French Heritage Society’s April in Paris Luncheon in Palm Beach

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Natalie Pray, Michael Kovner, Daisy Soros, Michel Witmer, Hon. Roger Lourié, Jean Doyen De Montaillou, Claude Lourié, Nicole Hirsh at April in Paris, A luncheon in Palm Beach, at Swifty's Poolside at the Colony Hotel.

French Heritage Society hosted their April in Paris Palm Beach Luncheon at Swifty’s Pool at The Colony Hotel. It was their first in-person event of 2021 and the atmosphere was particularly festive as guests enjoyed lunch and toasted a brighter future.

French Heritage Society Event Chairs Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael A. Kovner. Photos by Annie Watt. 

The lovely sold-out fête was held at the behest of Event Chairs Michael A. Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou. Further flair was provided by Luncheon Chairmen CeCe and Lee Black, Audrey Gruss, Liz McDermott Barnes, FHS Board Chairman Elizabeth Stribling and New York Chapter Co-Chairman Guy Robinson. The event was in the presence of Consul General of France in Miami Laurent Gallissot with Camille Langlois. The Steering Committee included Lee Black, Paul Lowerre, and Guy Robinson. Suzanne Stoll was the Palm Beach Representative.

FHS Luncheon Chair CeCe Black with FHS Board Chairman Elizabeth Stribling.
Felicia Taylor and FHS Luncheon Chair Audrey Gruss.
Luncheon Chair Liz McDermott Barnes and FHS Palm Beach Representative Suzanne Stoll.
Linda Hoffman, FHS Steering Committee Member Guy Robinson, and Jane Gaillard.
FHS Board Member Jean Shafiroff, Consul General Laurent Gallissot, and Elizabeth Stribling.
FHS Steering Committee Member Paul Lowerre and lovely wife Ursula.
FHS Steering Committe Member Lee Black and Mai Hallingby Harrison.

Guests included Board Members Ronald Lee Fleming and Jean Shafiroff. Also attending: Friederike Biggs, Sharon Bush, Susan Cushing, Bill and Regine Diamond, Patricia Duncan, Randy Fishburn and Andrew Sands, Anne Fitzpatrick, Annette Friedland, Lou Hammond, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Linda Hickox, Nicole Hirsch, Linda Hoffman, Kamie Lightburn, Ursula Lowerre, Denise-Marie Nieman, Natalie Pray, Robin Reardon, Paola Bacchini Rosenshein, John and Barbara Cirkva Schumacher, Daisy Soros, Sherri Stephenson, and Michel Witmer.

Proceeds from the Palm Beach Luncheon benefit French Heritage Society’s mission to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations. FHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit American organization in operation since 1982 whose mission is to protect the French architectural and cultural legacy both in France and the United States. Over the past 39 years, its members and patrons have helped to support its three-fold mission: Preservation, Education and the Cultivation of French-American Friendship.

Amy Hoadley and Sharon Bush.
Regine Traulsen and Bill Diamond.
Friederike Biggs, Brewer Schoeller, and Jennifer Loving.

To date, FHS has awarded more than $13.2 million (which results in a total of more than $26.4 million being made available due to their required matching funds condition) for more than 600 grants to châteaux, historic properties and gardens. FHS also creates special funds for emergency restoration efforts, which have provided critical support following the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. 

Each year, FHS also selects and sends approximately 35 students from prestigious universities in France and the U.S. across the Atlantic for internships at esteemed organizations.  Since the program’s inception, more than 500 students have benefited from these opportunities.

FHS’s network includes ten chapters across the U.S. and one in Paris and collectively, they organize more than 50 events each year to raise local awareness about and funds for FHS’s mission.  In addition, the FHS community comes together for annual fundraising galas in New York, Palm Beach and Paris.  FHS is known for its specially curated trips to France offered to its members every year.

For more information,  visit

Photo by Annie Watt Agency / Sipa USA.

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