Exceptions to the rule

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Late morning corner brooding. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Fair and sunny with temps in the 60s yesterday in New York. It was one of those days when you dress for colder weather and then you get outside and it’s warm. The weatherman is forecasting very cold weather for today, however. We shall see.



More, serious fund-raisers. A couple of Fridays ago, I went to a luncheon at the Pierre for The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. I tend to avoid Friday luncheons social or otherwise. It’s my day off. But there are exceptions to the rule, and ADDF is one of them.

If you didn’t know, this organization was launched by the Lauder Brothers — Leonard and Ronald several years ago. I’ve been following it ever since, partly because of the Brothers Lauder, Estee’s boys. They do things and they get things done.


Ronald S. Lauder, Alice Shure, Pamela Newman, and Bonnie Pfeifer Evans

I think it was Ronald who came up with the idea of starting a foundation to fund research for Alzheimer’s. He told his brother and the idea was launched. Their contribution was covering the expenses of running the foundation, including the fund-raising expenses. All funds raised go directly to fund research. This luncheon was one of those fundraisers.

The luncheon was preceded by ADDF’s Annual Fall Symposium “Hope on the Horizon.” It has raised nearly $10 million for Alzheimer’s research over the past decade. This year’s event welcomed over 400 guests and has raised $1.2 million for Alzheimer’s research.

Longtime ADDF friend and board member, Paula Zahn, was emcee. Paula’s mother has Alzheimers. A mother of four, a professor who spoke four languages, leading a vital life, is now confined to a chair and knows nothing and no one. Paula talked about not only the deep sadness of witnessing her mother’s suffering, but the profound effect the sadness has on all of the family members.


Paula Zahn and Bonnie Pfeifer Evans.

Paula introduced Ronald Lauder. As ADDF Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Ronald S. Lauder is optimistic to this listener. He noted that there is hope in drug discovery. “The ADDF has long been committed to diversifying drugs in development for Alzheimer’s, so it is very encouraging to us to see more and better drug targets in Alzheimer’s clinical trials.”

The symposium that day focused on repurposing drug research for Alzheimer’s. It was led by Dr. Howard Fillit, who is the Executive Founding Director and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF. It featured three distinguished panelists: Dr. Krista L. Lanctôt, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute; Dawn C. Matthews, MS, MBA, CEO ADM Diagnostics, Inc.; and Dr. Ana Pereira, M.D., Assistant Professor Neurology and Neuroscience, and Laboratory Head, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


Lawrence Leeds and Donald Newhouse.

Mr. Lauder presented the Charles Evans Award to Pamela Newman, for her dedication and unstinting support of Alzheimer’s research.

Guests at the event included Carol Haarmann Acunto and Steve Acunto, Gigi and Harry Benson, Carol Seabrook Boulanger, Renée and Robert Belfer, Joyce B. Cowin, Mark Anthony Edwards, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Paul Fribourg, Stephanie Ginsberg, Nancy Goodes, Marjorie Reed Gordon, Susan Gutfreund, Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Chris Johnson, Veronica and Ray Kelly, Deborah Krulewitch, Laura and Gary Lauder, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, Laurence Leeds, Jr., Susan and Tom Lowder, Heidi and Tom McWilliams, B Michael, Donald Newhouse, Walter Raquet, Liz and Randal Sandler, Tom Scanlan, Alice Shure, Sharon Sager, Liz and Randal Sandler, Hadley and John Scully, Ambassador Teuta Sahatqija, Lynn Tishman, Laurie and Steve Toma and Wendy Wilshin.

Generous supporters to this year’s event, included The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Holman Ranch, Bombas, Bernard Maisner, The Breakers Palm Beach, Neue Galerie New York and Barbara’s Flowers.


