On Wednesday, May 24, the Museum of the City of New York held its CENTENNIAL GALA — an evening of dinner, dancing, and the unveiling of its new exhibition, This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture. At the awards ceremony that kicked off the event, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, was presented with the Gotham Icon Award in recognition of his steadfast dedication to New York City and his continuous support of the Museum.
Willian C. Vrattos, the Museum’s Board Chair, addressed the crowd, saying: “This is a unique moment for NYC as a whole. A moment to look back at its evolution and the success of the past 100 years and to salute the leaders who have been crucial to getting us there … Tonight we are honoring Michael R. Bloomberg … who embodies NY’s spirit, of invention, leadership, chutzpah, and generosity.”
The Centennial Gala raised over $2 million dollars for the Museum, and VIPs on hand included NYC Mayor Eric Adams; Christine Baranski (award-winning actor and performer); Georgina Bloomberg (author and philanthropist); Brian Stokes Mitchell (award-winning singer and actor); Former NYS Governor David Paterson; Charlie Ahearn (filmmaker); Jane Dickson (artist); Elizabeth Streb (choreographer); Jon Kamen (Chairman & CEO, RadicalMedia); Nazli Parvizi (President of the Museum of Food & Drink); former MCNY Directors Susan Henshaw Jones and Whitney Donhauser; James Dinan (founder, York Capital Management); Ronay A. Menschel (vice chair of Museum of the City of New York’s Board of Trustees); William Vrattos (Chair of Museum of the City of New York’s Board of Trustees); as well as Sarah M. Henry (Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Chief Curator and Interim Director of the Museum of the City of New York).
The festivities then shifted indoors to a dinner set in the various boroughs and décor designed by students from across all five boroughs. The evening ended with an after-party and dancing in the rotunda of the museum.
Also that evening: The Empire State Building lit up in purple, blue, and green to celebrate the Museum’s Centennial. As well, gala attendees received a free digital commemorative ticket, created in partnership with Candy Digital, featuring the modern facade of the building as well as the iconic light sculpture, Starlight, by Cooper Joseph Studios; the image opens to reveal a historic image of the Museum’s exterior from 1932, the year when the Museum moved to its Fifth Avenue location.
The Gotham Icon Award celebrates individuals who have paved the way for the next generation in their respective industry. Past Gotham Icon Award recipients include LL COOL J • Cyndi Lauper • Kevin Liles • Sharene Wood • James Wesley • Seth Rudetsky • Leah Scondotto • Dr. Elizabeth Awerbuch • Dr. Michelle Ng Gong • Dr. Félix Matos Rodríguez • Owen D. Thomas • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Over 200 guests gathered at The Pierre to recognize the outstanding Executive Committee, supporters, partners and staff of the Police Athletic League. The event served to honor long-standing PAL family and friends, in addition to cultivating new partnerships.
“Your energy and enthusiasm for the work we do means so much, and your presence here tonight demonstrates your commitment to improving the lives of PAL children,” said Carlos Velazquez, Executive Director of the Police Athletic League. “It is an honor and a privilege to work alongside such dedicated donors whose support is unmatched. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation around the depth and breadth of PAL’s impact on New York City as we prepare to celebrate PAL’s 110 years of being the best friend a kid could have.”
In addition, PAL announced its upcoming 49th Annual Superstar Dinner honoring new PAL Board President and Chairman of Guidepost Solutions Bart M. Schwartz with the PAL Superstar Award to be held at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan on June 20, 2023.
Founded in 1914, New York City’s Police Athletic League is a nonprofit organization that provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 15,000 children and teens annually. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.
Down in Washington, DC., the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) continued its 25th anniversary celebration at the Thirteenth Annual Great Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show. The event honored philanthropist Amy Baier with the 2023 Great Ladies Award and entrepreneur and restaurateur of Café Milano fame Franco Nuschese with the 2023 Estelle Gelman Award.
