Forty years ago, two things happened would later converge at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: John Manice began volunteering at the house, and Geoffrey Bradfield landed on our shores from South Africa. On Tuesday night, the organization honored them both at its annual gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.
John’s first task was to serve wine to the House’s elderly ladies. He was so good at it, they would ask him to dance after imbibing. He’s now on the board and encouraging others to pour the wine. Geoffrey began by organizing a showcase of designer Christmas stockings—an idea that would later morph into the gala's designer table centerpieces. Roric Tobin created a diamond-strewn red rose, Andy Stark floated an enormous white top hat over her table, David Kleinberg shot luminescent Lucite bolts from his and McMillen spun planets over an orgy of flowers and guests. The partygoers dazzled too, with a stunning array of spangles, diamonds and sparkly teeth.
The House’s remarkable Executive Director caught us up on the organization. Since 1894, it has served those in need who live, work or attend school on the Upper East Side. Not only the House's volunteers serve 1,400 meals every day, but they has also created teaching kitchens that produce healthy meals so good that the Times raved about them. And they make their own mozzarella! We had our own yum dinner, courtesy of the ever-reliable Cipriani kitchen, then worked it off on the dance floor.
Diana Quasha chaired, and noted that the record-breaking event was also "the best looking party in town." Contributing to that were gorgeous guests, including Caroline and Thompson Dean, Kathy and Othon Prounis, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Sydney and Stan Schuman, Christopher Spitzmiller (who also Chaired the Design Committee), Eric Javits and DiMondo, Tara and Michael Rockefeller, Ann and John Pyne, Mary Snow, Meredith Ohstrom, Indrid and Tom Edelman, Anki Leeds and Amy Hoadley.