It’s just about time for the reindeer

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A snowy Wednesday afternoon on Park Avenue. Photo: JH.

Friday, December 20, 2019. Very cold in New York after yesterday’s snow (removed by the rain that followed). 20 degrees by nighttime. Winter is only a day away and you have to bundle up.

Otherwise, t’is the season and for New Yorkers — especially after the heavy snow squalls on Wednesday — and with the Christmas and holiday lights adorning the nabes and building lobbies, it’s just about time for the reindeer.

Every year some longtime friends, once residents of LA when I was living there, send me a Della Robbia wreath purchased from the Boys Republic. It is delivered fresh-fresh overnight in a large box, and its purchase price benefits the Boys Republic.

Della Robbia wreath from Boys Republic.

Boys Republic is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian school and treatment community for troubled youngsters. It was founded in 1907 by Margaret B. Fowler, and has guided more than 30,000 at-risk teenage boys and girls toward productive, fulfilling lives.

Its central school and farm is in Chino Hills. There are also residential and day treatment centers in other communities. Boys Republic and its companion program, Girls Republic, help children in desperate need to find within themselves the resources and skills to begin meaningful lives on their own. Something that all boys and girls need.

The Della Robbia wreath program was introduced originally by Mrs. Fowler to serve as a work experience vehicle for students of the school. The wreaths are patterned after a centuries-old ceramic design created by the Della Robbia family of Florence, Italy. Each wreath is individually made by one of the students.

Boys Republic seeks to give adolescent youth with behavioral, educational, and emotional difficulties an opportunity to achieve their maximum potential for responsible, self-directed life within the community. 

1923 was the first year of Mrs. Fowler’s project, with only a few dozen wreaths produced. They were sold on the streets of Pasadena. But the program grew over the years, as did the demand. Today, Boys Republic’s students produce and ship more than 50,000 wreaths each year, to destinations throughout the United States and around the world. You can learn more here.

Keepin’ up with keeping on … From another part of the Lower 48, down in Palm Beach, there is a retrospective exhibition of “The World As Seen By Harry Benson” at the Holden Luntz Gallery at 332 Worth Avenue. 

It opened last Saturday but tomorrow, the 21st, there will be a reception with the man himself making an appearance. The show runs through January 4th. Harry’s work takes you back to those moments he’s photographed in the American and the international life over the past 65 years. Here’s a tiny preview of this fabulous collection …

The Who, 1980.
Beatles arriving in New York, 1964.
Dolly Parton, Nashville, 1976.
James Brown, Augusta, GA, 1979.
Princess Diana, 1992.
Valentino, Limo, New York, 1984.
Veruschka and Giorgio di SantAngelo, New York, 1972.

We’ve already told you about the Animal Medical Center’s annual “Top Dog Gala” at Cipriani 42nd Street a couple of weeks ago. As a reminder: they honored Dylan Lauren — advocate for animal welfare, and founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar — and her dog Jersey; and Sully, who made his name in dogdom as President George H. W. Bush’s Service Dog. The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau Canine teams were also honored.

Board Chairman Bobby Liberman, Dylan Lauren, and Chief Executive Officer Kate Coyne.

The Gala raised $1.8 million to benefit the Animal Medical Center’s non-profit mission of research, education, and charitable giving to animals in need. David Monn created a spectacular festive décor, shimmering with his beautifully designed centerpieces of dogs and cats, puppies and kitten.

The evening was co-chaired by Robert Couturier, Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, and Annette de la Renta.  Among the nearly 500 guests were: William and Donna Acquavella, Nancy Kissinger, Kenneth and Elaine Langone, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Katharine Rayner, and David and Lisa Schiff.

Dylan Lauren and the NYPD Canine teams.

Bobby Liberman, Chairman, AMC’s Board of Trustees, presented the award along with AMC Chief Executive Officer Kate Coyne, sharing that it was “created to recognize an individual who, in word and deed, has emulated Brooke Astor’s cherished ideals and values and works to preserve and protect the human-animal bond.”

It’s a great evening and it’s something good for our loved ones, the canines and felines to bring something enriching and fulfilling in our lives and this world of raging turmoil. I’ve had dogs and cats since I was old enough to know what they were. All these years later I see they provide us with the opportunity to feel love freely, and with their unique ability to encourage the feeling.

Paul Arrouet, Dylan Lauren, Gala Co-Chair Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer Kate Coyne, Board Chairman Bobby Liberman, and Sully.
Trustee/Gala Co-Chair Nancy Kissinger, Dylan Lauren, Chief Executive Officer Kate Coyne, Trustee/Gala Co-Chair Elaine Langone, and Sully.
Trustee/Gala Co-Chair Elaine Langone, Trustee Donna Acquavella, William Acquavella, Kenneth Langone, and Sully.
John Tally, Georgina Bloomberg, and NYPD Canine team.
Trustee Bernadette Peters, Dylan Lauren, and Chief Executive Officer Kate Coyne.
L. to r.: Trustee Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl; Ricky Lauren and Trustee/Gala Co-Chair Annette de la Renta.
Trustee Sherry Koplin, Heidi Holterbosch, Jesse Lovejoy, and Board Chairman Bobby Liberman.
Andrew Lauren and Dylan Lauren.
Trustee Gabrielle Armand, Trustee Lisa Schiff, and Eva Mohr.
Trustee/Gala Co-Chair Elaine Langone, Ed Garden, Trustee Brooke Garden, and Kenneth Langone.
L. to r.: Chips Moore and Trustee Liz Moore; Gala Co-Chair Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy and Chief Administrative Officer Neil McCarthy.
Dylan Lauren, Gala Co-Chair Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, and Board Chairman Bobby Liberman.
Ralph Lauren, Dylan Lauren, and Ricky Lauren.
L. to r.: Trustee Katharine Rayner and Barbara Liberman; Board Chairman Bobby Liberman and Ralph Lauren.
Maurice Sonnenberg, Trustee Katharine Rayner, and Gala Co-Chair Robert Couturier.

Meanwhile there are lots and lots of our four-legged friends who are homeless and unable to share their spiritual bounty. So in the spirit of the seasons, we’re running a couple of reminders of fulfilling possibilities available. Just remember in life with the dogs and cats, it’s you who has to adjust. They will follow, and that’s the reward.

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