Category Archives: Charity event

Setting the Future Straighter at the “Life Without Lupus Gala 2012: Turning Lupus Research Upside Down”

New Yorkers are a resilient bunch. Despite Sandy, some of the most stylish in town came out for the SLE Lupus Foundation “Life Without Lupus Gala 2012: Turning Lupus Research Upside Down”, which raised 2.5 million.

The world’s largest gathering of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation was held at The American Museum of Natural History on Monday evening, November 19th. Hosted by Willie Geist, new co-host of NBC’s Today Show and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the night raised $2.5 million to turn the tables on lupus with novel innovative research that is producing the pivotal discoveries to improve treatments and uncovering the root causes of lupus that can lead to a cure.

More than 700 members of New York City’s philanthropic, government, business and health care communities joined forces. Five-time Tony award winner Audra McDonald captivated the audience’s hearts with her expression of support. “I can only begin to understand the devastation that lupus can bring having watched a colleague cope with her mom’s death from this disease. I perform for you tonight to help raise the funds needed to drive the most creative research that can turn the situation around for people with lupus as well as millions of others suffering from similar autoimmune diseases.” Audra was just recognized as 2012 Best Actress in a Musical for her starring role in Porgy and Bess.

Gala honorees Fern and Lenard Tessler were celebrated for their steadfast dedication to the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and its Lupus Research Institute (LRI) in the relentless pursuit of improving lupus care through novel research. Lupus is a devastating autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans, 90 percent of whom are women — with a two to three times greater risk among women of color.

In accepting the award, Fern commented on the effect her niece’s diagnosis has on her family’s lives. She noted she wants more for her niece– and is determined to give her the future she deserves and the best way we can is to support this organization that finds and funds the most groundbreaking research.

S.L.E. Lupus Foundation President Richard DeScherer announced that in addition to devoting funds raised to lupus research, the Foundation is donating $50,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. “We have been committed to New York for 42 years – while we expand across the country and worldwide, New York will always be our home. And as New Yorkers, we want to help our neighbors get back on their feet.”

Honorary Dinner Chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg addressed the crowd, noting, “New York has the most lupus laboratories, private sector lupus research produced, opportunities for lupus diagnosis, treatment and care and the most established and active outreach to combat racial disparities in lupus. The work of these groups over the past several decades has greatly contributed to helping our city assume that leadership role in the U.S. and worldwide.”

Gala 2012 Dinner Chairs were Jennie & Richard DeScherer; Susan Golick & Alan Wasserman; Ronnie & Michael Kassan; Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg & Senator Frank R. Lautenberg; Andrea & Jeff Lomasky; Lisa & Mark Neporent; Linda & Seth Plattus; Beth & Alan Waldenberg and Carol & Michael Weisman.

New York luminaries supporting the event included Audra’s husband and Broadway star Will Swenson; Governor Mario Cuomo & Mrs. Matilda Cuomo; opera legend Jessye Norman; philanthropists Edward & Arlyn Gardner and socialite Karen Koeningsberg. A live auction conducted by world-renowned Christie’s brought in many more members to the growing family of active combatants against lupus.

About S.L.E. Lupus Foundation: The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is the country’s preeminent organization delivering direct patient services, public education and novel research at a national level. Founded more than 40 years ago in New York City by lupus patients and their families as the first nonprofit to serve the lupus community, it remains the cornerstone of comprehensive care in all five boroughs in the continuous battle for a Life Without Lupus.

Style Panache – Pet Peeves Bow-Wow Beach Bash ’12

On Wednesday, September 12, the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY hosted the first fundraiser that raised a cool $20,000 in their chic “Beach Arena”.  All proceeds went directly to Long Island’s no kill shelters, pet therapy and humane educations initiatives; all benefiting homeless pets and their families – how lovely!!! It was the purr-fect way to end the Summer!

Pet Peeves is a 10 year, 501 (C)(3) organization with no-pay staff—all volunteer. Their next Gala is in spring 2013 and sponsorships will fill up very early. Go to to find out about opportunities.

4 New Fashion Events in NYC: Siman Doonan, Hack Day 2012, FFF Fashion Week & More!

Just posted on the Fashion Societe Directory…. Check them out to be up on the latest in what’s around town!

Wilhelmina Open Call for W Runway Division Tuesday, June 12 12:00p to 3:00p

NYC Fashion Hack Day 2012 Saturday, June 16 8:00a

at Gilt Groupe Hq, New York, NY
Click here to read them all!

Fighting Lupus is the Fashion for May Lupus Awareness Month

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More than 300 New York’s leading “bag” ladies gathered April 25th at the fourth and largest annual S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s New York Bag Ladies Luncheon in NYC.  The gala raised $250,000 for those struggling with the devastating disease lupus. Kicking off May Lupus Awareness Month, the event included a silent auction of 140 donated designer and celebrity handbags.

Two outstanding women were honored for their long-time support of the work of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation: Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Former First Lady of New York State, Founder and Chair of Mentoring USA National/International and author of the new book The Person Who Changed My Life, and Mary E. Belle, President, Licensing at The Jones Group which includes iconic lifestyle brands such as Anne Klein, Jones New York and Nine West.

Serving as Mistress of Ceremonies, opera legend and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Board member Jessye Norman honored Mary Belle. Introduced by good friend and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Board President Richard DeScherer, Governor Mario Cuomo had the special privilege of presenting his wife with her award.

