The Gift of Love

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AMC President and CEO Kate Coyne, Stephen and Christine Schwarzman, and Chairman Robert Liberman with FDNY K-9 Unit at the Animal Medical Center's annual Top Dog Gala.

The last major philanthropic event of the old year — 2022 — was held at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center’s “Top Dog Gala” at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 13, 2022 where they honored Stephen and Christine Schwarzman in recognition of their transformational gift of $25 million to the AMC’s Gift of Love Capital Campaign to expand and renovate the hospital’s 60-year old headquarters on 61st Street and York Avenue. The AMC is the largest and most extensive major animal hospital in New York. There are probably similar-sized animal medical centers in this country and elsewhere but it exceeds anything I know of anywhere else. 

Stephen and Christine Schwarzman with their Top Dog Award.

The Schwarzmans’ gift was the largest individual donation of the animal medical center’s expansion which will include several new floors when it is completed.  This event, which filled the vast Cipriani 42nd Center’s building, is their most important annual fund-raiser.

They raised $2.3 million to support all aspects of the AMC’s non-profit institution, including education, research, and the provision of compassionate, collaborative care for animals in need. It is open 24-7, and where like thousands of others, this writer has visited with one of my dogs over the years when there is an emergency requiring immediate care. 

The Schwarzmans, who are very prominent in New York, and well known because of Mr. Schwarzman’s highly successful global investment business Blackstone, are animal lovers. They have three Jack Russells. On being introduced to the audience, which included many of their friends and animal lovers, Christine Schwarzman told the story of being a dog lover all her life since childhood. 

When Steve proposed marriage, one of the first things she wanted to know was how he felt about dogs and had no intention of going into a situation where she wouldn’t be living with them in her marital future. Steve did not have the growing up experience with animals, but he was willing to give it a try. 

In telling the guests about their dog lives, their three J-R’s were brought up on stage with the couple who sat with them for a moment and we all got to see how Steve Schwarzman was an overwhelmed fan of the pups — full of beautiful energy and love. On seeing their presence with their owners, it was easy to guess that he’s a dog-lover like so many others in the room.

“Through our philanthropy,” he explained to the guests, “we look for institutions that are changing paradigms and making an outsized impact on their field. AMC is a true center of excellence for veterinary medicine and a preeminent teaching hospital. We’re pleased to help recognize the critical role AMC has played over the last 100 plus years and the impact it can have over the next century.”

Kate Coyne and Bobby Liberman.

Bobby Liberman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and host at the benefit’s gala, commented “The Schwarzmans’ extraordinary philanthropy has impacted individuals and organizations throughout the world, and we are truly grateful to  bre included among their many esteemed beneficiary institutions.”

Most impressive and relatable to the hundreds of guests was watching their three J-Rs showing their enthusiasm being on their owners’ laps taking over the room. This writer has been a longtime client (or rather my dogs have been) because 24-7, this animal medical center is always there whether it is by appointment or emergency. They are so good and it is so popular that the expansion in terms of size and potential are necessary for the good of the dogs, the cats/kitties and all other animal creatures, and for us, the owners and masters who benefit daily from their presence in our lives.

Crisis Response Canines.

The Gala also honored the FDNY K9 Unit and the non-profit Crisis Response Canines.

The evening, co-chaired by Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, Marianne Mebane, and Annette de la Renta, drew over 450 guests were in attendance, including: Kenneth and Elaine Langone, Charles and Ann Johnson, Annette de la Renta, Bernadette Peters, Deborah Norville, Zibby Owens, and Dina Powell.

It was a wonderful evening in every way.

Crisis Response Canines and handlers with Kate Coyne.
Amin Khoury , Trustee Emilia Krimendahl, Trustee Sherry Koplin, and Cary Koplin.
L. to r.: Trustee Elaine Langone and Ann Johnson; Sarah Jane and Trevor Gibbons.
Kalliope Karella, with Christine and Stephen Schwarzman.
Deborah Norville and Christine Schwarzman.
Robert Couturier.
L. to r.: Doug Benson and Paul Dassenko; Elaine Langone and Christine Schwarzman.
Trustees Bernadette Peters and Lisa Schiff.
Kate Coyne, Lisa Schiff, and Robert Liberman.

In the world of design, the Marc Rosen Education Fund at Pratt Institute held its sixth annual Symposium ‘Designing For Sustainable Innovation’ at the Asia Society.

Symposium panelists — which included Al lanuzzi, Vice President, Sustainability, Estée Lauder Companies; Ron Gonen, CEO, Closed Loop Partners; Caroline Brown, Managing Director. Closed Loop Partners; Mitchell Gold, CEO of MGBW Home — discussed how designers must adapt and prioritize sustainability in the world of fashion, furnishings, cosmetics, and big business.

