White tie, Black tie, No tie …

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A scene from the Viennese Opera Ball's 68th annual celebration, “A Night inspired by Aida."

The Viennese Opera Ball, the oldest and most prestigious outside of Vienna, held its annual celebration for the 68th year at The Plaza Hotel in New York City with over 400 guests, under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and organized by Executive Director, Silvia Frieser and The Event Atelier. The Gala chairs for the evening were Denise Rich and Jean Shafiroff. This gala benefitted the music therapy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with support from Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and was “A Night inspired by Aida,” from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi led under the artistic direction of Daniel Serafin with Austrian conductor, Maestro Vinicius Kattah.

The vice chairs were Peter Thomas Roth and Sylvia Hemingway. Guests of Honor and Top opera stars performed arias from the opera Aida by Verdi including Grammy Award-Winners Leah Crocetto and Lucas Meachem, and acclaimed opera stars Limmie Pulliam, Christian Pursell and Johanna Will.

Daniel Serafin, Silvia Frieser, Lucas Meachem, Leah Crocetto, Christian Pursell, Johanna Will, and Vinicius Kattah.

Other notable attendees included; Sabine Riglos (Honoree and Board member), author and journalist Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City Deputy Commissioner Kristen Edgreen Kaufman (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs),  Stefan Ottrubay (Chairman of the Board, Esterhazy Foundation), Michael Trestl (CCO, Austrian Airlines), Petra Schneebauer (Austrian Ambassador to the United States), Alexander Marschik (Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations), Wolfgang Rosam (Falstaff Magazine) and Angelika Rosam, Elisabeth Muhr and Karlheinz Muhr (Hallstein Water), Peter Hasslacher (Austrian Trade Commissioner NY), Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger (Austrian Cultural Forum NY), Klaus Panholzer (Schloss Schonbrunn), Austrian painter Pablo Meier-Schomburg, Austrian fashion designer Carolin Sinemus (Madl, Salzburg), Maribel LiebermanDavid HochbergElton IlirjaniLucia Hwong Gordon, Lady Liliana CavendishPatrick McMullan and Luisa Diaz.

The presentation of the debutantes and their escorts at the 68th Annual Ball included; Inuri Abeysekara, Quentin Alain Alexandre, Klavdija Bastl, Marius Bellando, Dennis Borzakov, Evi Burmberger, Piotr Chrzanowski, Albert Frank, Crystalina Xujing Guo, Penrose Hallowell, Rory Hallowell, Daniel Harrich, Clara Regina Heupgen, Karl Horler, Jan Filip Jagielski, Saya Jain, Louisa Klein-Boelting, Tobias Krause, Angelina Kurszyńska, Abigail Patience McClennan, Juliana Paul, Maximilian Rosam, Angela Soto, Lu Sun; beautiful choreography to The Egyptian March by Johann Strauss II was designed for the opening performance of the debutantes and escorts by Vienna Dance School Svabek, headed by Sandra Stockmayer and Roman Svabek.

Sponsors of the 68th Annual Viennese Opera Ball included: City of Vienna, Erste Group Bank AG, Esterhazy Foundation, Austrian Airlines, A.E. Koechert, Schloss Schoenbrunn.  Donors included: IKRAA CaviarGrande CosmeticsAugartenLobmeyrHotel Bristol, FretteMadl, Peter Thomas Roth SkincareTrapp Family Lodge and Brewery, Daniel EspinosaDelcore, Mariebelle New York, Pauli of Vienna, Dr. TEMT Skincare, Marlies Wagner, Helmut Koller, Riding Dinner Vienna, and paintings by Austrian artist Pablo Meier-Schaumburg, artist Fer Da Silva, and delicious Austrian wine makers ChristJohann DonabaumMarkowitschSchloss GobelsburgFamilie Strehn, Esterhazy, and Schlumberger.

The annual white tie charity gala honors Austria and America’s cultural and economic ties, uniting two continents, two cities, and two centuries in one glamorous evening. It was founded 68 years ago by Austrian immigrants to the United States as a tribute to both their former hometown Vienna and their host city, New York. The gala attracts an international audience that includes diplomats and dignitaries, international corporations, and professionals.

