On September 7, Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (FODC) held an elegant gala dinner at the Great Stables of Chantilly, France, celebrating the site’s long-standing equestrian heritage. This exceptional evening was held under the high patronage of His Highness the Aga Khan and Xavier Darcos. It was presided by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, FODC Board Chairman, and co-chaired by Maryvonne Pinault and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
The festivities began in the impressive courtyard at the center of the Great Stables with a reception by Champagne Laurent-Perrier. Then, guests were treated to a special performance by Chantilly’s own renowned equestrian company who, led by Artistic Director Sophie Bienaimé, entertained the crowd with their graceful horsemanship. Afterwards, a sumptuous dinner was served in the western wing. The menu was designed by 3 Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Anton and Guy Krenzer of Lenôtre, and accompanied by iconic wines: Château Canon and Château Rauzan-Ségla donated by Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, and Château Rieussec from Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). Throughout dinner, impromptu performances added cheer and merriment. At dinner’s end, guests returned to the courtyard where they were treated to lavish bouquets of flowers in souvenir of an unforgettable evening at Chantilly.
This special event welcomed 300 distinguished guests and loyal benefactors from around the world, from Houston to Hong Kong, who wished to support the renovation of the Great Stables which will be funded by proceeds from the evening.
For more information and photos: www.fodchantilly.org/gala2018
The Educational Theatre Foundation’s fourth annual Broadway Back to School event, benefitting school theatre education programs for schools in need, was held Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City.
Hosted by Hunter Bell, Broadway Back to School was an inspiring evening of show-stopping performances celebrating the theatre arts—with Broadway stars, including Caitlin Kinnunen (THE PROM, Spring Awakening, Law & Order: SVU); Justin Gregory Lopez (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC, Evita, In the Heights); Bonnie Milligan (Head over Heels, Kinky Boots, Search Party on TBS); and more, sharing their stories of how they got started, recognizing their theatre teachers, and sharing the stage with current students from the International Thespian Society.
Key leaders in education and the theatrical industry were honored with the inaugural Broadway Back to School Award recognizing their impact in building access and excellence in school theatre: Freddie Gershon, Co-Chairman of Music Theatre International (MTI), and Dr. Sharon Dunn, formerly Senior Manager for Arts Education for the New York City Department of Education.
A highlight of the event was the announcement of a major gift from Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, in support of ETF’s JumpStart Theatre program that builds sustainable musical theatre programs in middle schools that previously had none.
The Durst Organization along with Douglas and Susanne Durst hosted a benefit at 4 Times Square in midtown Manhattan to support The Everglades Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 working to protect and restore America’s Everglades through science, education and advocacy. The evening welcomed business leaders, philanthropists and political figures to a visual journey showcasing the natural beauty of the wetlands‘ wild and endangered habitat, as captured by renowned nature photographer Mac Stone.
Notable attendees included: Douglas Durst, Susanne Durst, Eric Eikenberg, Mac Stone, CBS New York‘s Lonnie Quinn, Ellin Goetz, Diana Barrett, Marshall Field V, Mary Barley, Gary Lickle, Nancy Deluci, Helena Rose Durst, Alexander Durst, Eva Durst, Mark Domino, Gregg Manjerovic, John Wamser, David Fried, John Hilton and Jody Hilton.
The evening’s emcee Lonnie Quinn, CBS and WLNY 10/55 Chief Weathercaster, opened the evening by discussing his own South Florida roots and the threats facing Florida’s environment posed by perennial toxic algae blooms. “The Everglades is hurting – it’s hurting because of water,” he said. “Water is not only the lifeblood for South Florida, but it is the lifeblood of the Everglades. So that is what we are here to do today – to figure out things and raise money to get the Everglades back to where it should be.”
The Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg thanked donors for their support and called on the U.S. Senate to approve a key component of Everglades restoration – the Everglades reservoir – in this year’s America’s Water Infrastructure Act.
“For nearly two decades, policymakers and scientists have all agreed that restoration is the real solution to Florida’s water crisis,” he said. “Now, all eyes turn to the United States Senate. The Everglades reservoir awaits approval and we urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the reservoir to a vote.”
The evening’s keynote was given by Mac Stone, renowned nature photographer and author of the award-winning book “Everglades: America’s Wetlands,” who took guests on a visual journey of the wetlands and discussed the technical challenges of capturing powerful images of endangered species, like the Florida Panther, in the wild. He showed an Everglades teeming with life, but also disappearing rapidly due to habitat loss and poor water quality.
“Although the Everglades lives in Florida, it is a natural treasure – one of the most unique, and imperiled, places in the world,” he said. “My work is about trying to dispel some of the myths that the Everglades is a scary swamp, and instead show the incredible array of biodiversity and culture that exists in these wetlands. The Everglades may not have the dramatic mountains and vistas of treasured national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, but it is equally deserving of our adoration. Wilderness is a part of who we are as a nation, and it’s incumbent upon us to protect the Everglades as a piece of our natural heritage.”
America’s Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness reserve in North America, the fresh water supply to nearly eight million Floridians, and home to over 70 threatened or endangered species. Nearly 100 years of diking, damming and development has reduced the wetlands to nearly a third of its original size, and contributed to the current widespread toxic algae blooms that have resulted in two states of emergencies since 2016.
To support the mission of The Everglades Foundation, visit www.evergladesfoundation.org
Photographs by Luc Castel and Bruno Cohen (Domaine de Chantilly); Annie Watt (Broadway Back to School); Laura Massa/Michael Priest Photography, Rob Rich, & Patrick McMullan (Everglades)