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Falling for Parties

Originally Posted: December 27, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

With the 2006 holidays behind us - New Year's counts as the first in 2007 - we're all doing a bit of reflection. Reflecting on the past year's events is a fun way to turn back the clock for a few more days. This fall was no exception as there were glittering events with some of our favorite Hampton residents. Here are some of the highlights with more to follow next week...

Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Blinken at the New York Philharmonic pre-concert dinner.

Back in October, the New York Philharmonic held a pre-concert dinner hosted by Ambassador Donald Blinken, who served as the US Ambassador to Hungary under President Clinton, and his wife Vera. Ambassador and Mrs. Blinken underwrote the concert to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution and the Freedom Fight of 1956.

Jonathan Nott lead the New York Philharmonic in Beethoven's King Stephen Overture; Ligeti's Lontano; Bartók's Piano Concerto No.1 with Peter Serkin as soloist; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 as part of the event. Charles Zachary Bornstein, the Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, introduced the evening's program.

November brought us legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. Mr. Crinkite and New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum were honored by Louise Mirrer, President of the New York Historical Society, along with trustees and supporters at the Society's annual History Markers Gala. A cocktail reception and preview of the Society's new New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War exhibition was followed by dinner and the awards ceremony.

Walter Cronkite and Louise Mirrer at the History Markers Gala. Photo by Don Pollard

Katie Couric, Bunny and Bill Beekman, Valerie and Charles Diker, Joan and John Jakobson and Pat and John Rosenwald served as Gala Co-Chairs for the night. Other guests include The Honorable David Dinkins, Susan and Rick Braddock, James Chanos, Barbara and Richard Debs, Charles E. Dorkery III, Lucy and William Friedman, Richard Gelfond, Richard Gilder, Roger and Susan Hertog, Patricia and John Klingenstein, Tarky Lombardi, Virginia Mailman, Sarah Nash, Nancy Newcomb, Bernard Schwartz, Laurie Tisch, Sue Ann Weinberg, Byron Wien and Hope and Grant Winthrop.

The night benefited programs and educational initiatives at the New-York Historical Society, the city's first and oldest museum.

Big-hearted Hamptonites joined forces to make sure the patients and their families in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have the brightest holiday season possible. Southampton's Jamee Gregory spearheaded a campaign to redo the hospital's decorations for the first time in 12 years. She enlisted a committee that includes Hamptonites Jessie Araskog, Joanne de Guardiola, Bambi de la Gueronniere, Leslie Perkin and Clelia Zacharias.

The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation funded and Bridgehampton's Bill Tansey designed and installed the new decor. He chose a Victorian ambiance: garlands, trees, wreathes and roping. East Ender Janna Bullock threw a party in her Manhattan townhouse to celebrate at which 30 fashion designers including locals Dennis Basso, Tory Burch, Douglas Hannant, Carolina Herrera, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Cynthia Rowley, Alvin Valley and Vera Wang decorated containers that were filled with fabulous materials by Meredith Waga Pérez of Belle Fleur, and sold in a silent auction for $28,000 (including donations) to support The Center's holiday decorations for years to come.

Muffie Potter Aston, Meredith Waga Perez, Janna Bullock, and Jamee Gregory at the
decor party for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Photo by PatrickMc-

The party at Mrs. Bullock's was wonderful. Guests included The Society's President Vera Safai and Hamptons regulars Georgette Mosbacher, Mary Davidson, Muffie Potter and Sherrell Aston, Leslie Perkin, Wendy Carduner, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Michèle Gerber Klein, Peter Gregory, Adrienne and Gian Luigi Vittadini, Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin, Audrey Gruss, Gail and Dennis Karr, Coco Kopelman, Elaine Sargent, Daisy and Paul Soros, Melissa and Chappy Morris, Gail Hilson, Karen LeFrak, Michel Cox Witmer, Lisa and Chris Errico, Lisa McCarthy, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Kitty Sherrill, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Libby Fitzgerald, Ruth Fleischman and Liz Gardiner.

Other designers participating in the fantasy silent auction were Mark Badgley, James Mischka, Michael Vollbracht for Bill Blass, Reed Krakoff for Coach, Lyn Devon, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Naeem Khan, Catherine Malandrino, Gilles Mendel, Oscar de la Renta, Narcisco Rodriguez, Lela Rose, Angel Sanchez, Behnaz Sarafpour, Peter Som, Vivienne Tam, Zang Toi and Bryan Bradley for Tuleh.

Hilary and Wilbur Ross and Janna Bullock at the decor party for the Memorial Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Center. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

There were carolers in Edwardian costume, Paul Katz playing Cole Porter on the baby grand, champagne and hors d'oeuvres by Glorious Foods. Belle Fleur was selling their fabulous scented candles and giving 20% of the proceeds went to the cause. Laughter and good cheer poured out of the likes of Sharon Hoge, Mark Gilbertson, Martha Glass, Joel Allen, Melissa Berkelhammer, Geoffrey Bradfield, Ines Baussili, Samantha Gregory, James Sheeran, Heather Cohane and Barbara Saltzman. The house was filled with amazing mid-century and contemporary art including two Winter Trees on Oak Paneled Boxes, by artist Michelle Marie, who was there with her husband Jon Heinemann. Cheri Kaufman surprised Janna, Muffie and Jamee with Philip Stein Teslar diamond watches as a reward for their munificent efforts.

Topping it all off, many of the prettiest women including the SMSKCC staff: Olivia Striffler, Leigh Brawer and Kelsey Banfield, wore red t-shirts with a large shooting star on the front made from Swarovski crystals, designed by Steven Stolman. They were for sale and few could resist the sales pitch: "Be a star for The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center." A percentage of each sale will go to their Holiday Decor Fund and you can order them by e-mail at or call The Society at 212-639-7975. It's a gift that pays it forward.

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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