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Black Tie International:
Chairpersons Announced For 53rd Annual
International Red Cross Ball



  FOR 53rd annual international
 Red Cross ball


Susan Keenan, Michele Kessler and Mary Mochary

Susan Keenan, Michele Kessler and Mary Mochary
 Photo by: Lucien Capehart


PALM BEACH, Fla. (December 30, 2009) -- The Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter of the American Red Cross announced that Michele Kessler, Susan Keenan and Mary Mochary will serve as the chairmen of the 53rd Annual International Red Cross Ball. Long-standing supporter Florence A. De George is the honorary chairman. Traditionally a highlight of the Palm Beach social season, the prestigious gala will take place on January 30 at The Mar-a-Lago Club. The white-tie and tiara affair will continue the tradition of advancing the local American Red Cross chapter’s nearly 100-year history of providing shelter, food and counsel to victims of disasters, teaching lifesaving skills such as CPR and First Aid, and supporting military members and their families.

“The International Red Cross Ball is an iconic fundraising event that is recognized around the world. It is my honor to be included among so many extraordinary men and women who have chaired it over the years,” said Kessler. “Among the array of important services that the American Red Cross provides, the Measles Initiative is closest to my heart. Through the event, I hope to bring this global program to the forefront, in addition to drawing more awareness and support to all of the local services that the Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter provides.”

The 2010 event will welcome ambassadors, dignitaries, government, civic and philanthropic leaders from around the world who support the American Red Cross. A reception for the distinguished guests will be held at Howard and Michele Kessler’s home in Palm Beach on January 29. UBS Palm Beach Wealth Group is the benefactor of the Ambassadors’ Dinner. Grand Corporate Patrons of the gala include Braman Motorcars, Dell, Frank Crystal & Co., Lydian Bank & Trust, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co.

            Michele Kessler is actively involved with the American
Red Cross and serves as a Global Ambassador of the nonprofit’s Measles Initiative, which provides life-saving resources including measles vaccinations to children around the world. In addition to serving as director of community relations at The Kessler Group and the co-founder and director of the Kessler Family Foundation, she is a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Foundation, where she also serves as a member of the hospital’s Women’s Health Leadership Forum. She is the
co-chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital's Leadership Council for Psychiatry. She currently serves on the board of directors of the United Way of the Town of Palm Beach; the William J. Clinton Foundation; The American-Ireland Fund; the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach; the Palm Beach Civic Association;
and the American Cancer Society of Palm Beach. She is an overseer of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston and Babson College. She is currently serving as the Honorary Consulate to Monaco in the State of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

            Susan Keenan serves on the board of directors of Lydian Bank & Trust, the regional board of governors of John Hopkins Medicine and on the board of trustees of the Town of Palm Beach United Way. She is a founding member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Leadership Council for Psychiatry and the founding chairman of the National Committee for the Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In addition to the American Red Cross, she has served in leadership roles for the Children’s Home Society; Mary Rubloff YWCA Harmony House;
Pat Reeves Village for Homeless Families with Children;
Center for Family Services; Visiting Nurses Association; South Florida Science Museum; Planned Parenthood; Ballet Florida;
 Dana Farber Cancer Institute; H.O.W.; Hospice Foundation;
The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation; Palm Beach Day Academy; and the Norton Museum of Art. 

               A graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Chicago Law School, Mary Mochary is the former mayor of Montclair, New Jersey.  She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be Deputy Legal Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, where she worked for nearly 10 years negotiating countless bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties. She is actively involved in many nonprofit organizations, and is currently the manager of the Kasser Art Foundation of Montclair.  She is currently serving or has previously served on the boards of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; Hoover Institution in Stanford, California; Young Concert Artists; University of Chicago Law School Visiting Committee; the Kennedy Center; Washington National Opera; Washington Performing Arts Society; the Goddess Fund for Stroke Research; and The Jazz Museum in Harlem.

    Tickets to the 53rd Annual International Red Cross Ball start at $1,000. For more information, please contact Julie Ott, Director of Special Events, American Red Cross, at  (561) 718-5602  (561) 718-5602 . For more information on the Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, please call  (561) 833-7711  or visit




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