Initiatives and traditions

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Savannah Guthrie, Virginia Tomenson, and Jenna Bush Hager at The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering's Annual Bunny Hop.

Ths past Tuesday, March 12, 2019, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted the Annual Bunny Hop at 583 Park Avenue. A Society tradition considered the most noteworthy family event of the year, The Bunny Hop invites members to share their spirit for philanthropy with their children in a magical, festive atmosphere. RCano transformed the space to one of spring splendor, complete with larger than life carrots flanking the entrance as guests entered from the street. Sponsored by premier Parisian children’s wear brand Bonpoint, this fun-filled event was hosted by Associates Committee Chair Virginia Tomenson and chairs Lindsey Coleman, Carolina de Neufville and Anna Burke Patterson; TODAY Show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager served as the event’s honorary chairs.


Lindsey Coleman, Virginia Tomenson, Anna Burke Patterson, and Carolina de Neufville

For over 25 years, The Society’s Associates Committee has hosted the much-anticipated Bunny Hop, which heralds the arrival of spring. This event allows The Society’s members and New York families a wonderful evening for people of all ages – complete with magicians, costumed characters, special performances, delicious treats and more. Proceeds from The Bunny Hop will fund the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“The Bunny Hop remains a unique evening that gives parents an opportunity to share the importance of fundraising and philanthropy with the whole family,” said Jamee Gregory, President of The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering. “Cancer has impacted everyone in one way or another, and the Bunny Hop allows kids to understand at a young age the ways they can make a difference.”


Alison Aston, Emilia Pfeifler, Claiborne Swanson Frank, Veronica Swanson Beard, Carolina de Neufville, and Virginia Tomenson

Guests included: Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager, Dylan Dreyer, Virginia and Walter Tomenson, Jamee Gregory, Lindsey Coleman, Carolina de Neufville, Anna Burke Patterson, Indre Rockefeller, Amory McAndrew, Brent Neale Winston, Austen Cruz, Travis Acquavella, Gillian Hearst, Joanna Baker de Neufville, Amanda Waldron, Jill Kargman, Ferebee Taube, Claiborne Swanson Frank, Veronica Swanson Beard, Alison Aston, Coco Kopelman, Helena and Roman Martinez, Mary Carlisle Gambill, Emilia Pfeifler, Alexandra Robertson, Lili Buffett, Ali Edwards, Elizabeth Kurpis, Courtney Corleto, Gigi Stone Woods, Erin O’Connor, Libby Leist, Lindsay Tomenson, Meghan Horstmann, Avery Kesterson, Cece Barfield Thompson, Marisa Rose van Bokhorst, and many more.


Coco Kopelman
L to R.: Joanna Baker DeNeufville and Meghan Hortsmann; Jamee Gregory and Virginia Tomenson
Joanna Baker DeNeufville and Meghan Hortsmann
L to R.: Elizabeth Kurpis and Lili Buffet; Gillian Hearst
Helena and Roman Martinez
Indre Rockefeller

UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA) hosted their Annual Awards Luncheon at the United Nations Headquarters. This year, UNWFPA honored five distinguished individuals: actor, writer, and activist Ben Stiller (UNWFPA Advocacy Award), fashion designer Naeem Khan (Women’s Empowerment Award), philanthropists Albert and Deidre Pujols (Humanitarian Award), and Think Equal Founder and CEO Leslee Udwin (Activism in Arts and Education Award).

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff also presented the “Changemakers and Educators Award” to Marc Brackett, Ph.D. and Robin Stern, Ph.D. from the Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University for their work in integrating social and emotional well-being into schools, families and communities. Winston Wolkoff, Brackett and Stern also announced that they would be launching the Social Emotional Learning program with UNWFPA and Facebook Education.


Barbara Winston
Robin Stern and Marc Brackett

The Luncheon Chairs were Ray Kelly (CEO of Guardian Group and former NYC Police Commissioner) and Alice M. Tisch (The Alice M. and Thomas J. Tisch Foundation). For a second year in a row, Young Host Committee Chair was Andrea J. Catsimatidis.

UNWFPA’s President, Barbara Winston thanked all involved. She declared, “The United Nations Women for Peace Association has a mission to educate, to advance and champion giving a voice and platform to the empowerment of women and girls.”

“If we are to achieve lasting peace,” stated Leslee Udwin, “we are simply going to have begin with the children.” She elaborated, “Not one of us is is born discriminating against another based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or any other factor. We are taught to discriminate, as we are instructed in the ways of the world. [Think Equal] teaches empathy, emotional intelligence, gender equality, critical thinking, inclusion, and peaceful conflict resolution.”


Sheikha Rima al-Sabah

“I’m grateful to the UN Women for Peace Association, or, as I like to call it, UN-WOOF-PAH, for this incredible honor,” joked Ben Stiller. “I stand before you as the son of a mother, and the father of a daughter … I, like all men, owe my existence to women. These two women have had an incredible experience on me. One nurtured me, fed me, and taught me simple tasks like tying my shoes. How my teenage daughter found the time to do these things while going to high school is a testament to her strength and patience. In reality, my mother was the most important voice in my life.”

