Women of valor, conviction, and joie de vivre

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Earlier this week, HRH Prince Dimitri de Yugoslavia and Jacqueline Weld Drake hosted the annual Pachanga lunch for the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education’s “Fiesta Gala 2019” at Mrs. Drake’s Park Avenue residence.  The Pachangas, the junior committee of this legendary gala, are sons and daughters of good families, many with Latin roots.  They support the Gala effort including much of the sourcing of the silent auction, as well as providing some special flair on and off The Plaza dance floor.

Among the guests were Mrs. Weld’s niece, Alicia Lubowski-Jahn, PhD,  Camila Mendoza Echavarria, a great granddaughter of President Eisenhower and the third generation of the family to participate with Casita Maria, Pachanga Committee co-chair Victor Roquette, as well as Alida Boer, Halim Bulos, Andrea Casanova, Shyne Mirella Fabros, Hunter Harris, Elizabeth Jacoby, Homero Nino, Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, Zach Yoselowitz, and Ann-Hunter Van Kirk.


Jackie Weld Drake and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia.

Casita Maria is the oldest Latin charity in New York City, provides high-quality, innovative arts programming to over 1,000 students daily both during and after school. Located in the country’s poorest zip code, the South Bronx, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education creates a safe and welcoming community, enriching and uplifting youth and families towards success, through shared cultural, art and educational experiences and programs.

Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education’s annual gala, Fiesta, will be held at The Plaza Hotel on October 15, 2019. The evening will honor Ambassador Mary Dawkins and Brigadier General Peter Dawkins, John Hardy Jewelry, Edgar Legaspi, and Juan Montoya. Dinner Chairmen are Jacqueline Weld Drake, HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Urban Karlsson, Mary Snow, and Joan Steinberg. To purchase tickets or tables,  visit: https://www.casitamaria.org/events/fiesta


Ann-Hunter Van Kirk and Camila Mendoza.
Victor Roquette and Homero Niño.
Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Hunter Harris.
Zach Yoselowitz, Andrea Casanova, and Hunter Harris.
Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, Alida Boer, and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia.
Shyne Mirella Fabros and Elizabeth Jacoby.
Hunter Harris, Victor Roquette, Camila Mendoza, Zach Yoselowitz, and Andrea Casanova.
Halim Bulos and Homero Niño.
Ann-Hunter Van Kirk, Jonathan Marder, and Elizabeth Jacoby.

“Kazie Metzger Harvey, our esteemed board member, is the hostess with the mostess,” exclaimed Elizabeth Stribling, chairman of French Heritage Society, at Harvey’s Upper East Side apartment. “Even more so when she receives the new French Ambassador to the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivière. We are proud to welcome him here to announce our Black & White Ball on November 21, where we’ll honor Geoffrey Bradfield and Margaret and Greg Hedberg.”


Elizabeth Stribling, Helena Lehane, Geoffrey Bradfield, and Kazie Metzger Harvey.

The Hedbergs, Stribling said, were on holiday celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. “50 is a big number.” A charming Bradfield made an appearance, but politely held back any words until the big night. Stribling then presented the hostess with a set of Lalique glasses, accompanied by a bottle from Lalique’s own vineyard. Cece Black, special events chair, said, “We have board members from France and here working together for an American charity — it’s wonderful.”

Guests included Jean Doyen de Montaillou, April Gow, R. Couri Hay, Michel Longchampt, Aimee and Bill Maroney, Judy McLaren, Ann Nitze, Guy N. Robinson (co-chairman of the New York Chapter), Jean Shafiroff, Barbara and Donald Tober, and Ann van Ness.


CeCe Black and Barbara Tober.

On November 21, 2019, French Heritage Society will host the New York Gala Dinner Dance – The Black & White Ball on Thursday, November 21st, 2019, at a private club in Manhattan, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.: https://frenchheritagesociety.org/event/new-york-gala-2019/

French Heritage Society is dedicated to protecting the French architectural legacy both in France and the United States with particular emphasis on preservation and education. It fosters long-established French-American relationships through cultural exchanges as it strives to ensure that the treasures of our shared heritage will survive to inspire future generations. Its 11 chapters in the U.S. and one in Paris have supported the restoration of nearly 600 buildings and gardens since 1982. FHS also organizes unique student internship opportunities in both countries.


Ben Wells, Susan Baker, Judy McLaren, Léa Vives, and Roxana Bartolome.
Gerald and Susan Baker.
L. to r.: Jean Shafiroff, Dr. Penny Grant, Lee Fryd, and Dr. Susan Krysiewicz; Guy Robinson and Jeri Sape.
Barbara Wolf and Ben Wells.
Dr. Penny Grant and Johnsonie Casimyr.
Laurie Brockway Bodor and Guy Robinson.
Ann Van Ness, Geoffrey Bradfield, and Dr. Susan Krysiewicz.
Gurnee Hart, Roxana Bartolome, and Léa Vives.
Kazie Metzger Harvey, Nicolas de Rivière, Ann Nitze, and Elizabeth Stribling.
Aimee Maroney, William Maroney, and CeCe Black.
John Harvey and April Gow.
Romain Poirot and Léa Vives.
Michael Kovner, Colin Kearby, Stark Kirby, and Jean Doyen de Montaillou.

