On November 8, 2019, French philanthropist Hélène David-Weill was awarded the 2019 Anne Morgan’s Women of Courage Award at the American Friends of Blérancourt (AFB) Annual Gala.
While women leaders, chefs, and entrepreneurs were honored throughout the evening, AFB also recognized men who have promoted not only the memory of Anne Morgan—who donated her home in France to become the only Franco-American Museum—but who also strongly believe in a world of equal opportunities and diversity. Among them is Jay R. Paul, a former publicist and a member of the board of AFB upon whom was bestowed the Château de Blérancourt Award.
“Anne Morgan belongs to those remarkable American women who do not know the word ‘impossible,’” Hélène David-Weill said during her acceptance remarks.
Franck Laverdin, Chairman of AFB Board of Directors and Countess Dorothea de La Houssaye, President of AFB, welcomed their guests such as Susan Gutfreund, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Lee and CeCe Black, Manfredi della Gherardesca, Sean and Alexandra Beckemeyer, Caroline Lareuse, Agathe David-Weill, Maggie Bult, Cécile David-Weill, James and Emanuela Gerard, Irene Goodkind, Mai Hallingby, Nancy and Tim Joyce, Joan Kahn, Helmut Koller, Bernadette Lejeune, Mary McFadden, Collin and Virginia McNeil, Eric Mourlot, Miles Morgan, Heidi Roberts, Natalie Ross, Michel Longchampt and Odile de Schietere, Jean Shafiroff, Elizabeth Stribling, Benny Tabatabai, Katrin Theodoli, Rafael and Leonora Tovar, Sonja Tremont-Morgan, Henry and Bernadette Watkins, Edgar Vaudeville.
The Royal Oak Foundation presented its Timeless Award to the Duke of Devonshire in recognition of his contribution to the preservation of British culture and the ten-year restoration of Chatsworth at its annual benefit in New York City on November 6th.
One of the great treasure houses of Britain, Chatsworth is renowned for its architecture, gardens and art collection—one of the greatest private collections in the world.
Guests were treated to a fascinating presentation by the Duke on the house and its history. The program included comments from Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust; Lynne Rickabaugh, Chair of Royal Oak; Laura Trevelyan, BBC correspondent; and a discussion between the Duke of Devonshire and Sir David Cannadine. The evening concluded with an auction conducted by Hugh Hildesley of Sotheby’s.
Auction items included a tour of Chatsworth with the Duke of Devonshire; lunch with Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes and his wife, Emma at their home in Dorset; and a tour of Knole with Lord and Lady Sackville.
Guests included members of Sotheby’s Board of Directors and Executives: Tad Smith, Linus Cheung, Eleanor De Sole, Marsha Simms, Harry Wilson, George Wachter; Rizzoli publisher, Charlies Miers; President of ABC News, James Goldston; and actress, Emily Mortimer. Corporate sponsors included Sotheby’s, Rizzoli, and Charlotte Moss.
Proceeds from the Benefit Dinner support Royal Oak’s work as the US partner of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland whose royal patron and president is HRH The Prince of Wales.
Cocktails with the Newlyweds. Just recently, CeCe and Lee Black hosted a “Cocktails with the Newlyweds” evening at Doubles for Liz McDermott and Ben Barnes. They were married on Nantucket September 14, 2019. Liz hails from Atlanta and is founder of Liz McDermott Interiors, an upscale interior design firm. Ben, a Texan, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1961-1969; he was Texas Speaker of the House from 1965-1969 and Lt. Governor of Texas from 1969-1973. He later founded the Ben Barnes Group, a business consulting and lobbying firm. They will be splitting their time between Texas, New York and Nantucket. Everyone toasted to a LONG and HAPPY marriage!
Photographs by Annie Watt (AFB); John Sanderson/AnnieWatt.com (Royal Oak); Annie Watt (Newlyweds).