Friday, March 1, 2019. Cold, dry and some light snow in the forecast although the way the weather’s been going, will probably miss New York. Same thing happened Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Opening the blinds when I got up, I saw the scattered carpets of early snow on the sidewalks across the way.
In the morning at 10:30, two filmmakers from the ASPCA, along with Arriana Boardman who is a board member, came over to the apartment to interview me about my life with dogs. The purpose as to make a small introductory video from the ASPCA’s upcoming (April 25th at the Plaza) annual fund-raising dinner dance which they call the Bergh Ball. They have invited me to be one of the honorees this year.
Henry Bergh created the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866. There were no such organizations in America. The “cruelty” that moved him to start it was not really considered cruelty by many in those times. Animals were regarded simply as property, to work. It was a man beating a horse three years earlier in the streets of New York, that provoked Henry Bergh to found it. Eight years later he also created the New York Society for Cruelty Against Children. Like the horses, the dogs and cats, children in those times were treated like those animals, physically and mentally abused as well. All of this continues a century and a half later, but the forces of good are greater and out there to rescue, assist the animals and to educate us bipeds.
“Honorees” in the great New York world of philanthropy are chosen mainly for their potential assistance in forwarding the cause. My only assistance (besides adopting dogs – as well as cats in the past) to these great causes is to make YOU aware of what you might do, can do, contribute to, if you care. I’ve learned at this advanced date on my calendar that the “caring” is the secret, the greatest reward for the inner self, and a better place to live (please God!) for all of us. April 25th, the Plaza; invitations are going out as I write these words.
This past Wednesday, the New York Botanical Garden hosted their annual Conservatory Ball Leadership Luncheon at Majorelle. This year’s Ball will be held on Thursday, June 6th 2019. For many supporters, the Ball also marks the beginning of the summer season, including the treks out East. Wednesday’s luncheon was to celebrate Maureen Chilton’s nine years of service as NYBG’s Board Chair, during which time she raised more $20 million for the Garden.
Mrs. Chilton has guided the Garden through a period of unprecedented growth, helping to sustain its position as a renowned museum of plants, educational institution, and research and conservation organization.
Gala Chairmen for this year’s Conservatory Ball are Sasha C. Bass, Eaddo Kiernan, Alexandra Lebenthal, Gillian Miniter, Claire C. O’Grady, Deborah Goodrich Royce, Gillian Steel, and Caroline Williamson. Honorary Chairs are Friederike Kemp Biggs, Mary Davidson, Patti Fast, Cosby George, and Julie Graham and Journal Chairman is Kate Davis. Proceeds will support the Garden’s acclaimed programs in children’s education and plant research and conservation.
For this guest and most likely for others, a luncheon at Majorelle was a treat and it was an opportunity to see its creator, Charles Masson. It’s a beautiful room which in daytime is flooded with natural light. Naturally the floral accessories of Charles’ eye and taste, add to that casual, natural elegance of the restarant. The main course of a lightly poached salmon topped it off.
The Wednesday before last in Palm Beach the American Friends of Blérancourt (AFB) celebrated the Franco-American Fellowship with a dinner. Franck Laverdin, Chairman of the American Friends of Blérancourt (AFB), and Dorothea de La Houssaye, President of AFB, welcomed guests to an all-white attire dinner fundraiser to benefit its Blérancourt Fellowship, with the support of Wendy Fritz, owner of Fritz Gallery, and the internationally renowned animalier painter Helmut Koller.
Funds raised at the dinner will directly serve towards AFB’s first step in building a new educational focus to support The Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt. Over the last 34 years that the not-for-profit organization has been active, one of the AFB’s biggest projects has been raising over $2 million dollars to support the museum’s 10-year renovation project that concluded in 2017.
Today, AFB continues its mission to support the Museum by launching the joint Blérancourt Fellowship to create opportunities for the upcoming young talents interested in Franco-American arts and education, and by supporting women leaders and philanthropists like the great Anne Morgan, founder of the Museum and one of the great American women activists of her time.
The evening’s hosts Franck Laverdin and Dorothea de la Houssaye have been responsible for introducing a new and dynamic group to its changing demographic of patrons. The AFB was created in 1985 at the suggestion of Pierre Rosenberg, the Chief Curator of Paintings at the Louvre Museum at the time. The purpose was to raise funds for the expansion, the gardens and the new educational programs and technology of the Franco-American Museum, Château de Blérancourt in Picardy, France.
Photographs by Annie Watt (AFB); Marlon Co (NYBG)