Chris Johnson and Steve Toma.
L. to r.: Ray Kelly; Lynn Tishman.
Chris Leavitt and Hadley and John Scully.
Dr. Ana Pereira, Dr. Dawn Matthews, and Dr. Krista Lanctôt.
L. to r.: Deborah Krulewitch; Dr. Howard Fillit.
L. to r.: B Michael and Michal Grayevsky; Aileen Schruth and Sharon Sager.
Randal and Liz Sandler.
L. to r.: Harry and Gigi Benson; Heidi McWilliams.
George and Joan Schiele and Mark Roithmayr.
L. to r.: Susan and Tom Lowder; Stephanie Ginsberg and Wendy Wilshin.
Stan Warshawsky and Bonnie Engelbardt Lautenberg.
L. to r.: Renee and Robert Belfer; Lizzie Decarlo and Laura Simione.
David and Nancy Goodes.
Tom McWilliams and Joyce Cowin.

Serious Fun. A week ago Monday night at the Mandarin Oriental the Carter Burden Network (CBN) honored fashion icon, role model, innovator Fern Mallis at its newly named Annual Gala, the Silver and White Night. Aging gracefully just got even more fashionable. Silver and White … Get it?

The late Mr. Burden, when he was a city Councilman for the Silk Stocking district founded the organization when he learned that so many of his neighbors were the older, the elderly, the retired, the widowed, etc., were often isolated by their situations. His office was the first to council and advise people on a wide variety of circumstances that aging working people experienced.


Susan L. Burden, Carter Burden Network Founding Board Member and Honorary Chair of the event; Brett Beldock, interior designer and product designer and event Co-Chair; Fern Mallis, Fashion icon, role model, innovator and philanthropist, and Silver Star honoree; Iris Apfel, businesswoman, interior designer, fashion icon; and one of the event’s Silver Influencers on Aging; Michele Ateyeh, leading corporate business manager, retail director and licensing expert for fine jewelry and designer accessories, and event Co-Chair; William J. Dionne, Executive Director of the Carter Burden Network; Jeffrey A. Weber, Chairman of the Carter Burden Network Board of Directors and Honorary Chair of the event.
Fran Weissler, one of the event’s Silver Influencers of Aging Joan Kron, Fern Mallis, Iris Apfel, and Award-winning designer and one of the event’s Silver Influencers on Aging Stan Herman.

The fundraiser, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, celebrated CBN’s commitment to fighting isolation among aging New Yorkers and honored Mallis’ impressive contributions to the world of fashion and for showing the world how to age with dignity and impact.

I couldn’t make the event because I had a previous commitment (the Library Lions) but I have covered the work of the Burden Network over the years. Burden’s widow Susan built the original office into a broader organization that got involved in neighborly relationships not only to assist senior citizens with advice and guidance but also in enhancing their social lives in the neighborhood with regular lunches and holiday celebrations as well as physical exercise and other social activities. It is an example of what any neighborhood could use anywhere in this country, helping those of us who because of age are often limited by those who have health, physical and financial issues.


Iris Apfel, William J. Dionne, Fran Weissler, Stan Herman, Susan L. Burden, Fern Mallis, and Joan Kron.

CBN promotes the well-being of seniors 60 and older through a continuum of services, advocacy, arts and culture, health and wellness, and volunteer programs, all oriented to individual, family and community needs in New York City.

Among those in attendance were Mrs. Burden, CBN Founding Board Member and Honorary Chair of the event; Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Commissioner, New York City Department for the Aging; actress Sela Ward; as well as the evening’s Silver Influencers on Aging including Iris Apfel, businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon; award-winning designer Stan Herman; award-winning filmmaker and journalist as well as former editor at large of Allure Joan Kron; and Tony Award-winning producer Fran Weissler. It was as very fun event from what I’ve heard. Many of the guests were among the category of ages 80 and 90 and “out there” in the world today.


Jason Glick, Managing Partner at GPG Properties & Vice President at GPG Management and event Co-Chair, Susan L. Burden, and Courtney Glick, event Co-Chair.
Iris Apfel and Sela Ward.

Event Co-Chairs were Michele (Mickey) Ateyeh, leading corporate business manager, retail director and licensing expert for fine jewelry and designer accessories; Jeffrey Banks, Menswear Designer; and Brett Beldock, interior designer and product designer, were also on hand at the event. The evening included a special performance by The Carter Burden Network Singers led by volunteer choir director Peter Hill.


Katie Hill and Peter Hill, Volunteer Choir Leader and Conductor of The Carter Burden Singers.

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