Ron Gonen, Mitchell Gold, Juliana Curran Terian, Frances Bronet, Marc Rosen, Caroline Brown, Al Ianuzzi

Moderated by Marc Rosen, Cosmetics Packaging Designer and Pratt Institute Trustee Emeritus, the panelists shared their insights on how they have leveraged the circular economy and other emerging trends to reimagine a more sustainable and ethical design practice—while still retaining impeccable and luxurious style in their products and services.

The event also celebrated the third Marc Rosen Excellence in Packaging Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship in sustainable packaging design. The recipient was Erik Paez Menzel from Monterrey, Mexico.

Gale Hayman, Marc Rosen, and Susan Gutfreund.
Haemi Kwon and Jamie Saakvitne.
Jacqueline Sitterle and Barbara Gyde.
Marc Rosen.
Juliana Curran Terian.
President Frances Bronet.
Caroline Brown.
Al Ianuzzi.
Ron Gonen.
Mitchell Gold.
Guests at the 6th Annual Design Symposium.
Marc Rosen with Merit Award Recipients Oleh Motrych, Siyu Shen, Gaia Hwang, Mengyao Yu, and Hao-Chun Yang.
Marc with Marc Rosen Scholars Eunice Su, Erik Paez Menzel, and Xian Shen.

And down in Palm Beach, from the wow factor of a ballroom filled with glamorous nods to old school cinema, to the impromptu repertoire of greatest hits belted out by legendary actress and Broadway fireball Patti LuPone, to the impressive recap of a year filled with innovation and powerful work shared by MorseLife Health System’s President and CEO Keith Meyers, the MorseLife 39th Birthday celebration at The Breakers was a big success.

Honoring donors who support the 3,600 seniors whose lives MorseLife Health System touches every day, chairs Terri C. Sriberg and Donald M. Ephraim, honorary chairs Jean S. Sharf and Bruce A. Beal, as well as junior chairs Nick Hissom and Kameron Ramirez planned the spectacular evening of dinner and entertainment.

L. to r.: Terri C. Sriberg and Donald M. Ephraim; Marlene Strauss and Bruce A. Beal.
L. to r.: Nick Hissom and Kameron Ramirez; Jean Sharf and Larry Herbert.

The evening’s dinner started with flowering smoked salmon blooms and a golden egg filled with caviar and crème fraiche, and crescendoed with a finale of Le Vacherin – a raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream dessert shrouded in shards of light meringue and accented with a raspberry-styled rose to pay homage to LuPone’s role in “Gypsy.” As dessert was served, LuPone took to the stage and blew the roof off the Venetian ballroom to the delight of an adoring audience.

“This is the first time in three years that I have sung in front of people in this kind of environment,” said LuPone as she proceeded to pull her playlist from a top hat and deliver hit after hit, while telling stories about each of her favorites. “My mother bought albums from the check-out counter at the Long Island A&P store and ’Ed Sullivan Presents…’ was my introduction to musicals.”

She then brought the room to their collective feet with hits from “Evita,” “Sweeney Todd” and “West Side Story,” as well popular nostalgic standards including “Moon River” and “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.”

Patti LuPone.

MorseLife’s mission is to improve the lives of seniors through innovative and compassionate health care, housing and supportive services. As a charitable, not-for-profit organization, MorseLife’s programs include independent and assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, memory care, long-term care, private and skilled home health care, Hospice, palliative care, meals-on-wheels, Cannabis-based therapies, care management and counseling, homebound Mitzvah program and MorseLife Foundation and PACE – Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

“MorseLife is the first entity of its kind in Florida’s history to have received an exemption from the State Legislature to open a Hospice program,” explained Keith A. Myers, President and CEO of MorseLife Health System, “and we are the only Jewish Hospice program in the state also offering palliative care. Thanks to our supporters, more than 600,000 hours of highly subsidized home health care are provided each year through MorseLife home health care. Our annual dinner event is a celebration of the donors who make those award-winning and state-of-the-art programs possible.”

For information about MorseLife programming or events, email or call 561.242.4661.

L. to r.:  Sondra and David Mack; Phyllis and William Mack.
Andrea and Steve Wynn.
L. to r.: Michele and Howard Kessler; Keith and Pam Myers.
L. to r.: Stephen Levin and Melissa Summerville; Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan.
L. to r.: Marsha and Richard Goldberg; Bruce and Robbi Toll.
L. to r.: Andrea and John Stark; Eileen Berman and Jay Bauer.

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