Memories Matter

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The Pink Moon. 9:30 PM. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Sunny but kinda chilly in New York yesterday with temps in the 50s and much colder last night under the Pink Moon.

Catching up on getting out. This has been a challenging time for the charities which need these months to communicate with their supporters and to continue their quests for new sources of funding. 

Earlier this month the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) community united during a special evening of stories and songs at the 4th Annual Memories Matter Event . The theme of the event was “Music and Memories.”

Memories Matter featured special guest appearances from Emmy and Tony award winner Bryan Cranston and ADDF Board of Governors Co-Vice Chair and Secretary Randal Sandler, as well as an ensemble of Broadway singers performing a tribute to those who have been lost to the disease and the power of memories.

Randal Sandler, ADDF Board of Governors Co-Vice Chair and Secretary.

Bryan Cranston — who lost his mother to Alzheimer’s — told the guests that “it is vitally important that we continue research, treatment, and explore the world of drugs and how to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer’s. The ADDF is doing just that, and we have to support them in their quest to not only take care of the people who are already afflicted with Alzheimer’s, but those who will become afflicted with Alzheimer’s.”

Bryan Cranston.

The ADDF is an amazing organization founded by the two brothers — Leonard and Ronald Lauder. It is the only nonprofit solely devoted to finding new drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s, hosts Memories Matter to raise awareness of the devastating impact of this disease.

The event was founded by ADDF Board Members Wendy Wilshin and Stephanie Ginsberg, both of whom lost their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease.

Memories Matter Co-Founders, Stephanie Ginsberg, left, and Wendy Wilshin, right.

Then there were siblings Matt and Caitlin Fay, members of the Young Professionals Committee, who explained how they joined together after their father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and raised over $15,000 to support the ADDF.

Siblings Matt and Caitlin Fay, two members of ADDF Young Professionals Committee.

Memories Matter raised over $850,000 in donations, including over $100,000 during the virtual live auction.

Broadway singers performing at the conclusion of the event.

Memories Matter Founding Chair Ian Ginsberg, left, and Young Professionals Committee member Alec Ginsberg, performed a musical number with ADDF board member Mitchell Kaneff.
Alec Ginsberg.
ADDF board member Mitchell Kaneff.

Also in the current world of Zoom benefits, our friend architect Hermes Mallea was honored last Tuesday night by the Preservation League of New York State with the Pillar Award.  The League did a great 4-minute video of Paul LeClerc interviewing Hermes about his past and current  preservation efforts.

Hermes is also an architectural historian, author of the very popular Great Houses of Havana (Monacelli Press).  Among his preservation efforts, he is currently creating a design library in Havana, and had just shipped 800 books to them. That is a treasure in that country.

Hermes Mallea with Susan Morgenthau and his Pillar Award.

After the virtual benefit, Carey Maloney hosted a dinner at his apartment  For some of the guests, the dinner was their first social outing.  Among the guests: Susan and Bob Morgenthau, Paul and Judith LeClerc, Joan Clark, Sydney Houghton Weinberg. Paul LeClerc is a past Pillar; and Sydney’s uncle James Houghton was the first Pillar.

Dinner guests Joan Clark, Sydney Weinberg, Judith Ginsberg, and Paul LeClerc.

More events. The French Heritage Society (FHS) held their 4th Annual Book Award Ceremony last Thursday, April 22nd, and  presenting their prestigious award to A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment by Stéphane Henault and Jeni Mitchell.

Elizabeth Stribling, FHS chairman, introduced all the books that were shortlisted for this year’s prize including France in the New World: A New Global History edited by Patrick Bucheron, Dior and his Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look by Maureen Footer, The Seine: The River That Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino, and Catherine & Diderot: The Empress, The Philosopher, and the Fate of the Enlightenment by Robert Zaretsky.

Elizabeth Stribling.

Cheryl Hurley, former CEO and co-founder of the Library of America and member of the FHS book award jury, explained, “We gave A Bite-Sized History of France the award because of its original concept, its lively writing, and its wide appeal.” The book serves up a sumptuous tour of French history through the prism of food.

Christan Draz, co-chair of the awards committee, presented Henault and Mitchell with the award, The Jefferson Cup, a silver trophy named after America’s most famous Francophile, Thomas Jefferson. In his presentation, Draz said, “You have packed your book full of 2,000 years of French history and culinary accomplishments. Bravo and congratulations!” Along with the award, Henault and Mitchell will receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Cheryl Hurley.
Christian Draz.

“To receive this recognition from an organization who does so much to preserve French culture and French heritage is just wonderful,” said author Jeni Mitchell. “As a French-American family we really made this book out of love; out of love for French history, and French gastronomy.”

Stephane Henault and Jeni Mitchell.

A lively discussion with the authors followed, moderated by Laura Auricchio, Dean of Fordham College, which included the history of vinegar and the plague, the importance of starches during the French Revolution, and the role of cheese throughout French history. Henault, a cheese monger by trade, suggested that, “Cheese has an oversized emotional appeal, not only in France but also of America.”

Laura Auricchio.

The ceremony concluded with a brief questions and answer session moderated by Jennifer Herlein, executive director FHS with all their zoom guests. 

In closing Jennifer Herlein thanked Mitchell and Henault: “You transported us to France, you took us on a culinary trip, and it was an absolute delight.”

The full Panel.

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