Where Kindness and Discourse are Cool

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Noel V. Lateef at The Foreign Policy Association's annual dinner at The St. Regis.

The Foreign Policy Association (F.P.A.) hosted their annual dinner at The St. Regis New York Hotel, chaired by their Vice Chairman Sana Sabbagh. F.P.A. bestowed their medal on Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera; Sir Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall; Susan Jaffe, Artistic and Interim Executive Director of American Ballet Theater; and Ian Wardropper, Director of the Frick Collection for their work in cultural diplomacy.

Sana Sabbagh welcomed guests, announcing the FPA’s new initiative, “At a time when culture wars are dominating political narratives, I am happy to announce that the Foreign Policy Association is establishing a Center for Advancing Cultural Diplomacy to assist in establishing the national discourse.”

Noel V. Lateef, President of the FPA, explained: “We celebrate this evening four individuals whose humanity and tenacity confer special meaning upon the enduring value of the arts. President Kennedy observed that ‘the life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose.’” Noel also brought his honors students from Baruch College, asking them to stand in acknowledgement of their efforts.


Noel Lateef 6346349
Noel Lateef.

Peter Gelb received his medal from FPA Director and director of Lincoln Center, Daisy M. Soros. “I have devoted my career to cultural diplomacy and playing a role in elevating humanity through art and artistic exchange,” said Peter. Describing how cultural exchanges can bridge political divides, he explained: “I was the 33-year-old manager of Vladimir Horowitz. I brought him to Moscow, an official recognition of the pending detente negotiated by Gorbachev and Reagan. He was the first event in the cultural exchange agreement signed by the two leaders.”


Daisy Soros
Daisy Soros.
Daisy Soros, Peter Gelb
Daisy Soros and Peter Gelb.
Peter Gelb
Peter Gelb.

Susan Jaffe received her award from Shelly London, a trustee of American Ballet Theater.

In receiving the award Susan recalled ABT’s performance this past November. “We were asked if we were afraid to bring our company to China, considering the tensions between our two countries. I explained that Ballet is a universal language, and it is for all people everywhere in the world. That exchange reminded me of our shared values as humans. When we make room for our hearts and souls to connect, there is no better reminder that there are far more commonalities in our world than our differences.”


Susan Jaffe; Shelly London
L. to r.: Susan Jaffe; Shelly London.

Sir Clive Gillinson, received his award from Sana Sabbagh, who in addition to the FPA role is a member of the Carnegie Hall Board of Directors. He remarked on the importance of cultural diplomacy recalling his initiation of the education program as the director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Clive described ‘The Lullaby Project’, explaining that “We work with young mothers, many of them in terrible circumstances, where our musicians will work with each mother to create a lullaby to sing to their baby. It’s been so successful that Universal Music decided to record some of those singers, with the revenue going back to the mothers.”


Sana Sabbagh; Sir Clive Gillinson
L. to r.: Sana Sabbagh; Sir Clive Gillinson.

Ian Wardropper received his award from Tai-Heng Cheng, FPA and Frick board member. Wardropper iterated the importance of cultural diplomacy on today’s foreign relations, highlighting “Museums are now instrumental in cultural diplomacy. We send exhibitions, publications, and education programs internationally. We are an art museum first and foremost — it provides insight into other cultures, and understanding of other people.”


Tai-Heng Cheng; Ian Wardropper
L. to r.: Tai-Heng Cheng; Ian Wardropper.

Supporters of the dinner included Sarah Arison, Mercedes T. Bass, Michael J. Dowling, Donna Dillon Manning, Michael J. Dowling, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Agnes Gund, Christian K. Keesee, Sheila Johnson, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, Franci Neely, Helen Nash, Joshua Nash, Joseph G. Mizzi, Jacqueline B. Mars, Joseph Neubauer, Emily K. Rafferty, Charles M. Royce, Laura J. Sloate, Jenna Segal, Keith Stock, Stanley S. Shuman, Peter K. Scaturro, Edward P. Swyer, Barbara Tober, Linda J. Wachner, Victoria Wyman and many more.

The Foreign Policy Association (formerly known as the League of Free Nations Association) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1918, dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. According to the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), the organization aims to spread global awareness and understanding of US foreign policy and global issues by informing, inspiring, and engaging with the public in community and educational forums.

