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Spring Gala benefits

The cast of the NY Philharmonic Spring Gala concert, conducted by Ted Sperling.
On Monday, March 26, 2012 the New York Philharmonic hosted Anywhere I Wander: The Frank Loesser Songbook, a Spring Gala benefit. 330 guests attended the event and over $875,000 was raised for the Philharmonic.

The evening celebrated the music of Frank Loesser, the late legendary Broadway composer of Where's Charley?, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Greenwillow, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Directed and conducted by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling, with Andrew Palermo as associate director and choreographer, the performance featured an all-star cast which included (in alphabetical order): John Bolton, Ann Hampton Callaway, Victoria Clark, Jason Danieley, Bernard Dotson, Marc Kudisch, Robert Morse, Michael Seelbach, Bryn Terfel, Mary Testa, and a special appearance by Loesser's widow and leading lady Jo Sullivan Loesser.
Philharmonic Executive Director Designate Matthew VanBesien, Gala Co-Chairman Jo Sullivan Loesser, Rosanne Jowitt, Board Member Karen LeFrak, and Chairman Gary W. Parr
Guests of the Spring Gala arrived at Avery Fisher Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m. for an hour-long cocktail reception on the Grand Promenade. The concert began at 7:30 p.m., followed by a post-concert dinner also on the Grand Promenade.

The evening's event was catered by Restaurant Associates, and the décor was provided by Van Vliet & Trap.

This Gala benefit was presented by BNY Mellon. Gala Co-Chairmen were Alec Baldwin and Jo Sullivan Loesser, and Senior Executive Vice Chairmen were Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell. Vice Chairmen for the event were Daria L. Foster, Rob and Mary Henrikson, and Ingeborg and Ira Rennert.
Board Member Sandra Warshawsky and Stanford Warshawsky
Gala Co-Chairman and Board Member Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas
Gala Vice Chairmen Ira and Ingeborg Rennert with Dr. Albert and Shirley Lefkowits
Martina and Tim Keaney with Agnes Hassell
Agnes Hassell and Barbara Jackson
Board Member and Special Events Committee Chairman Karen LeFrak, Board Member Peter Cummings, and Kimberly Strauss
Chairman Gary W. Parr and Board Member Ronald J. Ulrich
Board Member Benjamin M. Rosen, Robert Morse, and Donna Rosen
Eve Plumb
Board Member and Special Events Committee Chairman Karen LeFrak and Richard LeFrak
Gala Co-Chairman Jo Sullivan Loesser, Ted Chapin, and Heather Hitchens
Gala Co-Chairmen Jo Sullivan Loesser and Alec Baldwin
Board Member Timothy George and Cosby George with Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta
Board Member Gerald L. Hassel and Agnes Hassell
Board Member Honey Kurtz and Philharmoninc Executive Director Designate Matthew VanBesien
Christine Schwarzman, Richard LeFrak, and Abby Milstein
Donna Rosen and Board Member Benjamin M. Rosen
Board Member Joel I. Picket and Joan Picket
Board Member Rob Henrikson and Mary Henrikson
Robert Morse, Hilaria Thomas, and Gala Co-Chairman and Board Member Alec Baldwin
Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta and Board Member Daria L. Foster
Board Member Gerald L. Hassell, Chairman, President, and CEO, BNY Mellon, and Liz Peek
Victoria Clark and Mrs. William T. Knight III
Board Member Daria L. Foster and Stephen Brown
Spring Gala centerpiece
Tuesday, March 20th New York City – A dazzling party was held at the Upper East Side townhouse of Estée Lauder Group President John Demsey to celebrate his birthday and the birthdays of his fellow Pisceans, CNN anchor Alina Cho and top modeling agent Marilyn Gauthier.

The hosts welcomed a tidal wave of faces including fashion and style gurus Thom Browne, Carolina Herrera, Fern Mallis, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, Coach’s Ronald Frasch with wife Georgia Frasch, Fay Ricotta of Saks Fifth Avenue, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie et Ochs, who dressed Alina Cho for the fete, and celebrity hair stylist Sally Hershberger. Many members of the Estée Lauder “family” stopped by to enjoy a glass of champagne including Fabrizio Freda, Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Annemarie Iverson, Maureen Case, Alexandra Trower, Donald Robertson and Joe Spellman. Many fellow anchors and reporters joined in celebrating Ms. Cho’s birthday, including Rosanna Scotto, Erica and Geraldo Rivera, Jason Carroll, producers Ethel Bass and Susan Chun, Gigi Stone, Felicia Taylor, and Robert Zimmerman. John Demsey’s parents, Renee and Joe Demsey came to wish their son a happy birthday along with Youngja Cho, who helped her daughter Alina blow out the candles.
Felicia Taylor, Fern Mallis, Ingrid Sischy, Sandra Brant, and Jane Hertzmark Hudis
International models glided around the patio and upstairs terrace enjoying the fresh air and celebrating their mentor, Marilyn Gauthier. They included Liu Wen, fresh off the cover of T: The New York Times Magazine, Natalia Beber, Olga Maliouk with beau Karl Alomar, and Michelle Buswell. “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi sipped cocktails and chatted with guests including New York social mainstays Sharon Bush, Cynthia Frank with daughter-in-law Claiborne Swanson Frank, Genevieve Bahrenberg, Jill and Andrew Roosevelt, Mark Gilbertson, Ann Dexter-Jones, George Farias, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, and Bobby Fomon with fiancé Jill Fairchild. Fun-loving journalists and media moguls also stopped by to scope the scene including, WWD’s Pete Born, Vanity Fair’s Ingrid Sischy with Sandy Brant, Modern Luxury’s Alexis Clark, Beauty Fashion’s George Ledes, NY Post’s Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith, Gotham’s Samantha Yanks, and cartoonist Marisa Marchetto. Lensman Patrick McMullan captured the evening with his signature snapshots.