Since 1955, the Viennese Opera Ball in New York has been a representative of Vienna’s cultural legacy, elegance, and glamour in the Big Apple. The Ball operates as a cultural platform and builds bridges to connect present day New York City with 19th Century Vienna, and people of varying heritages, continents, and generations, to bring traditional glamour to the city that never sleeps.

For more information, please visit: www.vienneseoperaball.com

Miguel Riglos, Sabine Riglos; Leah Crocetto, Chris Pursell
L. to r.: Miguel and Sabine Riglos; Leah Crocetto and Chris Pursell.
L. to r.: Jean Shafiroff, Camelia Entekhabifard, and Candace Bushnell; Sara Morano and Shammiel Fleischer-Amoro.
3962243 Honor Guard with Trisha Willis, Lieutenant Colonel John Willis pc PMC Udo Salters
Honor Guard with Trisha Willis and Lieutenant Colonel John Willis.
Allan Brown, Luisa Diaz Brown; Maribel Lieberman.
L. to r.: Allan Brown and Luisa Diaz Brown; Maribel Lieberman.
3962121 Silvia Freiser, Jean Shafiroff, Ambassador Petra Schneebauer, Denise Rich, Sabine Riglos pc PMC Udo Salters
Silvia Freiser, Jean Shafiroff, Ambassador Petra Schneebauer, Denise Rich, and Sabine Riglos.
Luiza Petre and Tim Shalnev.

The 10th Annual Waxman Luncheon, benefiting the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF), took place in New York City at a new venue, Riverpark. The fundraising event featured a live, thrilling fashion show by legendary designer, Josie Natori, showcasing the Spring 2024 collection. This year’s honoree was Barney Cohen, Managing Director and Wealth Partner at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, was recognized for his commitment to supporting collaborative cancer research.

More than 150 guests attended the affair and helped raise nearly $175,000 to support crucial SWCRF initiatives such as the International Network on Aging and Cancer and the Women’s Cancer Research Program.

A fashion show by Josie Natori, showcasing the Spring 2024 collection.

In addition to the fashion presentation, guests were treated to an exciting live auction and had the opportunity to win a Mikimoto Akoya Cultured Pearl and Diamond Pendant valued at $16,000, donated by Mikimoto.

Waxman Luncheon Chairs included: Chairs Marion N. Waxman, Jani Gerard, and Erica Linden-Fineberg; Co-Chairs Dina Koutroumanis, Nancy Litman, Lauren Silvers, and Helen Vaysman. The Committee included Karen Giberson, Leena Gurevich, Orital Karelic, Regina Kravitz, Norah Lawlor, Lorri Scott, Jean Shafiroff, and Bettina Waxman.

BFA_45146_6357515 Samuel Waxman, Rachelle Cohen, Marion Waxman, Barney Cohen
Samuel Waxman, Rachelle Cohen, Marion Waxman, and Barney Cohen.

Notable Attendees included: Barney Cohen, Rachelle Cohen, Jani Gerard, Kobi Halperin, Helen Vaysman, Ruth Rozenholcabend, Alyssa Klein, Nancy Litman, Lauren Silvers, Brooke Herman Zarkowsky, Maria Fishel, Mariebel Lieberman, and Ann Liguori.

J.P. Morgan was the Luncheon sponson and in-kind donors included Mikimoto, Natori, Palm Bay International, Neuhaus Chocolates, Kobi Halperin, Arlotta Cashmere, Fendi, Movdo Group, Inc., Sachin & Babi, Jimmy Choo, Jil Sander, Chloé, Carlos Falchi, Maximilian, and many more. Flowers provided courtesy of ByRobin Event Design and Management Group.

Samuel Waxman
Samuel Waxman reminding guests that, since 1976, SWCRF has invested more than $120 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, helped develop an innovative two-drug therapy to better treat brain tumors which are often difficult to target, and studies exploring how aging impacts the spread of ovarian cancer in older patients. Several other studies are in clinical trials.

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research and its mission is to eradicate cancer by funding cutting-edge research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer and develops minimally toxic treatments for patients. Through the Foundation’s collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has awarded more than $120 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.

