Entering the blooming period

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A late morning game of football in Central Park. Photo: JH.

Thursday, March 9, 2023. Sunny and cold, yesterday in New York with temps rising to the 40s.

I took a photo of the tree across the way, bright in the Sun. It must be age but I find the blooming period in the nature around me kind of quietly exciting. This tree is one of the first to bloom in the neighborhood. I’ve photographed it in all seasons. She’s the leading lady of the block. But yesterday when I happened to be looking in her direction, I could see she’s getting ready to start blooming again; the energy’s different and she’s getting ready: the season’s about to begin.

Meanwhile the social calendar is beginning to fill up with the Spring season engagements. People are starting to get out more. That also means we’re getting to the end of the Winter social season, particularly in Palm Beach which in the last couple of years has turned into a mecca for a lot of New Yorkers (and restaurants). Many who have taken up residence there as well as in West Palm or Greater Palm Beach.

We are also coming into the Social Season where many of the philanthropies stage their annual fundraising events – luncheons and dinners and family events, too. These are all very important events.

HRH Crown Prince Alexander and HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia hosted the Annual Lifeline New York Benefit Dinner at The Lotos Club in aid of children’s hospitals in Serbia.

Lifeline Humanitarian Organization is an international effort founded 30 years ago in 1993 as an urgent response to the tragic humanitarian situation in the former Yugoslavia, which was afflicted by conflict and sanctions.

Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia and Crown Prince Alexander.

The goal of Lifeline is to reduce and relieve the suffering of physically and mentally disabled children, orphans, the elderly as well as to improve medical facilities in the country.

Prince Alexander addressed the guests at the dinner and then Princess Katherine thanked her husband, and everyone involved with the Lifeline Foundation. She spoke of how her humanitarian efforts for Serbia started in the early ‘90s provided medical equipment for the University Children Hospital in Belgrade.

“Children, their health and their well-being are in the very core of all my humanitarian activities, as well as the activities of my foundation in Belgrade and all Lifeline humanitarian organizations whose patron I am,” she told the guests, adding that children’s hospitals are in a very difficult situation in Serbia. They need to be equipped properly, “much better than now, in order for our doctors and nurses to provide appropriate care for our sick children.”

The princess then spoke regarding the importance of helping children in Serbia. Humanitarian items were donated such as clothing, paintings and portraits which were auctioned.

After the dinner guests also enjoyed the musical performance by singer Gwyneth Giangrande alongside pianist Nick Guerrero.

Notable attendees included: HE Ms. Olgica Vlacic, Bishop Irinej, fashion editor Rushka Bergman, Catherine Broadbent, TV personality Tijana Ibrahimovic, entrepreneur Cheri Kaufman, Jack Hartnett, TV personality fashion; designer Nicole Miller, Peter Pizzino, Kyle Wool, Soo Wool Joseph Rallo and Ashley Rallo, Greg Roumeliotis, Gillian Tullman Whealen, Ryan Whealen, David and Lisa Boral, Maryanne Grisz FGI president, Ana Martins, Ted Kim, Sun Song, Ivan and Kristina Martinovic, Ella Legresley, Nicole Legresley, Bill Schlight, Nadia Martincic, Jay Yu, Seo Pak, Mara Radulovic, Nanad Grmusa, Kristina Bundra, Greg and Sheila Giangrande, Dr. Benjamin Sadock and Dr. Virginia Sadock.

Bishop Irinej, Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, and Crown Prince Alexander.

Lifeline’s Board of Directors includes David Hryck (President), Susan Gutfreund (Vice President and SKG Decor), Cheri Kaufman (Vice President), Slobodan BekvalacDavid W. BoralDragana Djuknic, Anthony HayesPeter PizzinoJoseph T. RalloKyle Wool and Bojana Jankovic Weatherly M.D.

Lifeline New York is a 501c(3) registered not-for-profit whose patron is HRH Crown Princess Katherine Foundation and was  established in Belgrade in 2001, to improve the health and welfare of all those in need in Serbia regardless of religion or ethnic origin.

Gillian Tullman Whealen, Ryan Whealen, David Boral, and Lisa Boral.
Jay Yu, Seo Pak, Sun Song, and Ted Kim.
L. to r.: Tijana Ibrahimovic; Ivan Martimovic and Kristina Mart.
Ella Legresley, Nicole Legresley, and Nicole Miller.
Mara Radulovic, Nanad Grmusa, and Kristina Bundra.
Ted Kim and Sun Song.
Nadia Martincic and Jack Hartnett.
Nicole Miller.
Susan Gutfreund.

And this past Tuesday at 583 Park, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted its 30th annual Bunny Hop. A Society tradition considered the most noteworthy family event of the year, The Bunny Hop invites guests to share their spirit for philanthropy with their children in a magical, festive atmosphere.

Generously sponsored by Stella McCartney with additional support from Get Joy, this fun-filled event was co-chaired by Melissa Crandall, Nathalie Pierrepont Danilovich, Candice Miller, Whitney Schwartz and CeCe Barfield Thompson with Gillian Hearst, Associates Committee Chair. RCano Events transformed the 583 Park venue to one of spring splendor, complete with larger-than-life carrots flanking the entrance.

Tom Arrix, Kathy Arrix, and Get Joy.

The Bunny Hop raised crucial funds to support programming at MSK Kids, the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Activities and entertainment included Peter Rabbit, balloon artists, cupcake & cookie decorating, face painting, children’s DJs, a magician, a petting zoo and more, including a special live performance by Jenny Videl and her incredible dogs.

Guests also had the opportunity to meet and interact with MSK’s Caring Canines. Since 2007, this dedicated team of therapy dogs and trained handlers have been bringing comfort and cheer to MSK’s patients, caregivers, and staff.

A live performance by Jenny Videl and her incredible dogs.
MSK’s Carine Canine.

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, founded in 1946, is a volunteer-led program within MSK dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients, supporting cancer research, and education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

The world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, MSK has devoted more than 135 years to advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. With a passionate commitment to  exceptional patient care, cutting-edge research, and superb educational programs, MSK has earned the  distinction as one of the premier cancer centers worldwide.

For more information, visit www.giving.mskcc.org/society-msk

L. to r.: Karen Thornwell May and Lucinda May; Muffie Potter Aston and Austen Cruz.
L. to r.: Melissa Crandall; Marcie Pantzer.
Kathy Arrix, Nathalie Pierrepont Danilovich, Candice Miller, Melissa Crandall, Whitney Schwartz, and Tom Arrix.
L. to r.: Nathalie Pierrepont Danilovich; Meghan and Adam Klopp.
Nathalie Pierrepont Danilovich, Candice Miller, Melissa Crandall, and Whitney Schwartz.
L. to r.: Kathy and Tom Arrix; Candice Miller.
Stella McCartney Team — Kolton Chase-Patrick, Kiara DiFrancesco, and Nicholas Rathbun.
L. to r.: Joanna de Neufville; Beth Blake Day and Alexis McAndrews.
L. to r.: Virginia Tomenson; Marcella Hymowitz.

Photographs by Patrick McMullan/PMC/Getty Images (Lifeline); David Benthal, BFA (Bunny Hop)

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