Board member Jennie DeScherer presented the most moving honor of the afternoon. In memory of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s co-founder who died this month at nearly 102, the Foundation’s New Investigator Grant Program will be named: The Morrie Golick New Investigator Awards in Lupus.

Who’s Who of Attendees Touched by People with Lupus
In addition to Governor Cuomo, several members of their family including Dr. Margaret Cuomo, Maria Cuomo Cole and Cristina Greeven Cuomo were among the audience recognizing Matilda’s contributions. Additional S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Board members in attendance include Founder and Vice President Susan Golick; Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, wife of Senator Frank Lautenberg and Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Credit Suisse. Also from the Foundation’s Board were Fern Tessler; Betsey Selkowitz; Carol Weisman and Kate Kelly.

Working Miracles
The event turned generously donated designer and celebrity handbags into pocket-books full of miracles; a silent auction raised funding for the science needed to find a cure for lupus as well as the necessary services to help patients live with the disease day-to-day.

“The funds raised today literally work miracles for those faced with lupus,” said Margaret Dowd, Executive Director, S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. Dowd also announced that the 2012 Life Without Lupus Gala will be held November 19 and will honor the very active Foundation Board member and noted philanthropist Fern Tessler.

About Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is a chronic, complex and serious autoimmune disease affecting more than 1.5 million Americans. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints. Lupus is difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, and a leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women.

The Center for the Women of NY celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Gala Luncheon

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A beautiful afternoon was spent Saturday April 28th at the Douglaston Manor and Golf Club Douglaston, NY. I met a terrific group of caring people who support this organization filled with hard-working volunteers who are dedicated to women achieving full equality in society.

This their 25th year’s honorees include:
Woman of Distinction, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Former First Lady of New York State
Community Service Award, Hon. Catherine Nolan, NYS Assemblywoman, Chair of Education Committee
Hon. Elizabeth Crowley, New York State Councilwoman
Hon. Catherine Glover, Esq., NYS Democratic State Committeewomen
Sasha Greene, LMSW, Director, UFT Retiree Social Services
Hon. Grace Meng, New York State Assemblywoman
Hon. Evelyn Roth, Nassau County Commissioner for the Aging
Sue Sutera, Physical Ed. Coach, Jamaica High School

CWNY “Good Guy” Awards are for men who support their efforts and share their goal of achieving equal rights for women:
Hon. Edward C. Braunstein, New York State Assemblyman
Alan Kaufman, Treasurer, CEO, Melrose Credit Union
Fred Papert, President, The 42nd Street Development Corp.
Gregory Clague, CLTC, LUTCF, Financial Services Executive, MetL

The Center under the guidance from Ann Jawin, has shown that women working together can be an effective force. We are a voluntary, non-profit organization existing primarily on dues from our members and on the volunteer efforts of business, professional and community women. The Celebration of “Women in Leadership” Awards honors women of diverse backgrounds who are committed to women’s rights and have made significant contributions to our community.

10th Annual Pet Peeves Gala, Woodbury, NY March 20, 2012

The night sizzled as guests enjoyed a lavish buffet dinner and colorful cocktails. The room was filled with exquisitely designed animal-themed decor, from ice sculptures to creatively “carved” dogs on the serving stations. Très magnifique!! There was a huge array of beautifully wrapped raffle baskets, with all ticket sales going to benefit animals in need on Long Island.

The Pet Peeves’ 10th Anniversary Celebration took place on Tuesday, March 20, at the Crest Hollow Country Club. Janine Dion’s production was utterly delightful: chicly decorated, scores of stylish Long Islanders, an abundantly friendly and warm vibe, and catered with extensive choices of fine food. Scores of reasons why it is worth the time, effort and funds to make sure you put this on your calendar for next year!!

Enjoy these images of just some of the beautifully dressed (and fun!) attendees, while everyone there enjoyed the colorful lounge theme, decadent food, extensive bar with NO lines and outrageous display of raffle baskets.

JoAnn Winkhart, Corporate Relations Development Director of FOUR Food Studio & Cocktail Salon and K. Pacho Cocina & Tequila, is ALWAYS dressed so pretty!

Yolanda Giunta of East Rockaway is styling a Ralph Lauren top and skirt and Jimmy Choo stilettos - Wow!!

Pet Peeves volunteers Monet Lee rocks a sporty striped dress while Nikki Friedman looks ready for spring in an asymmetrical chic blue acetate dress.

Laura Hartman and Joanne Hutchins from the 501(c)(3) breast cancer charity "Moms Who Kick" were on hand to show off their fabulous figures and the results that avid physical fitness coupled with a nutritious diet can keep women strong and avoid certain cancers.

This gentleman was happy to pose for Fashion Societé to exemplify what a well-dressed man wears . . . )

These ladies love their shoes! Kayla sports a one-shoulder pretty printed pink top and black pencil skirt paired with purple t-strap peeptoe heels- sweet! Marianne's bright body-skimming shirred dress is a great match for her multi-colored stilettos with lime heels - You go girls!

Great evening out, where animals in need were supported generously on Long Island. Pet Peeves, Inc. is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, is completely volunteer-driven. They have a hands-on board, wonderful volunteers and no paid staff members. The proceeds of ALL efforts go to the animals! Check out their website to learn more about Pet Peeves at:


LI Fight for Charity’s Fashionable Components

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The excitement, the athletic preparation, the outfits(!)– all were on display last night at the 9th Annual Fight for Charity when the Long Island community gathered to support 3 worthwhile organizations, namely, The Genesis School, the Long Island Community Chest … Continue reading