The event raised more than $600,000 – every dollar of which will go directly to promising science – and celebrated the incredible support by this year’s honorees for the ADDF’s mission of accelerating the development of drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s. The program also featured a special fashion show of designs by AKRIS in collaboration with our fashion partner Saks, introduced by Larry Bruce, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, with remarks by Peter Herink, CEO of AKRIS Americas.
Elise Lefkowitz, who founded the luncheon with her husband Marc, presented Amy Baier with the 2022 Great Ladies Award. “Having known Amy for so long, I can tell you that she is an incredible mother and wife who is exceptionally dedicated to advancing health and medicine through her philanthropy. She has been involved with the ADDF for the past decade and her generous spirit shines through the commitment and support she has shown for our mission to develop drugs for this devastating disease.”
Ms. Lefkowitz also reflected on the special meaning the event holds for her entire family. “We started this luncheon thirteen years ago in memory of my mother, Estelle Gelman, who was a very successful businesswoman, civic leader, and philanthropist. She was a great lady, and we created this event to celebrate her legacy and find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”
Franco Nuschese accepted the Estelle Gelman Award, named for Ms. Lefkowitz’s mother.
The event also featured an in-depth discussion on the latest advances in Alzheimer’s prevention research with Dr. Howard Fillit, the ADDF’s Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Jose Luchsinger of Columbia University.
Notable guests included Lynn Blitzer, Patrice Brickman, Larry Bruce, Kristin Cecchi, Charlie Lefkowitz Crowley, Jacqueline Duberstein, Jean-Marie Fernandez, Nancy Goodes, Mae Grennan, Peter Herink, Sheila Johnson, Cindy Jones, Elise and Marc Lefkowitz, Carrie Marriott, Norah O’Donnell, Kelly Ripken, Toni Verstandig, and Lorraine Wallace.
And back in little ol’ Manhattan, The annual Waxman Luncheon, benefitting the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF), took place on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023, at AVRA Madison in New York. The luncheon honored Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank for his continued support of the SWCRF mission and passion for scientific advancement, raised in excess of $165,000. A live fashion presentation by Max Mara featured their stunning Spring/Summer 2023 Collection. Funds raised will support crucial SWCRF initiatives such as the International Network on Aging and Cancer Research and the Women’s Cancer Research Program.
The Waxman Luncheon also included a live auction, silent auction, and raffle with specially curated lots featuring generous donations from companies such as Chopard, Movado, Jimmy Choo, Schiaparelli, Fendi, Arlotta Cashmere, and The Baker House 1650. Heritage Auctions were the official auctioneer.
Notable attendees at the Waxman Luncheon included; Dr. Samuel Waxman, Marion Waxman, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Jani Aronow Gerard, Danny Miller, Dr. Lorraine Gudas, Helen Vaysman, Nancy Litman, Lauren Silvers, Erica Linden-Fineberg, Kobi Halperin, Susan Gutfreund, Ingeborg Rennert, Ramona Singer, William Brobston, Jean Shafiroff, Ingeborg Rennert, Ariella Wertheimer, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Maribel Lieberman, Luisa Diaz, and Larry Scott.
The Waxman Luncheon Committee included: Karen Amster-Young, Chris Arlotta, Karen Giberson, Sarah Irby, Orital Karelic, Dina Koutroumanis, Norah Lawlor, Pamela Morgan, Deanna Passarelli, Jaq Poussot, Lorri Scott, Barbara Warren, Bettina Waxman and Andrea Wernick.
Since 1976, SWCRF has invested more than $100 million towards collaborative, cross-institutional research, supporting more than 200 investigators around the world.
The SWCRF philosophy of collaboration has led to breakthrough discoveries such as a treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), developed in collaboration with researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Hematology that improved the survival rate to 95% (APL had an 80% fatality rate). Most recently, research funded by SWCRF led to an FDA approved medication shown to reduce lung cancer tumors by up to 50% by targeting the KRAS protein.
Photographs by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images (MCNY); Jason Crowley/BFA.com (Waxman).