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Annual "Lady in Red" Gala
Donald Trump, Lois Pope & J.R.
Photo by: Lucien Capehart
The 18th Annual “Lady in Red” Gala
PALM BEACH, FL-
Even the elements were excited as the wind blew and the
waves tossed while guests gathered on Friday, December 2,
2011, for the 18th Annual "Lady in Red" Gala at The Mar-a-Lago
Club, Palm Beach. Attendees were greeted with much fanfare
by uniformed trumpeters heralding guests upon their arrival
for the eagerly anticipated start of the Palm Beach social
Cocktails were served poolside as a lovely dancer
entertained inside a bubble gliding across the pool as
Copeland Davis tickled the ivories for everyone's listening
pleasure. The enthusiastic guests were soon led into the
elegant ballroom where they were met by sparkling gold and
red decor created by Sutka designs. Here the entertainment
continued as Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. thrilled the
crowd with all of their most loved hits.
Next, emcee and auctioneer extraordinaire Dick Robinson took
the stage to introduce the lady of the evening, Lois Pope.
Mrs. Pope thanked everyone for their continued support of
The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and
especially Dick Robinson, who she called LIFE’s “guardian
angel”. She went on to share the exciting news that
fundraising had been completed for the memorial. "This
would not have been possible without the efforts of everyone
who has done so much over the years." Next up was Junior
Chairman Paul David Pope, who gave a heartfelt and moving
tribute to his mother.
It is no surprise that the dance floor served as a
centerpiece for the evening as J.R. Martinez, American
actor, motivational speaker, veteran of the United States
Army, and recent winner of Dancing with the Stars was
special guest. LIFE presented him with the Unsung Hero
Award for overcoming devastating injuries to make a full
life for himself and in so doing bring the plight of
America's three million living disabled veterans into our
country's consciousness. The award was a beautiful crystal
designed by Tiffany & Co. Martinez delighted everyone in
attendance with his humility, wit and charm. On behalf of
LIFE he presented Donald Trump with LIFE’s Presidential Hero
Award, a stunning crystal bowl, also designed by Tiffany &
Co. The award was given in honor of Mr. Trump’s years of
service and philanthropy to LIFE and his part in seeing the
dream of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
become a reality.
Then it was on to the thrilling live auction. Paul David
Pope was the lucky bidder, of the one-of-a-kind Mini Cooper
convertible donated by Braman Motorcars, which was designed
and painted by the acclaimed and world-renowned artist,
Romero Britto for the LIFE Gala. The live auction also
included a dazzling pair of Tiffany & Co. 25th Anniversary
Paloma Picasso diamond earrings donated by Tiffany & Co.,
won by Franz Rosinus and a beautiful 18K gold and
semiprecious stone necklace and earrings set from India
donated by Terry Ebert Mendozza won by Alexis Mersentes .
Ari Rifkin was the lucky winner of a fur donated by Donna
Somper “Furrier to The Hollywood Stars" and modeled by Toni
Holt-Kramer. The auction of a dance with Martinez was won
by Walter Schwenk who graciously selected Mrs. Pope to
dance with the Dancing with the Stars champion. The dance
was a moment that will go down in Palm Beach gala history,
as the two floated across the dance floor in a waltz that
earned a perfect 10 from Dick Robinson and the audience.
Finally Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Kennedy Center Honoree
Smokey Robinson took the stage in performance worthy of the
Hollywood Bowl. From “Cruisin’” to “Tracks of My Tears”
Robinson proved with every note that he truly deserves his
spot among music’s royal family.
There is no doubt that everyone who had the distinct
pleasure to attend this once in a lifetime event went home
with a song in their heart and a smile on their face, not to
mention an exquisite crystal decanter donated by Tiffany &
Co. and lovely bottle of Lady in Red Wine.
Lois Pope, Toni Holt-Kramer, and Terry Ebert Mendozza served
as Chairwomen of the 18th Annual "Lady in Red" Gala. Paul
David Pope was Junior Chairman, and Sally & Dick Robinson
were Co-Chairs. International Honorary Chairs were Elizabeth
& Jeff Bateman. Honorary Chairs were Rhoda & David Chase,
Nathalie Fernandez, Patrick Park and Ari Rifkin.
Tiffany & Co., Braman Motorcars,
Romero Britto, and Wells Fargo Advisors.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit the American
Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
The 18th Annual "Lady in Red" Gala will be the last LIFE
Gala to raise funds for the American Veterans Disabled for
Life Memorial. The official groundbreaking of the Memorial
is scheduled for October, 2013, in our nation's capital.
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