. French Heritage Society intervenes to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations to build, dream and create. FHS has contributed to over 580 restoration grants and helped secure $21.2 million dollars, including matching dollars, for historic monuments, buildings and gardens in every department in France and to properties in the United States that reflect France’s historic influence. There are 11 Chapters of the Society throughout the United States and Paris.
Over two hundred members and guests of the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York gathered on Friday, November 16th, at the Society’s 262nd Anniversary Banquet, to honor The Right Honorable, The Viscount Thurso of Ulbster PC.
Lord Thurso was presented with the “Sammy” Award, created to honor those who have had a positive impact on the Scots community around the globe. Lord Thurso is the appointed Chair of VisitScotland, and is the Queen’s Representative for Caithness as HM Lord Lieutenant. He sat in the House of Lords from 1995-99 as a Liberal Democrat active on business matters and Scottish affairs. In 2001 he was elected MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross, a seat he held until 2015. He returned to the House of Lords in 2016.
Guests were escorted in to dinner by the Mount Kisco Scottish Pipes and Drums. Presentation of the Haggis followed, with toasts, a live auction, and musical performances.
Lord Thurso is the 14th Sinclair of Ulbster, the 6th baronet of Ulbster and the 3rd Viscount Thurso. He is directly descended from the 2nd son of the 4th Earl of Caithness. The family have lived at Thurso Castle in its many guises since 1700.
Founded in 1756, Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York is the oldest charitable organization in New York State. Today the Society embraces its original mission of helping Scots in need. Its charitable work in the New York and tri-state communities is provided for directly by the membership.
Members are vital to the success and growth of the Society and continue to celebrate Scotland and its culture contributing to the fabric and diversity of life in New York.
“In Societe Benefice Docte” in the Society badge means Charity, Fellowship, Scholarship.
Photographs by Patrick McMullan, Annie Watt & Cutty McGill (French Heritage Society); Joe Vericker/PhotoBureau (Visiting Nurse Service); Nuala Purcell & Annie Watt (Saint Andrew’s Society)