In The Magazine

Sweet Charity

by Debbie Bancroft Photographed by Owen Hoffmann/PMC
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The goblins and gremlins have passed, and now elves and the chubby white-bearded guy lie in wait. At this time in between, I chose to write about parties given by friends, for causes I hold dear.

The Boys’ Club of New York is on the top of my list. For 140 years, this nonprofit organization has nurtured, counseled and mentored boys and young men to help them reach their fullest potential by providing fun and effective programs. Many board members have served for decades, and their dedication was palpable at the 68th Annual Fall Dance. Trustee Kathy Irwin told me it was her 51st dance! Cochaired by Sara Ayres, Amy GriffinAlexandra Robertson, Lauren Santo Domingo and Shirin von Wulffen, the party held at the Pierre raised $1.2 million. Dior did more than sponsor: they also provided the china and glassware. The centerpieces were Dior handbag topiaries designed by Bronson van Wyck, and they left on the arms of several well-adorned guests.

He also cleverly used herb plants that would later go back to the Boys’ Club for use in their cooking classes. All the chairs, and new Woman’s Board president Ritchey Howe, dazzled in Dior, and an Instagram contest to win a bag from the brand had us all in a frenzy to capture the most images of the evening. (I’m sure our followers wondered why they were seeing scores of fuzzy images of appetizers and backs of heads, but that’s what Dior does to us.) The star of the evening was undoubtedly BC alum Sebastian de la Cruz, who will graduate from Cornell next year. DJ Alexandra Richards spun, and among those cutting the rug were Renaud de Lesquen, president of Dior North America, Jessica Hart, Christine Schwarzman, Dennis Basso, Ashley and Jeff McDermott, Bill Bratton, Fran L’Esperance, board president Bill Tyree, and many Women’s Board members and

trustees, including Ellen Niven, Alice Ross, Jackie Williams, Shabnam Henry, Gabrielle Bacon and Anjali Melwani, Alexia Ryan, Jamee Gregory, Muffy Miller, Dara O’Hara, Tatiana and Thorne Perkin, Betsy and Rob Pitts, David Howe, Stephanie Coleman, Hilary Geary Ross, Ros L’Esperance and Alex Robertson. The event was a smashing success, as we all knew it would be after Ken Fulk, San Francisco event and design wunderkind, launched this year’s fall dance with the ultimate girls’ night at his Tribeca loft a few weeks ago.

Another event inspired by passion is the Alzheimer’s Association 33rd Annual Rita Hayworth Gala, founded by the event namesake’s daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. The goal is to find a cure for the disease that took her mother at 68 years old. Two amazing individuals were honored: the legendary hockey star Brendan Shanahan and the president of HSN, Bill Brand, for their work toward the cause. The event, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, had just crossed the $70 million mark in funds raised toward the fight against Alzheimer’s. Karyn Kornfeld chaired and Mark Locks served as vice chair. Supporters in attendance included Diandra de Morrell Douglas, the Duchess of York, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Hunt Slonem, Daryl Simon, Robin Meltzer, Sarah Rafferty of USA’s Suits, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and Patty Raynes.


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