Party Animals

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Gigi Fisdell, Caroline Smalley, Ann Van Ness, Paula Smalley, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Paola Bacchini Rosenshein, Maria Fishel, Ruth Miller, and Vicki McLaughlin at a book publication party for An Animal Alphabet hosted by Ann Van Ness and Carole Bellidora Westfall.

Did you know that an octopus has three hearts? How about that an elephant has 40,000 muscles in its trunk; or, that a herd of black rhinoceros is called a “crash”? Those little-known facts, plus others, are in An Animal Alphabet, a book by Emery Westfall. His inspiration came from the result of a walk through the children’s section of the Chatham Library where he was a trustee for 15 years. Then, recalling the warm memories of reading to his four grandchildren – especially the boys who lost their father on 9/11.

Ann Van Ness and Carole Bellidora Westfall hosted the book publication party in Ann’s beautiful house and garden. Carole continued Emery’s legacy by publishing his book this year. Animal print masks were given to all the guests who attended.

Carole Bellidora Westfall and Ann Van Ness.

The proceeds of the book will be donated to The Order of St John of Jerusalem recipient Hour Children, a leading provider of services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in New York State. Focused on women and their children, they support families during a mother’s incarceration and help families get back on their feet upon release.

Guests included Geoffrey Bradfield, Maria & Ken Fishel, Sharon Bush, Lucia Wong Gordon, Ruth Miller, Nicole Salmasi, Judy McLaren, Christophe von Hohenberg, Carolina von Humboldt, Barbara Tober, Hilary Block, Jo Hallingby, Bonnie Comley, Cheri Kaufman, Lee Fryd, Margo Langenberg, Stephanie Kreiger, Brian Stewart, Carol Cohen, Heidi & Allen Roberts, Gigi Fisdell, Pamela Morgan, Paula & Bill Hunnicutt, Lauren Lawrence, Christina Rose, Pamela Smalley, Dennis Basso, Susan & Jerry Baker, Maria Antonia Paterno, Mar & William Morosse, Linda & Peter Hoffman, Vicky Mc Laughton, Paola Bacchini Rosenshein, Randi Schatz, Andrea Wernick, Deanna Pastarelli, Patricia Shiah.

Hilary Block, Carole Bellidora Westfall, Judy McLaren, and Paula Hunnicutt.
Geoffrey Bradfield, Ann Van Ness, Caroline Smalley, and Barbara Tober.
Carol Cohen, Brian Stewart, Stephanie Kreiger, Heidi Roberts, and Allen Roberts.
L. to r.: Ann Van Ness, Sharon Bush, and Carole Bellidora Westfall; Nicole Salmasi.
Mariebelle Lieberman, Carolina Von Humboldt, Christopher Von Hohenberg, and Xin Fu.
Judy McLaren, Andrea Wernick, Randi Schatz, Cheri Kaufman, and Deanna Pastoreli.
L. to r.: Carole Bellidora Westfall and Lauren Lawrence; Ken Fishel and Bill Van Ness.
Stephanie Kreiger, Margo Langenberg, and Jo Hallingby.

Global Strays, with President and co-founder Elizabeth Shafiroff, held their 3rd Annual Benefit, Redefining Animal Welfare, at NAIA Hamptons in Southampton. The event honored those fighting for global animal welfare and Global Strays’ programs for pets, strays and working horses in underserved communities.

Guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails while mingling by the pool and lounge with many global animal lovers and environmentally conscious advocates. Global Strays was proud to showcase the tremendous strides they have made over the last year, highlighting their educational workshops, their spay/neuter programs, and working horse clinics in Nicaragua, as well as their shelter program in Colombia.

Jas Leverette, host of Canine Intervention on Netflix, and Georgina Bloomberg, author & animal Activist, were the Animal Champions for the evening. Global Strays head veterinarian, Dr. Lester Tapia, flew in from Nicaragua to attend the benefit. In addition, there was a silent auction specially curated by Global Strays staff with environmentally conscious fashion, beauty, and pet brands.

Elizabeth Shafiroff, Jas Leverette, Dr. Lester Tapia, Georgina Bloomberg.

Notable attendees included: Elizabeth Shafiroff, Georgina Bloomberg, Jas Leverette, Dr. Lester Tapia, Jean Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Southampton Mayor Jesse Warren, NYS Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Richard Ballard, Michael Pitsinos, David Hochberg, Aisha Christian, Ingrid Arneberg, Lindsay Feinstein, Suzan Kremer, Martyna Sokol, Greg D’Elia, and Leesa Rowland.

The Host committee included Missy Hargraves, Nathania Nisonson, Kingsley Crawford, Kate McEntee, Renee Amorosi, and Henry De La Paz. Agent Nateur, Save The Duck, Farm Hounds, KWONN, Pure Earth Pets, Mia Loves Jay all, and Metro Dog Training all contributed to the silent auction and Tito’s Handmade Vodka served as the liquor sponsor for the event.

