On The Avenue

The ASPCA’s Bergh Ball is Fauna Nirvana

by Debbie Bancroft Photographed by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan
Monday, April 24, 2017
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New York’s most glamorous animal-lovers gathered at the Plaza last Thursday for the ASPCA’s annual Bergh Ball. Conceived by ASPCA board member Linda Lloyd Lambert twenty years ago, the gala has raised over $20 million since its inception. So it was more than fitting that Lambert was honored with the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award. In her acceptance speech, the philanthropist told the audience, “I believe to be able to see the humanity in the eyes of an animal is a blessing. They make our lives more complete. They teach us to be better humans than we are. We are forever in their debt and for the lessons we have learned, it is our obligation to protect them and to give back to them.” She then added, “my husband Ben knows that I’d rather eat nails than be honored, but thank you.”

A video tribute featured Candice Bergen, who said, “Linda is well connected, very kind, and has no agenda. That’s rare in New York.” Allison Stern called her “tender-hearted,” and Chuck Scarborough warned us to “never get in between Linda and an animal in need.” Emcee Isaac Mizrahi compared Linda to his mother, who at family events, would eye the room filled with kids and grandkids, and say “without me, none of you would be here. Well, no one would’ve been there without Linda.”

DJ Samantha Ronson kept the music lively and Hugh Hildesly from Sotheby’s ran a rousing auction featuring a glam vacation in Marbella and, fittingly, a Hunt Slonem bird painting. A gospel group echoed the night’s “Shine a Light” theme by belting “This Little Light of Mine,” getting everyone on their feet.

Also present were kind and glam supporters, including Arriana and Dixon Boardman, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander, Chuck and Ellen Scarborough, Fred Tanne, Jeffrey Pfeifle, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Laura Barket, Wes Gordon, Jessica Hart, Allie Rizzo, Serena Marron, Allie Rizzo, Christian Siriano, Mindy and Tom Fortin, Paige Nelson and Rob Wiesenthal, décor chair Robin Bell, Carolina Herrera, Jamie Niven, Lisa Fine and Lucy Hale, who hosted a raging after party downstairs.


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