The “Virtuals”

Featured image
Family Day at LongHouse Reserve.

Monday, October 26, 2020. I mention the date for this page of Party Pictures because these few weeks before Old Man Winter returns are usually the busiest in terms of social activity across the city. Many many millions are raised annually in New York for charities through their events such as galas and attended by (in total) thousands of New Yorkers and guests from out of town. This year is a glaring exception because of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown and business closures. 

However, creative thinking and modern technology has come to the rescue at least temporarily with the phenomenon called Zoom where many organizations have been producing “virtual” fundraisers. You have read about a few of them on these pages recently. The “virtuals” are a different animal altogether, devoid of crowds and hotel ballrooms and dinners for several hundred. However, they have proven to be very good in the fund-raising department, even extraordinary for some organizations. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s annual autumn lunch raised $3 million via “virtual.”

Leonard A. Lauder at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s “virtual” annual autumn lunch.

As time moves on, however, it is possible in the near future we’re going to see more and more people out and attending public events such as the inevitable galas. In the meantime, today we’re running some photos from social events which had taken place here, in the Hamptons, and even in Monte Carlo.

On Thursday, October 16th, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation hosted its annual Symposium & Awards Luncheon in a virtual format for the first time. Nearly 1,100 attendees joined from around the world.  They heard directly from esteemed breast cancer experts about the latest strides in research that BCRF is funding, and they have made decisive and great progress.

The lunch also honors some of the incredible people making that research possible. The inspiring afternoon raised a record-breaking $3 million to ensure that, even in the midst of global crisis, BCRF’s international legion of leading scientists can continue their lifesaving work.

Maria & Larry Baum were honored with the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award.

Saturday, October 10th, LongHouse Reserve, the East Hampton sculpture garden, welcomed guests for two “socially distant” outdoor events on Family Day and Dahlia Day.

It began in the early afternoon with grandparents and parents with children of all ages arriving in staggered groups for the annual free event — which included yoga and an art workshop. Adding to the fun, the nearby Quogue Wildlife Reserve shared a live owl and giant turtle. A family treasure hunt included a search for artworks and educational questions.

Gentle family yoga.
Wildlife presentation.
Wildlife presentation.
Art workshop.
Art workshop.

Dahlia Day featured events with Frances Palmer, the noted gardener, photographer, and potter. Ms. Palmer signed every copy on hand of her new book, Francis Palmer: Life in the Studio, followed by an interactive flower-arranging workshop. LongHouse’s gardens proudly features over 40 varieties of gorgeous, colorful dahlias.

Guests were from the local community including the Wilson family, behind cancer foundation Candlelighters NYC. Present LongHouse board members were Dianne Benson, Nina Gillman, and Sheri Donghia. LongHouse’s very own Matko Tomicic, Wendy VanDeusen, Selena Rothwell, and Holger Winenga remained on hand throughout the day.

Frances Palmer holding PomPon Dahlias during the workshop.
Frances Palmer and Sherri Donghia.
Arranging …
Presenting …
And just plain showing off!

LongHouse is a 16-acre sculpture garden where nature and art come together, featuring pieces from Buckminster Fuller, Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono, and Willem de Kooning, to name a few.  Founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, its collections, sculpture, programs, and gardens reflect world culture and foster a creative life for visitors of all ages and every level of appreciation. Currently on special exhibition is Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze.

For more see:

Out in Southampton Jean Shafiroff hosted a special fundraiser for the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) at NAIA Restaurant at the Capri Hotel. They were celebrating the community’s animal shelter and all their hard work for homeless animals. The really good news for the shelter’s residents and their caregivers was that they raised from the event along with Southampton Animal Shelter Fouindation’s Match Your Gift program. It was a much needed boost for the foundation especially because  their annual Unconditional Love Gala was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event raised $40,150 which will be matched by the shelter’s Match Your Gift program to total $80,300.

Jean and Martin Shafiroff.

The event brought out a good crowd. Among those attending with Jean Shafiroff were her husband, Martin Shafiroff; Ingrid Arneberg, Pamela Dove, Jesse Smith, Mar and William Morosse, Adela Nino, Lieba Nesis, Nicole Salami, Cheri Kaufman, Chris Arlotta, Deanna Pasarelli, Ruth Miller, Maria Fishel, Greg D’Elia; and NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and her husband Jay Hershenson.

Junior Chairs of the event were: Katie McEntee, and Nathania Nisonson; committee members Antonella Bertello, Kingsley Crawford, Missy Hargraves, and Randi Schatz; board members Beau Hulse, Clifton and Raya Knight, Martin Shafiroff, John Bradham, and Sean Deneny. 

The fundraiser was underwritten by Jean, along with Micheal Pitsinos of NAIA restaurant, the Capri, and auctioneer Bill McCuddy who donated his services to be auctioneer to raise funds.

Despite the cancellation of the 11th Annual Unconditional Love Gala, the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation continues to raise funds and awareness for these beautiful and loveable homeless animals. The SASF has been relying heavily on the funds generated by the Gala to care for these shelter animals. 

While they remain committed to saving the lives of pets in need, this reduction in funding will impact the scope of the SASF mission. They not only take in community pets but also partner with other rescues, located on Long Island and areas in the South including Puerto Rico, to save animals that are in dire situations. Oftentimes, the SASF shelter is their last resort.