BFA_45146_6357550 Josie Natori, Dr Samuel Waxman
L. to r.: Josie Natori and Dr Samuel Waxman; Nancy Litman and Beryl Silver.
BFA_45146_6357537 Erica Fineberg, Marion Waxman, Jani Gerard
Erica Fineberg, Marion Waxman, and Jani Gerard.
L. to r.: Pamela Morgan; Ann Liguori; Maria Fishel.
Jody Greenblatt, Barney Cohen, Rachelle Cohen, and Morgan Kauffman.
BFA_45146_6357565 Helen Vaysman, Ruth Rozenholcabend, Alyssa Klein, Nancy Litman, Lauren Silvers, Brooke Herman Zarkowsky
Helen Vaysman, Ruth Rozenholcabend, Alyssa Klein, Nancy Litman, Lauren Silvers, and Brooke Herman Zarkowsky.
Elton Ilirjani, Jean Shafiroff
Elton Ilirjani and Jean Shafiroff.

This Year’s New York Women’s Foundation Celebrating Women® Breakfast awards honored leading change-making organizations and individuals at a celebration in New York City. Since 1987, The Foundation has invested $125 million in 500+ organizations, creating a vibrant community of grantees, philanthropists, advocates, innovators, and change-makers. The New York Women’s Foundation’s signature event was held at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, paying tribute to these extraordinary honorees and The Foundation’s grantee partners.

The 2024 Celebrating Women® Breakfast recognized Fondation CHANEL with the Vision Award for the organization’s courageous efforts in creating a world where women and girls are free to shape their own destiny. The following changemakers were awarded with Celebrating Women® Awards: Andrea Arroyo, an award-winning visual artist, New York Liberty, an original WNBA team who embraces its role to elevate and embrace women while building community, Cynthia Nixon, Emmy and Tony award winning actress, activist, and theater director, Toshi Reagon, a singer song-writer who knows the power of song to unite and mobilize people for justice, and S. Mona Sinha, Global Executive Director of Equality Now.

Ana L Olivieri kicked off this Year’s New York Women’s Foundation Celebrating Women® Breakfast.

The Celebrating Women® Breakfast opened with a rousing performance by Fogo Azul NYC, New York City’s most powerful women, trans, and non-binary community drumline. A fitting start for an event which serves as a key fundraiser for the Foundation, whose grantmaking places it at the top of public women’s funds in the United States and in the top two in the world.

The awards were presented by Jacqueline Woodson, MacArthur Fellow and National Book Award-winner for her children’s and adult books, Ana Maria Archilla, immigrant rights, worker justice, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights advocate, and Foundation Board Members Anne Delaney, Helene Banks, Lola C. West and Karen Choi.

Mona Sinha, Toshi Reagon, Cynthia Nixon, Andrea Arroyo
Mona Sinha, Toshi Reagon, Cynthia Nixon, and Andrea Arroyo.

The celebration closed with a special performance by New York Liberty’s Timeless Torches, a 40-and-over dance team, and their mascot Ellie the Elephant, ending the program on the perfect high note, capturing the inspiration and motivation of the event.

The New York Women’s Foundation creates an equitable and just future for women, girls, gender-expansive individuals and their families by investing in bold, community-led solutions to ignite action for gender, economic, and racial justice. Since 1987, The Foundation has invested $125 million in 500+ organizations, creating a vibrant community of grantees, philanthropists, advocates, innovators, and change-makers.

To learn more about The New York Women’s Foundation’s work to transform lives, families, and communities, please visit www.nywf.org

Catherine Weil, Madline Holder and Andrea Arroyo
Catherine Weil, Madline Holder, and Andrea Arroyo.
L. to r.: Adeline Azrack; Elizabeth da Trinidade; Cynthia Nixon.
Devika Gopal Agge and Gloria Pitagorsky
Devika Gopal Agge and Gloria Pitagorsky.
Danielle Cox.
Danielle Cox.
Toshi Reagon, Jacqueline Woodson
Toshi Reagon and Jacqueline Woodson.
Maribel Lieberman; Melissa Polo Landau
L. to r.: Maribel Lieberman; Melissa Polo Landau.
Soffiyah Elijah;Elizabeth Sackler
Soffiyah Elijah and Elizabeth Sackler.
Rhonda Joy McLean and Aiyoung Choi.
Fogo Azul.
Fogo Azul.

BFA / Rupert Ramsay (Waxman); Patrick McMullan & Udo Salters/PMC (Viennese Opera Ball); BFA / Sabrina Steck & Michael Ostuni/PMC (NYWF)

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