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Black Tie International:
Taking Flight Gala


Audra Zuckerman, Michelle Smith and Julia Harquail. Photo by: Dustin Harris/

Audra Zuckerman, Michelle Smith and Julia Harquail.
Photo by: Dustin Harris/




New York, NY (November 27, 2012) – The IDEAL School of Manhattan co-founders Michelle Smith, Audra Zuckerman and Julia Harquil welcomed over 300 guests to Gotham Hall on Monday, November 26th for their annual Taking Flight Gala. Head of School Angela Bergeson and Board of Trustees President Mitch Rubin welcomed friends, families, teachers and supporters to the benefit dinner party, which raised over $300,000 to keep the unique educational institution thriving. 

Alexandra Lebenthal, Nancy Silverman and Tracy Nixon were among the guests to peruse the dozens of silent auction items, which included everything from Knicks vs. Nets tickets to designer accessories to a trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas.  Former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso chatted with fellow supporter Fred Siegel, while Kristin McElligott, Lauren Lico and Emily Kuntz congregated near the auction tables as the attentive staff took bids on iPads.  Following the cocktail hour, Tim Bello, Tracy Nixon, Krysta Wagner and Wayne Clark were among those who sat and enjoyed both the delightful dinner and inspiring presentation.  

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is an inclusion school that accepts and affirms the full identities of all people, while inspiring academic excellence, creative leadership, and a desire to build amore just an equitable world. Children of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome at The IDEAL School, and the student body is one of the most diverse in New York City. The school's Open Door Scholarship program supports socioeconomic diversity by providing tuition assistance to students who might not otherwise have access to an independent school education.

For more information, please visit www.theidealschool


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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