Right now, all donations up to $150,000 will be matched. If you give $500, their shelter pets get $1000. This will accelerate their goal to reach $500,000.

This past year, the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation found homes for more than 800 animals. It has also provided the community with necessary resources like their Wellness Clinic, Advo-Cats Program, low-cost spay/neuter mobile clinic, as well as other community outreach programs. These services help pet owners who fall on hard times keep their animals with them and out of the shelters. This is more important than ever because of the financial effects on the pandemic’s presence in the community.

With SASF’s Introducing Match Your Gift program, all donations up to $150,000 will be matched! The SASF is asking their friends and family to give what you can to help us help them. This season, SASF is excited to announce that a few generous donors have graciously offered to match donations up to $150,000.

Jean Shafiroff, Randi Schatz, Nicole Salmasi, Maria Fishel, and Ruth Miller.

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of their donors and volunteers to care to for the homeless animals in its community, and to place them in loving “forever homes.

The number of animals in need of help is growing every day. The overpopulation of pets on Long Island is a major issue. Be they strays found wandering the streets, or rescuing neglected and abandoned animals; or saving dogs from the horrors of the puppy mill industry, the shelter is a safe haven for all — and for some, a last resort. Without SASF, these animals would not be able to survive. The shelter provides a stepping stone to find a loving home for each and every one.

L. to r.: Greg D’Elia; Lieba Nesis.
L. to r.: Mario Pecoraro and Chris Arlotta; Kate McEntee and Beau Hulse.
Sean Deneny, Jean Shafiroff, Clifton Knight, Beau Hulse, Martin Shafiroff, and John Bradham.
L. to r.: Raya and Clifton Knight; Missy Hargraves.
L. to r.: Bill McCuddy and Kate McEntee; Adele Nino.

A weekend of festivities in Monte Carlo. The international party scene is still rocking in Monte Carlo. Prince Albert of Monaco and the glamorous gallerist Isabelle Bscher of Galerie Gmurzynska opened an exhibition by the painter Joan Míro at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. 

The Prince enlisted Isabelle to curate the show and co-host the opening night dinner for 40 guests. Guests at the Monte Carlo Yacht Club included designer Hedi Slimane and actress Rebel Wilson and her new beau Jacob Busch of the beer-brewing dynasty.

Isabelle Bscher, Prince Albert, and Rebel Wilson, masked and unmasked.

The floral designers created an enormous wall of flowers in lush pinks and reds, reflecting colors often used in Míro’s paintings, which was the perfect backdrop for Rebel’s fuchsia gown. Isabelle and Rebel flanked the Prince at the long dining table which was festooned in flowers. The first of six courses featured double scoops of caviar — as if it were ice cream! The evening’s entertainment was provided by five different bands who play into the wee hours.

L. to r.: Isabelle Bscher with a Míro; Rebel Wilson & Jacob Busch at the Míro exhibition.

The following day, Prince Albert and Isabelle arranged for Johnny Depp to have a private tour of the Míro exhibition. Johnny spent over an hour perusing the show, and talking with Míro’s grandson, Joan Punyet Míro, about the paintings. Johnny confided, “I love Míro. He didn’t give a damn. He was completely free.”

Joan Punyet Míro, Johnny Depp, Isabelle Bscher, Matthias Rastorfer at the Míro exhibition.

On another night, Prince Albert and his wife Princess Charlene hosted the Planetary Health Gala, which was held in a pavilion — built for the occasion — in front of the Monte Carlo Opera House. Among the stars at the black-tie fête were Kate Beckinsale, Helen Mirren, Sienna Miller, Sting, Tommy Hilfiger, Andy Garcia, Cindy Bruna, Maisie Williams, Reuben Selby, supermodels Sofia Resing and Marianne Fonseca, as well as Rebel and Jacob. The Prince asked Isabelle to curate the night’s auction, and she persuaded Depp to auction off the painting by Míro, titled “Femme, Oiseau”; the work was donated by Joan Míro and fetched $1.6 million.

L. to r.: Isabelle Bscher; Sienna Miller.

The night’s entertainment featured Leona Lewis and six different bands. Rebel also played auctioneer, selling off two week-long trips on a super-yacht for a total of $1 million. Rebel quipped “I love luxury yachts, invite me!”. Princess Charlene sold a water-skiing experience with her for $600k. The benefit raised over $15 million for Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

The after-party was held in the iconic Monte Carlo casino and the legendary night club jimmy’z. Some of the guests ended up at Tip Top, the principality’s chic pizza joint at 6am. At the end of the weekend festivities, Princess Albert paid Isabelle the ultimate compliment, saying “You are responsible for all this!”

L. to r.: Sting; Tommy and Dee Hilfiger.
L. to r.: Sofia Resing and Marianne Fonseca; Johnny Depp.
L. to r.: Leona Lewis; Maisie Williams and Reuben Selby.
L. to r.: Cindy Bruna; Kate Beckinsale.
L. to r.: Andy Garcia; Dame Helen Mirren.
L. to r.: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene; Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch.

Photographs by ©Rob Rich/Society Allure (SASF)

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