Naeem Khan said, “Fashion has a lot to do with change in the world. How can a designer make change? In going to Guatemala, Honduras, and India … I might not be the biggest business, but I think I have the platform that I can teach people, and give them what I have learned through my life in America, and see how I can uplift their lives.”


Leslee Udwin

Deidre Pujols said, “When I learned that we were going to receive this award, there was just no way that I was just going to have Albert [Pujols] and I here because there are people working around the world tirelessly against injustices, and that is table number four for us. They are part of Strikeout Slavery. These are some of the most incredible people. I celebrate this award and share it with them.”

Robin Stern said, “Together, we will work together to change the woes of women and girls forever. Let today mark the beginning of our journey.” Dr. Marc Brackett asked, “Take a moment to think – how are you all feeling today?” He then elaborated on the importance of recognizing emotions and regulating them.

“Were we all inspired today?” concluded Barbara Winston. “Let’s all get together and do some work together!”


Kat Graham

UNWFPA’s full Board of Directors is Dame Muna Rihani Al-Nasser (Founder and Chair), Barbara Winston (President), Rema DuPont (Vice President), Michal Grayevsky (Treasurer), Valbona Neritani, and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.

At the Luncheon, the Ambassadors for Peace included a variety of notable individuals, Sheikha Rima Al-Saba, H.R.H. Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro, First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo Garcia De Varela, Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, Bushra Khayat Jomaa and Eugenio Lopez Alonso.

The UNWFPA Committee of Honor is Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Kate Beckinsale, Ambassador Daniele Bodini, Geoffrey Bradfield, H.E. Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, Deborra-Lee Furness, Ashley Graham, Heather Graham, Kat Graham, Karolína Kurková, Debra Messing, Ambassador Adrian Neritani, Laurice Rahmé, Kelly Rutherford, and Sir Patrick Stewart OBE.


Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Naeem Khan, and Barbara Winston

UN Women for Peace Association, founded in 2008 under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, raises awareness of the terrible crimes against women and girls. UNWFPA promotes and advances the goals of UN agencies who provide opportunities for women through social, cultural, educational, and empowerment programs under the banner of a global peace building process. Proceeds go directly to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, which aims to prevent violence against women and girls, provides services and programs to those affected by violence, and strengthens the implementation of laws and policies on such violence.


Vera Djonovic, Michal Grayevsky, Barbara Winston, Rema DuPont, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, and Valbona Neritani
L to R.: Ben Stiller; Michelle Hurd
Albert Pujols and Deidre Pujols
L to R.: Mozhan Marno; Naeem Khan
Raymond Kelly and Alice Tisch
L to R.: Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser; Susan Gutfreund
Karolína Kurková
L to R.: Valbona Neritani and Michal Grayevsky; AnnaLynne McCord

The Avon Theatre Film Center hosted their 12th Annual Red Carpet Gala last month at l’escale at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor. This year’s gala celebrated “Adventures on the High Seas” and featured custom decorated tables highlighting different films, including Jaws, Titantic, Overboard, South Pacific, The Life of Pi, The Little Mermaid, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.

Co-chairs of the gala were Berdie Brady, Jenny Clark, Carol Cohen, Mary Ann Henry, Linda Munger and Judith Wertheimer. Red Carpet Directors were Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Louisa Greene and Deborah Royce. Comedian Jane Condon served as auctioneer. Guests dressed in glamorous evening gowns and tuxedoes fit for a Titanticadventure or came to set sail as sea captains, pirates or mermaids. DJ Amrit had many guests dancing even before dinner was served to famous songs from sea adventure films.


SHARK Wine Tasting!
This year’s gala celebrated “Adventures on the High Seas” and featured custom decorated tables highlighting different films, such as Jaws.


Deborah and Chuck Royce, co-founders of the Avon, saluted Moffly Media for their generous media support for over a decade. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthalpresented an official proclamation to Avon Award honorees, Susan Bevan and Tony Daddino, for their generous support of the arts.

The Gala kicked off the Avon’s celebration of Hollywood and their annual Oscar®-Nominated Film Festival which runs throughout February. The festival culminates with an Oscar®-Night Party at the Avon on Sunday, February 24. All proceeds from the Avon Red Carpet Festival support the theater’s programming, operations and Annual Scholarship Fund.


Senator Richard Blumenthal, Susan Bevan, and Tony Daddino
L to R.: Chuck and Deborah Royce; Berdie and Mairtin Brady
John and Patricia Chadwick
L to R.: Carrie and Ted Pryor; Cricket and Jim Lockhart
Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Deborah Royce, and Michael Kovner
L to R.: Spyros and Victoria Skouras; Susan Bevan and Tony Daddino
Michael Kovner and Darby Cartun
L to R.: Deborah Royce and Senator Richard Blumenthal; Carol and Gary Cohen
Francis and Regina Gannon, Lilla and David Kelley, Vicki and Frank Williams, Jenny and Chris Clark, Christine and Steve Paletta, and Jim and Ginge Cabrera

Photographs by BFA / Mike Vitelli (Bunny Hop); ChiChi and Elaine Ubina (Avon); Noa Grayevsky/Getty Images (UNWFPA)

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