For more information: https://www.fpa.org/


Alice Kandell, Noel Lateef, Daisy Soros
Alice Kandell, Noel Lateef, and Daisy Soros.
Elizabeth Segerstrom, Grimanesa Amoros; Elizabeth Segerstrom, Sana Sabbagh
L. to r.: Elizabeth Segerstrom and Grimanesa Amoros; Elizabeth Segerstrom and Sana Sabbagh.
Grimanesa Amoros, Chris Minev 6346331
Grimanesa Amoros and Chris Minev.
Susan Jaffe greetings friends.
Dame Jillian Sackler; Elizabeth Segerstrom, Barbara Tober
L. to r.: Dame Jillian Sackler; Elizabeth Segerstrom and Barbara Tober.
Peter K. Scaturro, Sr, Edward P. Swyer, Noel Lateef FPA - Cultural Diplomacy Dinner-95
Peter K. Scaturro, Sr, Edward P. Swyer, and Noel Lateef.

Whereas on May 13th, ADAPT Community Network held its 23rd Annual Golf Tournament at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, New York. The event was sold-out and attended by over 150 people. The annual tournament supports ADAPT Community Network, with all proceeds from the event helping to fund the delivery of life-affirming programs and services to children and adults with disabilities and their families. The event raised over $150,000.

Steve Lacy, anchor, FOX 5 News at 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., and two-time Emmy-winner Teresa Priolo, FOX 5 News reporter and anchor, hosted this year’s event. The tournament honored Patrick Yu, CPA, Partner and New York Metro Market Leader, Baker Tilly US, LLP.


Matthew Becker, Alan Zack and Bob Schmid
Matthew Becker, Alan Zack, and Bob Schmid.
Thomas Troubh, Michael Joseph, Mac Roos, Michael Berger and Robert Getreu
Thomas Troubh, Michael Joseph, Mac Roos, Michael Berger, and Robert Getreu.
Mike Doherty , Juan Francisco, Andrew Feldstein and Valentino Galella
Mike Doherty , Juan Francisco, Andrew Feldstein, and Valentino Galella.

Following the day of golf, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were served at the Brae Burn Country Club. Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo presented the ADAPT Golf Tournament awards.

“We thank everyone who supported this year’s golf tournament,” says Ed Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network. “We were delighted to honor Patrick Yu. We thank Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo for being such dedicated longtime supporters to ADAPT, and we also thank this year’s ADAPT Golf Committee. 


Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo
Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo.
Steve Lacy, Linda Laul, Laura Hickman, Teresa Priolo and James Hausman
Steve Lacy, Linda Laul, Laura Hickman, Teresa Priolo, and James Hausman.
Steve Lacy, Patrick Yu and Teresa Priolo
Steve Lacy, Patrick Yu, and Teresa Priolo.

Steve Lacy is a longtime Co-Chair of ADAPT’s Santa Project Party & Auction benefiting ADAPT’s children’s programs. He has also donated his time to serve as ADAPT’s Team Captain for the annual Achilles Hope and Possibility race. This year was the third time Steve has co-hosted ADAPT’s golf tournament.

Teresa Priolo is a past Co-Chair of ADAPT’s Santa Project Party & Auction, and celebrity presenter at the Women Who Care Awards Luncheon. This year marked her fifth time co-hosting the ADAPT Golf tournament.


ADAPT Golf Tournament dinner al fresco at the Brae Burn Country Club.

The 2024 ADAPT Golf Tournament Committee was Matthew Becker, Michael Berger, Valentino Galella, Edward R. Matthews, Jeffrey Weiss, and Alan Zack. ADAPT’s Linda Laul and Laura Hickman gave remarks. ADAPT Board member James Hausman attended the event. 

ADAPT Community Network is the leading human service not‐for‐profit and a pioneer in providing cutting‐edge programs and services for people with disabilities. Every day, we build a more inclusive world for thousands of New Yorkers through education, technology, health, residential, and recreational programs in all five boroughs. Our schools and services encompass many people who have challenges beyond cerebral palsy such as autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and neuromuscular disorders, among others. We are the largest provider of pre‐school education for children with disabilities in New York. ADAPT’s 100 comprehensive programs serve over 20,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families.

