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Society News

Nancy Ellison Rollnick, William D. Rollnick, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter

Nancy Ellison Rollnick, William D. Rollnick, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter
Photo: Lucien Capehart Photography


52nd International Red Cross Ball Reigns

With Tradition, Elegant Simplicity

Anne Archer & the Trumps among guests uniting

in spirit of giving, community


PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 11, 2009) — Welcomed by trumpeters to the iconic Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach on Saturday, January 31, guests of the 52nd International Red Cross Ball united to embrace the time-honored traditions and global spirit of community outreach generated by the American Red Cross.

“We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support received at this year’s event,” said William D. Rollnick, chairman.  “Considering the condition of the economic times, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity and goodwill that permeated this ball.”

Continuing in customs spanning over half a century, tiaras showed like a gallery of jeweled masterpieces while guests danced the night away among international dignitaries and celebrities including Anne Archer, Kyle Petty, John Walsh and Melania and Donald Trump

Guests of the evening were privy to a host of surprises. Chairman of the American Red Cross, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, presented the “Chairman’s Award for International Humanitarian Leadership” to Michele Kessler, the American Red Cross Global Ambassador for the Measles Initiative. Kessler was honored for her tireless efforts to vaccinate more than 500 million children in 50 countries and reduce measles deaths in Africa by 91percent.

Also honored were the Rollnicks, who were presented with the “Sue Whitmore Award,” the highest honor bestowed by the American Red Cross Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter, for their unyielding commitment to the Red Cross.

Critically acclaimed concert pianist Bruce Levingston, known for his diverse repertoires, enchanted his audience with a Chopin nocturne before they dined on a simple, yet divine three-course meal. 

Sounds from the renowned Peter Duchin Orchestra filled the air, striking an artful balance in tastes throughout the inherently majestic, delicately lit ballroom. 

Foreign dignitaries escorted down the red carpet by the United States Marine Corps 4th ANGLICO unit of Palm Beach included Ambassador Claudia Fritsche of Liechtenstein; Ambassador and Mrs. Said Jawad of Afghanistan; Ambassador Hunaina al Mughairy of OMAN; Ambassador and Mrs. Urs Ziswiler of Switzerland; Ambassador and Mrs. Gilles Noghes of Monaco; Ambassador and Mrs. Joao De Vallera of Portugal; Ambassador and Mrs. Adrian Vierita of Romania; and Ambassador and Mrs. Jean-Paul Senninger of Luxembourg.

Other guests included Dr. Elizabeth Bowden; the Honorable Nancy Brinker; Mr. & Mrs. Tim Cannon; Mr. and Mrs. Chris Carlson; Mr. & Mrs. David Chase; Mr. & Mrs. George Cloutier; Mrs. Esther Coopersmith; Mrs. Herme De Wyman Miro; Ms. Susan Duffy; Mr. & Mrs. Mark Freitas; Mrs. Nanci Gabay; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Gordon; Mr. & Mrs. Desmond Keogh; Representative and Mrs. Ronald Klein; Mr. & Mrs. Michael Lampert; Mr. Robert Leidy; Sir Geoffrey Leigh; Mr. Carl Loof; The Honorable & Mrs. Per-Olof Loof; Mr. & Mrs. James Meany; Mr. & Mrs. Alexis Mersentes; Ms. Therese Mersentes; Senator and Mrs. William Nelson; Ms. Anka Palitz; Mr. & Mrs. Frank Pilotte; Ms. Beth Pine; Ms. Lois Pope; Mr. & Mrs. Walter Raquet; Mr. & Mrs. Alfons Schmitt; Mr. Otto G. Spamer & Dr. Carmel Donovan; Mr. & Mrs. Dominick Telesco; Mr. & Mrs. William Tiefel; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Tomsich; Mr. & Mrs. William Told; Mrs. Jean Tailer; and Mr. & Mrs. William Walde.

Sponsors for this year’s event included Chopard, Microsoft, Frank Crystal & Co., Lydian Bank,
Braman Motorcars
and Neiman Marcus.

Codrina and Adrian Vierita - Amb of Romania, Louise Akerblom and
Jean-Paul Senninger- Amb of Luxembourg, Margarida De Vallera and Joao De Vallera - Amb of Portugal, Ellen and Gilles Noghes- Amb of Monaco, Ronit and Urs Ziswiler- Amb of Switzerland, Hunaina al Mughairy - Ambassador of Oman, Shamim and Said Jawad - Amb of Afghanistan, Claudia Fritsche - Amb of Liechtenstein, Nancy Ellison Rollnick and William D. Rollnick - IRC Ball Chairmen, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Wilma and Amb Stuart Bernstein


For additional information, call 561-833-7711 or visit

About the American Red Cross:

For over 90 years, the American Red Cross Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter, which includes Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee and Palm Beach Counties, has provided relief to victims of disasters at home and abroad, teaches lifesaving skills, and supports military members and families. The American Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency, depends on voluntary contributions of time and money to perform its humanitarian mission. To learn more about the work of the Red Cross in communities, or to make a donation, please call 561-833-7711 or visit our website at



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