French Heritage Society hosted their annual Palm Beach Gala Dinner on the evening of February 12th. Ronald Lee Fleming was honored for his achievements in preservation advocacy and urban planning and design. His philanthropic work to support initiatives to beautify and improve communities led Newport, RI to declare “Ron Fleming Day”, noting, “Mr. Fleming is a recognized authority in the role of art in creating vibrant, livable places, adding luster to Newport’s worldwide reputation as a showcase of art and architecture.”
The stunning, sold-out fête was held at the behest of Gala Chairs Michael A. Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou. Further flair was provided by Gala Co-Chairmen Jean & Martin Shafiroff, Dinner Chairmen Liz & Ben Barnes, CeCe & Lee Black, Paula & Bob Butler, Sarah & Chips Page, Thomas Warren Thaler, and Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth. The evening was in the presence of recently appointed Consul General of France in Miami Laurent Gallissot with Camille Langlois. Suzanne Stoll was the Palm Beach Representative. Vice Chairmen were Lucy & Nat Day, Linda & Charles Hickox, Ursula & Paul Lowerre, Dr. Francis de Marneffe, Judy McLaren, Natalie Pray, Ann Van Ness, and Barbara Wolf.
Esteemed guests included: Board Chairman Elizabeth Stribling and her husband, New York Chapter Co-Chairman Guy Robinson; President Count Denis de Kergorlay; Executive Director Jennifer Herlein; Board Member Gurnee Hart, and his wife, Marjorie, as well as Geoffrey Sharon Bush, Anne Fitzpatrick, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Ava Roosevelt, Paola Bacchini Rosenshein, Michel Witmer, and Maureen Woodward.
George Ledes and I were invited by Jean & Martin Shafiroff and had the pleasure of sitting with Maria & Ken Fishel. For the occasion, I chose to wear the the legendary french fragrance Fracas by Robert Piguet, which George’s family owns.
Robert Piguet (1898 – 1953) was a Swiss-born, Paris-based fashion designer for whom Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy served as apprentices. The Piguet fashion house ran from 1933 to 1951; after which the brand has been associated exclusively with fragrance.
Proceeds from the Palm Beach Gala Dinner nurture French Heritage Society’s mission to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive in order to inspire future generations. The evening also included a call to action for FHS’s impressive university student internship program, which raised over $10,000.