The heat of the summer has passed but over 300 of Newport’s summer and year round residents celebrated newportFILM’s 10th Anniversary on the white-shelled, waterfront courtyard of the International Yacht Restoration’s School’s historic Restoration Hall.

The annual benefit party raised over $200,000 in support of newportFILM, a year round screening series whose mission is to “inspire, educate and entertain by presenting impactful documentaries that help build community and propel change”. newportFILM curates from a global pool of impactful work by established and emerging documentary filmmakers and presents the films to thousands of attendees annually at iconic locations in and around Newport, RI.


Kathryn Sheehan, Lyndsey Gibbons-Neff, Kaitlyn Mello, Meredith Ewenson, and Karen Carr.

newportFILM’s Artistic Director and co-founder, Andrea van Beuren said, “I feel incredibly lucky that we have had such generous and continued support from both the Newport community and from the brilliant documentary filmmakers who have traveled here to screen their films and share their stories with our audiences.”

newportFILM is generously supported by local and national businesses and foundations such as Lila Delman Real Estate International, WIMCO Villas, Lexington Partners, Park South Hotel NYC, Carey, Richmond & Viking Insurance and the de Ramel Foundation.


Chelsea McWillie, Cam Taylor, Stephanie Mattera, Kristen Jones, and Ali Gainor.
Dory Benson, Charlotte Hamilton, and Grace Loughborough.
L. to r.: Christian and Erin Schlebach; Angus and Joanna Davis.
Eric Kirton and Jeff Rozansky.
L. to r.: Becca Bertrand and Doug Kohler; Kara Malkovich, Octavius Prince, and Mary Katherine Prince.
Sophie Schumacher, Terri Conners, Meredith Ewenson, and Sarah Vickers.
Jack DiMao, Phyllis Fragola, Dee Doucette, Paul Doucette, Liz Doucette, and Michelle & Tom Glassie.
Michael Paddon, Kristen Coates, and Lawrence Slocum.
Rick, Serena, Sophie, and Phyllis Higgerson.
L. to r.: Dwight and Sue Sipprelle; Ryan Elsman and Brandyn Brunelle.

Also, during the summer months, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelter held its  Seventeenth Annual Women of Valor Awards Tea at the New York Marriot Marquis, generously  hosted by Macy’s.

Over 800 guests were cordially invited to celebrate eleven extraordinary women for their outstanding works in the community and contributions to those less fortunate throughout New York City – our “Women of Valor.”



At the 2019 Awards Tea, nine Women of Valor were honored: Michelle M. DeCarlo of JB&B, Linda Foggie of Wells Fargo, Rebecca Humphrey of Focal Point/Macro Consultants, Sofia Juperius of Paramount, Kelly Merino of CBRE, Michele O’Connor of Langan, Mia Poppe of Poppe and Associates, Tamarra Wickes of FCi, and Mavis Wiggins of TPG Architecture.

The Keynote Speaker and Honorary Chair was Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA, who gave a beautiful speech on her work at UNICEF. Jennifer Moore, Strategic Advisor of Corporate Social Responsibility for Kenneth Cole, received the Macy’s Community Star Award for her wonderful services to the community.


Police Athletic League Young Artists.

Attendees were greeted with an invocation by Fr. Michael Marigliano, from Holy Cross and St. John the Baptist Church, as well as a fantastic performance of a musical selection by the Police Athletic League’s Teen Acting Program.

St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters support a network of locations that provide a broad range of services for those in need. They also support the community through special events for those in need.


Maria Sanchez, Hanna, Noah, and Mia Poppe.
Bonnie Pfleiderer, Linda Foggie, and Helena Loman.
Sharon Yorio, Allen Poeppel, Michele O’Connor, and Kristine Rocco.
Rich Rose, Anthony Montalto, Michelle DeCarlo, Lou Arzano, and James Kish.
Art Thompson, Rosalie Edsons, and Colleen Moran.
Walter Clarke, Kelly Merino, Michele Dowd, Danielle Arnone, Pheobe Li, and friend.
Rebecca Humphrey with friends and family.
Matthew Bautista and Sofia Juperius.
Bonnie Pfleiderer, Deborah Cole, Colleen Moran, and Ellen Canny.
Mavis Wiggins, Jim Phillips, Pat Wiggins, Michele Wright, and Donna Vance.
Joseph Sano, Caryl Stern, Father Francis Gasparik, and Ernie Anastos.
Joseph Sano, Jennifer Moore (Macy’s Community Star Award Recipient), Father Francis Gasparik, and Lindsay Mall from Macy’s).
Joseph Sano, Rita Cosby, Tomaczek Bednarek, Joseph Aquino, John Catsimatidis, Margo Catsimatidis, and Nikki Klieman.
Valerie Hoeffner, Tiffany DeMillio, Anthony DeMillio, Tania Zuzzolo, Stella Cotte, Stara Wickes-Rudiger, Warren Rudiger, Tamarra Wickes, and Marcus Williams.

Photos by Annie Watt Agency (Casita & French Heritage); Howard Wechsler & Annie Watt (Women of Valor).

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