To donate or for more information about ADAPT Community Network, go to: www.adaptcommunitynetwork.org


Hosts Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo; Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Yu
L. to r.: Hosts Steve Lacy and Teresa Priolo; Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Yu.
Dahlian Porter, Alan Zack, and Rajesh Shah.
Jay Bromley, Dr. Alexis Bromley , A'lsha Torrence and Bill Kenney
Jay Bromley, Dr. Alexis Bromley, A’lsha Torrence, and Bill Kenney.
Laura and Kevin Hickman
Laura and Kevin Hickman.
Mariette Mcbride and Millie Arce
Mariette Mcbride and Millie Arce.
Peter Anzalone, Matt Parascando, Joseph Loiacono and Patrick Yu
Peter Anzalone, Matt Parascando, Joseph Loiacono, and Patrick Yu.
Teresa Priolo and Linda Laul
Teresa Priolo and Linda Laul.
Teresa Priolo, Linda Laul, Steve Lacy, James Grant, Elizabeth Matthews and Patrick Matthews
Teresa Priolo, Linda Laul, Steve Lacy, James Grant, Elizabeth Matthews, and Patrick Matthews.

Last but not least, the Luisa Diaz Foundation celebrated a milestone 10th anniversary black tie MAG gala at The Plaza Hotel. The annual event this year honored a decade of changing lives in communities across America with 2024 focusing on two organizations — Safe Passage Heals and Sanctuary for Families. It was a grand “Celebration of Kindness” attended by important international changemakers from across the globe and underpins the organization’s motto that “kindness is cool.”

Noreen Donovan and Luisa Diaz.
Noreen Donovan and Luisa Diaz.

The survivors surprised Luisa with a proclamation from the New York State Senate recognizing the work she is doing with survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking as well as living up to her overarching theme of “Kindness is Cool” by proclaiming May 15th, “Luisa Diaz Day.”

Last year Mayor Adams proclaimed May 18th (the date of the gala) as “Kindness is Cool Day” in NYC forevermore. A Kindness is Cool festival will be held this Saturday, May 18th (“Kindness is Cool Day”) at Central Park from 11:00am – 3:00pm.

An all-star lineup of presenters and performers dedicated the night to honorees and the organizations that are collectively shinning a light on the dangers of human trafficking and sharing support for the fight to help domestic violence survivors. The subjects are often not focused on, and this event hopes to spread much-needed awareness.



The night started with an introduction from special host Consuelo Vanderbilt, the Runway of Hope show featured the survivors as the focal point of the evening. Pamela Morgan, star of her one-woman Broadway show sang and after dinner the celebrations were put into high gear by singer and DJ Chloe Jane. Eyewitness News’ Kristin N. Thorne introduced the charities that were beneficiaries of this year’s Gala.

Three Kindness is Cool Awards were given to honorees at the Gala — Peter Thomas Roth presented by Candace Bushnell, Beatriz Gasca presented by Lynda Lopez, and Jovani Fashions presented by Juliia Faist.


Pamela Morgan; Candace Bushnell; Peter Thomas Roth
L. to r.: Pamela Morgan; Candace Bushnell; Peter Thomas Roth.

Notable Attendees included: Luisa Diaz Brown, Alan Brown, Peter Thomas Roth, Beatriz Gasca, Noreen Donovan, Candace Bushnell, Julia Haart, Lynda Lopez, Tracey Turco, Fernando Allende, Trish Steele, Anne Fontaine, Nicole Miller, Jane Shafiroff, Consuelo Vanderbilt, DJ Chloe Jane, Pamela Morgan.

The Luisa Diaz foundation proudly honors these grassroot organizations and exemplary individuals who have made significant humanitarian and philanthropic contributions. Executive director and former Ms. Venezuela International Luisa Diaz founded the Foundation in honor of her beloved grandmother to raise funds and awareness for individuals and organizations who support survivors of domestic violence and their families.

For more information, visit: www.luisadiazfoundation.org


Lizzie da Trinidade Asher; Tracey Turco
L. to r.: Lizzie da Trinidade Asher; Tracey Turco.
Allen Brown, Luisa Doaz Brown; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin
L. to r.: Allen Brown and Luisa Diaz Brown; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin.
Nicole Miller; Jean Shafiroff, Linda Lopez
L. to r.: Nicole Miller; Jean Shafiroff and Linda Lopez.
Kristin N Thorne, Jean Shafiroff, Luisa Diaz; Julia Haart
L. to r.: Kristin Thorne, Jean Shafiroff, and Luisa Diaz; Julia Haart.

Photographs by Sansho Scott (BFA.com (FPA); Shutterstock/Greg Pace (Diaz).

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