The hors d’oeuvres served on fish-shaped platters were courtesy of Cornelia Guest’s catering team from Cornelia Guest Events. Guests also snacked on handfuls of Swedish Fish, gummy sharks, and multicolored gummy octopi displayed in small fish bowls around the house; a rather fitting treat! Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” played on the living room television, getting guests in the under-the-sea mood; the perfect background to a Piscean party. The partygoers reveled in the festive atmosphere for hours and the outdoor patio bubbled over with guests eager to welcome spring. From beginning to end one would certainly say the Pisces Party was a “splashing” affaire.
Constance Jablonski
Felicia Milewicz, Carolina Herrera, Caroline Brown, and Maureen Case
Erica and Geraldo Rivera
Bobby Momon and Jill Fairchild
Anne Dexter-Jones, Rosanna Scotto, and Marisa Marchetto
Chris Tucci and Michelle Buswell
Alina Cho, John Demsey, and Marilyn Gauthier
Jason Carroll and Susan Chun
John Demsey and Padma Lakshmi
George Farias
Ron and Georgia Frasch
Cynthia Frank, Claiborne Swanson Frank, and Genevieve Bahrenburg
Jill and Andrew Roosevelt
John Demsey, Linda Fargo, and Pete Born
Alina Cho and George Farias
Liu Wen, John Demsey, and Carolina Herrera
Sharon Bush and Robert Zimmerman
Lola Rykiel, Carly Cushnie, and Michelle Ochs
Thom Browne and Fay Ricotta
Alina Cho, John Demsey, and Marilyn Gauthier
Temur Dzidziguri and friend
Somers and Jonathan Farkas
Olga Maliouk
Youngja Cho and Renee Demsey
On Tuesday, March 27, artist and fashion designer Emre Erturk of Istanbul and New York City, and businesswoman and TV presenter/producer Nilgun Cloak hosted a book launch and reception for Meera Gandhi at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.

Meera Gandhi, CEO and Founder of the Giving Back Foundation, has written a new coffee-table book entitled Giving Back, which is being introduced globally in 2012.  The book, with forward by Mrs. Cherie Blair, features 73 humanitarians and philanthropists who have inspired Meera Gandhi and her Foundation. Among those featured in the book are inspiring vignettes about Mother Teresa, Bono, Steven Rockefeller, Lord Loomba, Donna Karan, Deborah Norville, Somers Farkas, Kerry Kennedy and her brother Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Kristi Yamaguchi, singer Ronan Tynan, The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill, New York, The Royal National Institute of the Deaf in the UK, and the Foundation of the American Friends of Prince William and Prince Henry.
Meera Gandhi with her mother Ellen Mary McCarthy Agarwal and cousin Mary Mc Kane
Nilgun Colak, Emre Erturk, and Meera Gandhi
Mamiz Oztan and Buse Terim
Emre Koacadag, Emre Erturk, and Timur Kunt
Neslihan Yargici
Guntu Menteseoglu, Gokay Ozdemir, and Alin Tasci
Nazlİ Erturk, Serpil Guzey, and Benan Kizilkaya
Dunya Taskin
On Wednesday, March 28th FoodToEat.com celebrated its launch with an awareness raising party for Action Against Hunger at STASH.  The food truck and restaurant delivery website's CEO Deepti Sharma Kapur welcomed over 100 tastemakers including Robin Cofer, Leesa Rowland and Nancy Silberkleit over MEDEA cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres.

Deepti invited guests to support AAH, the global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger.  Action Against Hunger's Campaign Manager Elaine Ryan shared the non-profit's mission that the best way to give malnourished children a fighting chance is by providing them with access to clean water and food. 
FoodToEat.com Team
Deepti Sharma Kapur
Elaine Ryan and Radhika Shah
Nancy Silberkleit
Matthew Isaacs and Sapphire Pereira
Alisa Cawley, Robin Cofer, and Leesa Rowland
Ashley Parker and Gregory Delli Carpini Jr.
Sean Basinski

Photographs by Linsley Lindekins, Stephanie Berger, Chris Lee (NY Phil); PatrickMcMullan.com (Demsey); Sunny Norton (FoodToEat).
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