The Red Cross Ball, a Barbadian reunion, and a compliment from Kissinger.
By Donna Shor
FIFTY-FIRST ANNUAL RED CROSS BALL
Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach…the Red Cross Ball is one of the world’s most glittery galas with diamonds galore ($5 million dollars worth bedecked Suzette, wife of international jeweler David Morris), and tiaras, emeralds and rubies All this, plus Melania Trump, Susan Lucci, Archduke Georg von Habsburg-Lothringen, Archduchess Eilika. Ambassadors who flew down with The Donald on his private plane were Shamin and Said Jawad (Afghanistan), Dr. Rajmah Hussain (Malaysia), Benedicte and Joseph Weyland (Luxembourg), Birgitte and Arne Petersen (Denmark), and dynamic Nat’l Red Cross Chair Bonnie McElveen-Hunter. Special thrill: the patron’s dinner at the 45,000 square-foot, $37 million home of super-hosts Michele (the ball’s vice-chair) and Howard Kessler. A special award was given to Marion “Joe” Smoak, retiring as the ball’s chief of protocol (“Never missed once in 35 years”), who will be replaced by former Ambassador to Denmark Stuart Bernstein. Washingtonians: Brad and Denise Alexander, Bill and Norma Tiefel, Bill and Mary Walde, Wilma Bernstein, Mike and Julia Connors, Susan Eisenhower, Patti Delano (as in FDR), and Bill and Julie Thurmond Whitmer, daughter of the late Sen. Strom.