Global Strays aims to reduce the suffering of animals in impoverished regions of Latin America with plans to expand globally. Global Strays fund animal shelters and bring services directly into communities in an effort to increase the well-being of animals and families alike. By creating long-standing partnerships, they tackle animal mistreatment and stray overpopulation at its root.

Rebecca Seawright, Jean Shafiroff, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Jas Leverette, Dr. Lester Tapia, Georgina Bloomberg, and Michael Pitsinos.
L. to r.: Ingrid Arneberg and Elizabeth Shafiroff; David Hochberg and Aisha Christian.
Jesse Warren, Martyna Sokol, Greg D’Elia, and friend.
L. to r.: Leesa Rowland and Missy Hargraves; Henry De La Paz with Rocky.
Kingsley Crawford, Kate McEntee, and Nathania Nisonson.

Last Friday evening out west, Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ reignited the tradition of their signature fundraiser, Candlelight Concert, with the 2021 Candlelight Kick-Off Party in Isamu Noguchi’s iconic sculpture garden, California Scenario.

Honorary Chair of this year’s Candlelight Concert, Elizabeth Segerstrom, with Candlelight Co-Chairs Carol Perry and Britt Meyer warmly welcomed guests into the garden on a perfect summer’s evening and announced lead sponsorships by Tiffany & Co. and LVMH. Guests enjoyed cocktails by UME Plum Liqueur, catering from Mastro’s, live performances by Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project and Brenna Whitaker and her Little Big Band.

LA Dance Project.
LA Dance Project.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will celebrate its 47th Candlelight Concert on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 under the visionary leadership of Segerstrom, Meyer and Perry, when they stand to raise record funds for Orange County’s home for the Arts.

David Codiga, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Phil Hettema, Carol Perry, Greg Miller, and Donna Kendall.
Benjamin Millepied and Elizabeth Segerstrom.
Diana Martin, Jane Fujishige Yada, Mykal Urbina, and Inessa Cascone.
L. to r.: Judy Morr and Todd Bentjen; Soogie Kang and Shanaz Langson.
Elizabeth Segerstrom, Britt Meyer, and Carol Perry.
L. to r.: Tracy and Roger Kirwan; Ishani Dhillon and Barbara Johnson.
Greg Miller, Elizabeth Segerstrom, and Fredric Golchan.
Elizabeth Segerstrom, Nigel Lythgoe, and Barbara Johnson.
Casey Reitz.

And back east, just outside of Washington, D.C., Opera Lafayette chose their Denim & Diamonds benefit last week at The Barns at Wolf Trap to announce plans for a new season, The Era of Marie-Antoinette coming to New York in spring 2022.

Ryan Brown, their founder and artistic director explained, “Opera Lafayette will highlight music performed in France from the late 18th century (through the revolution) and its influence upon the New World. The centerpiece will be the modern premiere of Grétry’s Silvain, an opera from 1770, much admired by Marie-Antoinette and the first opera performed in New Orleans, in 1796. Our production highlights parallels to the politics of the America’s South West. We’ll also turn a critical eye on the meaning of French music in the colonization of the Caribbean. Plus harpist Sandrine Chatron interprets Marie Antoinette’s own musical performances and patronage, performing work by two composers whose lives were intertwined with the French colonies.

Scenes from the Washington premiere of La Maréchal Farrant (The Blacksmith).

Opera Lafayette, the pre-eminent American interpreter and producer of period-instrument opera, burnishes the original appeal of these entertainments while illuminating their contemporary relevance.  Marie Antoinette’s favored dressmaker, Rose Bertin, is rumored to have said, “There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.” Not unlike Faulkner who famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

At the Denim & Diamonds benefit Opera Lafayette Co-Chairs Nizam Kettaneh and Dorsey Dunnwith wife Susan Dunn, and Board Members Walter Arnheim and Marsha Rehns, Pamela Hines, Stephen and Mary Sue Kitchen, Susan Lynner, Chris and Dianne O’Flinn, Leonard and Annemarie Ralston, JoAnn and Chip Willis, joined Barbara Hollinshead, Lee Canterfield, Tom Helinski, Ellen McCoy, Steven Pruitt, Sunita and Ashwani Rajput, and Carol Tutera for a spirited evening that included the Washington premiere of La Maréchal Farrant (The Blacksmith) adapting François-André Danican Philidor’s opéra comique into the late 19th-century American West, celebrating rural themes and familiar folk songs.

The dates for Opera Lafayette new season will be available soon at

Ryan Brown and Nick Olcott.
Dr. and Dr. Rajput.
Grammy Award Winning musician Dom Flemons.
Guitarist Dylan Kober (center) with his parents.
OL Board Co-chair Dorsey Dunn.
OL Board members JoAnn Willis and Stephen Kitchen.
OL Board Members Nizam Kettaneh and Susan Lynner.

Photographs by John Sanderson/ (Animal Alphabet & Opera Lafayette; Patrick McMullan (Global Strays)

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