Only in New York

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A view inside the 2022 Alzheimer's Association Imagine Benefit at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.

This past Tuesday night Marc Rosen hosted a cocktail party at his Fifth Avenue apartment for one of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars Joan Collins and her husband Percy Gibson, longtime friends of Marc and his late wife Arlene Dahl at his Fifth Avenue apartment.

Marc Rosen, Joan Collins, and Percy Gibson.

First things first: cocktail parties have become almost antique or at least rare-ish activities. They’d been declining in number over the years. Yes, the Lockdown and the Covid thing had something to do with its rarity, but generally 20, 30, 40 years ago cocktail parties were where New Yorkers got out and met the rest of the world called New York. People getting together for the purpose of getting together. They served many purposes including important business activities.

But there’s an art to it. In New York it’s where one met The Neighbors — the people who inhabit your world and its social environs called New York.

Frankly I was surprised by the crowd; by the number of so many familiar faces, and everybody engaged in conversations, in groups, in pairs or trios, moving from spot to spot, sitting, scrunched together on the sofas, with drinks being served along with great hors d’oeurves (the kind when you can find yourself compulsive, mmm, yum). It had the nice energy of everybody enjoying themselves. All for no other reason than the pleasure to sharing an hour or two among your “neighbors.” Only in New York.

Among the guests; Beth DeWoody, Angela and Ava Newley (Joan’s grandaughter), Jack Rich, Susan Gutfreund, Alex Hitz, Francine LeFrak and Rick Friedberg, Connie and Randy Jones, Marc’s Stepdaughter and her husband Carole and Philippe Delouvrier, Michael and Terrence Flannery, Candace Bushnell, Christopher Pennington, Mark Razzano, Michael Feinstein, Cornelia Bregman, Eva and Stanley Mohr, Jeffrey Kazin, Gale Hayman, Yanna Avis, Saundra Whitney,Carolina and Renaldo Herrera, Peter Bacanovic and Vanessa Noel.

Angela Tassoni Newley, Ava Newley, and Joan Collins.
Randy Jones, Joan Collins, and Connie Jones.
L. to r.: Vanessa Noel and Candace Bushnell; Phillippe Delouvrier and Yanna Avis.
Francine Lefrak, Rick Friedberg, and Carolina Herrera.
Angela Tassoni Newley and Ava Newley.
Candace Bushnell, Glenda Bailey, and Beth Rudin DeWoody.
DPC with the evening’s special guest, Joan Collins, and Yanna Avis.
Candace Bushnell, Alex Hitz, and Gale Hayman.
Cornelia Bregman and Sandra Whitney.
Beth Rudin DeWoody, Marc Rosen, and Carol Delouvrier.
L. to r.: Jack Rich and Rick Friedberg; Eva Mohr and Percy Gibson.
Alex Hitz, Gale Hayman, and Marc Rosen.
L. to r.: Susan Gutfreund and Carolina Herrera; Michael Feinstein and Joan Collins.
Cornelia Bregman, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Percy Gibson.
Marc Rosen and Firooz Zahedi.

On the cusp of November, which is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association held its annual Imagine Benefit, which was built on the legacy of the Rita Hayworth Gala.

Hosted by Olympic gold-medalist, Laurie Hernandez, the Alzheimer’s Association held its annual Imagine Benefit. and aims to raise awareness about ALZ to help accelerate global research, provide quality care and drive early detection for the 6 million Americans living with the disease and support the more than 11 million Americans who are their caregivers.

Laurie Hernandez gave heartfelt remarks on her family’s connection to Alzheimer’s speaking about her grandmother, Brunilda Hernandez, who passed away from the disease in 2016.
Imagine Benefit Founder Princess Yasmin Aga Khan speaks onstage during the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association Imagine Benefit at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Additionally, the Imagine Gala was founded by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan to honor the legacy of her mother Rita Hayworth who sadly passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s. Last Tuesday, Princess Yasmin also received the prestigious Legion of Honor award, France’s highest honor, for her dedication to the Alzheimer’s cause and for helping to raise more than $85 million over three decades to find a cure.

The Imagine Benefit was hosted by Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and included performances by jazz pianist Aaron Diehl, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lisa Fischer, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Broadway actress and current Elphaba in Wicked, Talia Suskauer, and drag queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Scarlet Envy.

L. to r.: Designer Josie Natori and Joseph Boitano; Two-time Olympic medalist and member of the 2016 famed “Final Five” Laurie Hernandez, and her mother, Wanda Hernandez.
Imagine Benefit Gala Chairs Greg Smith, Joseph Boitano, Deanna Rockefeller, Kara Ross, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Brooke Kennan, Oliver Kennan, and Fifi Leachman.
L. to r.: The French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Étienne, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan; Ann Dexter-Jones.
The Martz Family.
Oksana Lada and Peter Thomas Roth.
Katarina Regalado, Blaise Labriola, and Martha Webster.
Celebrity chef Madison Cowan holds his signature craft cocktail created specifically for the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association.
Brandon Martz, Jesse Martz, and Lila Martz shared their family’s story about their father, Brian Martz, and his diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at 59.
Alzheimer’s Association CEO Harry Johns.
Jazz virtuoso, Aaron Diehl, delighted the crowd.
Broadway star and current “Elphaba” in Wicked, Talia Suskauer serenaded attendees with a perfect rendition of the classic song “Don’t Rain on my Parade” from Funny Girl.
The world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir performs “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher & Higher.”
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Lisa Fischer performs a moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Scarlet Envy performs “Press On” during the desserts and dancing portion.
Sharon Bush and Cornelia Sharpe Bregman.

Photographs by John Sanderson/ (Joan Collins); JP Yim/Getty Images (Alzheimer’s Association).

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