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Black Tie International:
Henry Buhl's Black and White Ball for A.C.E.



Henry Buhl’s Black and White Ball for A.C.E.

Photos by:  Rob Rich


Felicia Taylor and Henry Buhl

Felicia Taylor and Henry Buhl

Jean Shafiroff, Lucia Hwong-Gordon and Janna Bullock

Jean Shafiroff, Lucia Hwong-Gordon and Janna Bullock

Curtis Sliwa, LuAnn de Lesseps and Jacques Azoulay

Curtis Sliwa, LuAnn De Lesseps and Jacques Azoulay

Patti Smith performing

Patti Smith performing


The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (“A.C.E.”) recently threw a fabulous 80th birthday bash fundraiser for its founder, renowned philanthropist and art collector Henry Buhl at The Edison Ballroom.  And this “roaring Thirties” Black and White Ball theme certainly would have given Truman Capote a run for his money.  Contrary to the New York all-Black dress code of yesterday, White was the color of the evening for the ladies.    


Alex Donner and his orchestra set the mood with classics from the American songbook, and guests enthusiastically danced the night away.  “Punk poetess” Patti Smith provided an exciting juxtaposition to the evening with her soulful set of songs, including a breathy Marilyn Monroe-esque rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Henry.  Patti, who donned a shimmery tuxedo jacket, joked that “I’ve never performed in sequins before.”  She led the guests in another round of “Happy Birthday” and an incredible five-tiered cake was rolled out.  The confection was embellished with intertwining hands, evoking the theme of Henry Buhl’s famous art collection.


But “hands down” the evening’s highlight was a Burlesque performance by a beautiful dancer in 1930s pin-up girl attire.  It was not clear what the crowd around the dance floor enjoyed more: the burlesque or Henry’s delighted reaction! 


Felicia Taylor, the evening’s emcee, provided humor, but also sensitivity to the real cause of the evening, homelessness.  And a stirring speech by one of the program’s “graduates,” Kelvin  really brought home the importance of ACE’s mission.


Other guests included:  Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Curtis Sliwa, Ambassador John Loeb and Sharon Handler, Countess LuAnn De Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Nicole Miller, Kipton Cronkite, Veronica Mainetti, Janna Bullock, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Lauren Roberts, Donna Soloway, Paola and Arnie Rosenshein, Robin Cofer, Suzanne Murphy, Catherine Saxton, Carola and Robert Jain, Mariana and George Kaufman, Dr. Howard and Gayle Sobel, Lisa Dennison, Jennifer Joyce and Ingrid Seynhaeve.


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