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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
The 19th Annual Lady in Red Gala

Jay Leno and Lois Pope
Photo by:  Lucien Capehart

The King of Late Night, Jay Leno, Reigns at LIFE's

“The Lady in Red” Gala


Palm Beach, FL-More than 500 supporters of LIFE gathered December 1, 2012 at The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach for The 19th annual "Lady in Red" Gala, a Night of Stars. This traditional kick-off to the Palm Beach social season was a spectacular success with celebrities, local dignitaries and socialites gathering to raise funds for LIFE’s partnership with American Humane Association.

The evening began poolside under the stars with the exotically beautiful Russian-American concert piano virtuoso, Lola Astanova, who magnificently performed the 3rd movement of the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto. Lola was joined by the incredible talents of the Palm Beach Symphony under the baton of Daniel Alfred Wachs. Next, guests were serenaded as they enter the Grand Ballroom by the 90 member Nova Choir singing Broadway Hits. Then the King of Late Night TV, legendary Tonight Show host Jay Leno kept the party going with his raucous wit and humor. The fun continued as the Sultans of Swing took the stage and kept everyone dancing the night away!

Tiffany & Co, LIFE’s unwavering supporter, once again donated a lovely gift for each couple, as well as exquisite his and hers watches which were offered in the live auction. Jay Leno served as auctioneer. Joel Hart was the lucky winner of the 18kt white gold lady’s Tonneau shape cocktail watch with round and baguette shape diamonds totaling 2.48ct., and Rick Rifkin took home the large stainless steel men’s Tiffany Grand watch. Long-time LIFE benefactor, Braman Motorcars donated a 2012 BMW S1000RR motorcycle in racing red and alpine white, signed by Jay Leno and was won by Courtnay Montgomery. It looks like the Trump Family will be in New York City for Thanksgiving in 2013, because Donald Trump was the winner of the Macy’s VIP 2013 Thanksgiving Trip for four. In a surprise gesture of true generosity, Jay Leno offered VIP Ticket packages to the Tonight Show to as many guests as were interested and were willing to donate $500 to LIFE. Mr. Leno also announced his generous $10,000 donation to LIFE's partnership with AHA. As the live auction ended, Leno hopped on the BMW Motorcycle and rode it off the dance floor making way for the dancing to resume.

Lois Pope and Suzi Goldsmith served as Chairwomen of LIFE's 19th Annual "Lady in Red" Gala. Honorees Extraordinaire were Mary Ann & Walt Schwenk; Grand International Chairwoman was Hermé de Wyman Miro; LIFE's Hero Grand Patron's were Patrick M. Park and Elizabeth & Jeffrey E. Bateman (in loving memory); Honorary Chairmen were Ari Rifkin, Veronica Atkins, Maude Emerson Cook and Mary Virginia & Henry Fong; LIFE’S Hero Ambassadors were Toni Holt Kramer & Robert Kramer, Terry Ebert Mendozza & Joseph Mendozza; Co-Chairs were Sally and Dick Robinson; and Junior Chairmen were Maria Pope Kessel & Kerry R. Kessel and Gail Worth.

All proceeds from the evening go towards LIFE’s partnership with American Humane Association (AHA) which includes a program to protect the voiceless and the vulnerable in our society - abused and neglected children and animals. Programs that will be served are in Palm Beach County, including a large Pet Mobile for adoption purposes and rescue service during times of emergency .

Sponsors of the "Lady in Red" Gala included Tiffany & Co., Wells Fargo Advisors, and Braman Motorcars.

LIFE is dedicated to helping and improving the lives of the voiceless and vulnerable in our society – those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or forgotten because of disabilities, socio-economic status, neglect, age, abuse, and other barriers. LIFE is committed to providing aid, assistance, and awards for disabled veterans, medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare.

For more information, please contact LIFE at 561.865.0955 or visit .


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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