Monday, October 28, 2018. Saturday morning we woke up to the remnants of Hurricane Willa passing through with quieter winds (but very windy) and finer raindrops (but a lot of water) passing through. And the temps running in the high 40s up to the low 50s.
In its autumnal way it was a beautiful weekend in New York (with the rains gone from the overcast sky) by Sunday morning. Lots of green leaves on the sidewalks and roads but otherwise unremarkable except for the East River which was raised almost to flood stages on Roosevelt Island as you can see in the photo I took from the Promenade Saturday morning.
Sunday mid-afternoon there was a call for a “fire” in a townhouse at East 68th Street between Park and Madison Avenues.Witnesses report there must have been 25 fire and hazmat trucks and cars filling up the block and lined up and down Park Avenue. There was the smell of burning rubber in the air. That’s all we know at this time of writing, but it brought out the neighborhood to see What.
The Week That Was (Sort of). There was a lot going on in the events circuit. This past Thursday the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) hosted its annual Symposium and Lunch at the New York Hilton. More than 1,000 guests filled the Grand Ballroom for the luncheon and they raised $2.5 million to fund lifesaving research and to make further progress possible faster.
For 25 years, since its founding by the late Evelyn Lauder the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has been involved in every major in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
This year was a record-breaking year of BCRF grant-making. They honored two incredible leaders. Dr. Hedvig Hricak became the first radiologist to be awarded the Jill Rose Award for scientific excellence which was presented by BCRF Scientific Director, Dr. Larry Norton. After Lunch, Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty (a longstanding BCRF partner), received the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award from Mellody Hobson in recognition of Dillon’s outstanding philanthropic leadership.
I’ve attended most of these annual luncheons over the years, always in awe of Mrs. Lauder and her staff which is led by Myra Biblowit. I have always been an admirer of women who get things done (make a difference) but Thursday lunch was another one of those “aha!” moments. From Evelyn Lauder to Dr. Hricak to Myra Biblowit to Mellody Hobson to Mary Dillon, I came away reminded of, actually deeply impressed by, what women do in our society which is nothing but brilliant leadership. The two most impressive — perhaps because I’d never been witness to their work before — was Ms. Hobson and Ms. Dillon.
Hobson is known in the world of celebrity as the wife of director George Lucas (aha, that’s where I heard the name before). In her own real life, she’s a Chicago girl. She atttended Princeton and graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In real life she is president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago investment firm managing more than $13 billion in assets and a member of several corporate boards including JP Morgan Chase, the Starbucks Corporation and the Estee Lauder Companies.
Those who watch CBS This Morning are probably familiar with her since she is a regular contributor on financial issues. So you know what I’m talking about. The resume is impressive but to this spectator at a philanthropic event, the woman is most impressive as a leader. I’m not talking politics; I’m talking leadership. In real life, up there on the stage she is one of those people who you’d like to know as a friend.
When Mary Dillon came to the podium to accept her award, she too talked about the work of BCRF, and how it had affected her family and personal life. Like Hobson, also a good looking, smartly (attractively) dressed woman, she too is an articulate, and clearly a brilliant businesswoman.
The Luncheon ended with 350 2018 BCRF grantees taking the stage; a visual representation of BCRF’s global braintrust, and the weight of scientific discovery that will propel forward in the year ahead. Since its inception BCRF has had a hand (fund) in on every breakthrough for breast cancer and survivorship from the disease has risen by 40%.
Then on this past Friday, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) hosted the third annual Opening Night of TEFAF New York Fall at the Park Avenue Armory. The Opening Night offered The Society’s members and guests a preview of the fair’s sensational pieces before it opened to the public on Saturday.
The evening was mobbed (that’s the word I heard used over and over to describe the crowd) including many of New York’s most notable collectors, dealers, philanthropists, as well as leaders in fashion and design. Numerous renowned specialist dealers from around the globe are showcasing their decorative art and jewelry, from antiquity through the early 20th century.
Proceeds from The Opening Night of TEFAF New York Fall will benefit The Society’s patient care, research and education programs at MSK. The evening was chaired by Nina Carbone, Jennifer Oken, Fiona Druckenmiller, Brent Winston, Helena Martinez, and Caryn Zucker. It was generously underwritten by Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller and sponsored by Natura Bissé and Etro.
Among the throbbing crowd: Juan Montoya and Urban Karlsson, Judy and Leonard Lauder, Travis Acquavella, Debra and Leon Black, Kitty and Stephen Sherrill, Kelly Behun, Fiona Druckenmiller, Shelley and Michael Carr, Eric Cohler, Kate and Andrew Davis, Alan Gerry, Eugenie Niven Goodman, Alessandra Branca, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Caryn Zucker, Eleanora Kennedy, Roman Martinez, Amory McAndrew, Rebekah and Colin McCabe, Bunny Williams, Marigay McKee and Bill Ford, Grace and Chris Meigher, Susan Zises Green, Nicole Miller, Erik Oken, Emilia and Brian Pfeifler, Betsy Pitts, Dara O’Hara, Martha Sharp, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Daisy Soros, Karen Thornwell May, Annie Taube, Linda Robinson, Lily Safra, Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, Madeline Weinrib, Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson, Judy Gordon Cox and many many more.
The Event Chairs were: Nina Carbone, Jennifer Oken, Fiona Druckenmiller, Brent Winston, Helena Martinez and Caryn Zucker.
Photographs by Rob Rich (BCRF); Angela Pham/BFA.com (TEFAF)