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Social Happenings Beyond The Hamptons

Originally Posted: February 25, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

Cynthia, philanthropist and wife of financier Dan Lufkin, hosted an intimate cocktail party in their Central Park West home to kick-off the American Cancer Society's 2008 Award Luncheon on Feb. 26 at the Plaza. Cynthia will be honored with "Mother of The Year 2008" for her dedication and commitment to the American Cancer Society. The location could not be more appropriate as the home they now live in was built in 1887 as the New York Cancer Hospital and a portion of their home, where the party took place, is the old chapel.

Cynthia and Dan Lufkin at the cocktail party at their home with Linda Feldman.

The American Cancer Society President Linda Feldman made the toast on the cascading spiral staircase overlooking the magnificent chapel turned living room. She also thanked all the co-chairs, many of Cynthia's closest friends.

Notable guests at the party included Howard Stern and fiancée Beth Ostrosky, Diana and Richard Feldman, Bill Cunningham, Grace Hightower, Julie Dannenberg, Anne Keating, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Wendy Carduner, David Patrick Columbia, Dominique Browning, Somers Farkas, Muffie Potter Aston, Jacqueline Togut, Dayle Haddon, Emily and Leslie Keno, Maria Cuomo Cole, Sharon Bush, and Chris Meigher.

Designer Maggie Norris kicked off New York Fashion Week by introducing Kiera Chaplin as her official spokesmodel with a fete at The Plumm nightclub. Kiera, the granddaughter of film legend Charlie Chaplin and the great-granddaughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill, made her entrance wearing a red satin dress designed by Maggie with a plunging neckline and back. Throughout the room, women enjoyed champagne and hors d'oeuvres while modeling Maggie's signature corsets and equestrian themed custom attire.

Maggie Norris and Kiera Chaplin at The Plumm.

Among those feteing the designer and her new muse were "America's Next Top Model" star Nigel Barker, Sharon Bush, actresses Christy Scott Cashman and Francesca Cecil, Wendy Diamond of Animal Fair, author Tom Dolby (who just released his latest novel "The Sixth Form"), Somers Farkas, Michele Gerber Klein, Alison Minton, Chad Graci, R. Couri Hay, Jeffrey Modell Foundation founders Vicki and Fred Modell, Colette, attorney Sal Strazzullo, models Diane and Jodi Fanelli, Alice Judelson, Harper's Bazaar's Courtney Kryston, Station Studios owner Andrew Barile, Carrie Cloud, Vogue's Meredith Melling-Burke, and Cynthia Lufkin.

Norris deftly blends traditional elements of haberdashery into a cohesive whole that evokes the sensual mystique of Robert de Montesquiou and the Duchesse de Gramont. Norris, who counts Diane Keaton, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Mischa Barton as fans, designed actress Sissy Spacek's gown for the Academy Awards this past weekend. Kiera's new show, "America the Right Way", will premiere this March on the Travel Channel and her next film, "Freedom", starts shooting later this year.

The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (SMSKCC) and Chairman of Doubles Wendy Carduner held a potluck dinner to celebrate the success of "Park Avenue Potluck". Chef Steven Mellina, who praised the dishes in the book, cooked up a potluck feast for the Cookbook Committee, including hosts Leslie Jones and Barbara Tollis. Friends, family and supporters of SMSKCC came out to enjoy the dinner in the Sherry Netherland Hotel.

Leslie Jones, Peter Jones, and Wendy Carduner at the cocktail party for "Park Avenue

Released nationally by Rizzoli Publications International, Inc. in October 2007, Park Avenue Potluck was named by The NY Times as one of "25 Noteworthy Cookbooks of 2007". Last December, Rizzoli New York ordered a third printing to support the hugely successful launch of The Society's first-ever cookbook that gained national attention on NBC's The Today Show in preparation for Thanksgiving. Edited by New York Times food editor Florence Fabricant, the book contains over 100 recipes compiled from members and friends of The Society of MSKCC, including family favorites from the Upper East Side.
More than just a cookbook featuring many recipes handed down by grandmothers, mothers and good friends alike, "Park Avenue Potluck" also offers an unprecedented peek into the homes at some of New York's most posh addresses. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "Park Avenue Potluck" will provide funding for The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's patient care, research and education programs.

The Third Annual Shady Ladies Luncheon to benefit The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) brought out the stars, socials and equestrians for a day of sunshine, fine fare and exciting equestrian competition, all viewed from the shade under the tent. Internationally acclaimed fashion designers and the event's Honorary Chairs Mark Badgley, known for both his designs and competing in the Hunter Show Ring, his design partner, James Mischka, and Chair Jenny Oz LeRoy of Tavern on the Green were the first to welcome guests to the IBM Corporation sponsored benefit, making supporters, and even some of their pets, feel right at home in the comfort of the shade at the Winter Equestrian Festival event.

James Mischka, Jenny Oz LeRoy, and Mark Badgley at the Third Annual
Shady Ladies Luncheon.

Guests included Vice-Chairs Toni and Jean Goutal, Angela and Chris Paradysz, Teri and John Wood, Grand Prix rider Nona Garson, and BeKind founder, Frances Hayward, all enjoyed the fabulous food, entertaining auction and wonderful mix of socials, designers, and celebrities. Guests included Lou and Debi Dobbs watching quietly as their 19-year-old daughter, Hillary, and thirty other top riders competed in the $60,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix FEI CSI 3 that took place on the gorgeous new field. Rodrigo Pessoa eventually won the class, part of The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Zimmerman Advertising. Over 200 supporters attended the luncheon on the beautiful sunny afternoon, raising more than $110,000 for LRI.

The theme resonated with a common symptom of lupus, namely, extreme sensitivity to the sun. So, with shade being the operative concept, many guests opted for big hats (or riding hats if they were about to compete) and the lunch featured its ever-popular live and silent auctions of celebrity sunglasses.

Serving with their usual panache as live auctioneers were star equestrian Nona Garson, Mark Bellissimo, the owner of The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, and luncheon Vice-Chair John Wood. This year, among the bold faced names donating their sunglasses were Bruce Springsteen and wife Patty Scialfa, Regis Philbin, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Michael J. Fox, Cheech Marin, designer Michael Kors, NBC News Anchor Hoda Kotb, and actress Tracy Ullman, to name but a few. The shades donated by Arnold Schwarzenegger went for $3,000 and were the original pair that the actor wore in the first "Terminator" film and the ones from Tommy Lee Jones were snatched up for a mere $1,700. Famed racecar driver Richard Petty donated a signed hat and shirt.

In addition to Badgley Mischka and IBM Corporation, corporate donors were Diane's Precious Jewels designed by Diane Griswold Johnston, Coach, William Grant & Sons, Eyes of Wellington, Hunt Ltd., Shady Day, Inc., Nicole Paxson Cosmetics, and Carol's Daughter.

Next weekend the action heats back up in the Hamptons as the second annual Hampton Idol competition takes the stage in Westhampton and The Parrish Art Museum begins it's party season with Two Forks And A Cork.

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer

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