Around Town: Spring Goes Forth

by Editorial
When Whitehead speaks, people listen. At the reuters Global Finance Summit in 2008, he cautioned that the U.S. could face an economic slump greater than the Great Depression in remarks that were widely quoted. At the dinner, he sounded a bit more optimistic, saying, “We’ll come through this. It will take some time, but we can work through it.”
Guests included Gen. Colin Powell, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Ambassador to France Arthur Hartman, Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Somogyi, former Chief of Protocol and Ambassador to Hungary Nancy Brinker, John and Edith Lauer (the Coalition’s chairman emeritus), Coalition president Maximilian Teleki, master of ceremonies Andrea Lauer Rice, former FBI and CIA chief William Webster, and wife Lynda, Mary Mochary, Ina Ginsburg, Aniko Gaal Schott, and Annette Lantos.

Two extraordinarily “divine” women held sway at the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ “Living Goddess” spring gala. “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin enthralled the crowd with her signature songs, and fashion icon Mary McFadden added unmistakable allure to a retrospective of her work that remains on view at the museum until Aug. 30. The wide selection of luxury silent auction items included two McFadden gowns, one valued at $3,500, the other at $6,500; Chanel handbags; valuable rugs; dinners at embassies (including one for 30 guests offered by the ambassador of Pakistan); estimable wines, including a very special Principatus Selektion Karlsberg 2006, cultivated by Liechtenstein’s Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam, commemorating his country’s 200th year of sovereignty. Gina Adams was gala chairman and Sally Francis and Erin Barnes co-chaired the auction committee.
At the Washington Performing Arts Gala at the Marriott Wardman Park, inimitable trumpeter and consummate musician Wynton Marsalis donated his performance, the Mars Corporation underwrote the evening, and the live auction brought in record sums ($48,000 for one item alone). The gracious honorary patron, French Ambassador Pierre Vimont, actually attended the dinner (unlike most “Honoraries” whose names are mere window-dressing) and made sure to praise WPAS’ international artists program and educational outreach, which serves 100,000 local students each year. Entertainment included Jazz Update, WPAS’ own Children of the Gospel, and the riveting dancers of Step Afrika!
Seen: the ambassadors of Afghanistan, Mexico, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Bahrain, and the Netherlands; gala co-chairs Robin Hammer, Martha Korengold and Zelda Segal; Susan and Frank Mars; Izette and Neil Folger; Charlotte and John Marshall; Annie Totah; Shaista and Ray Mahmood; and Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, whose cocktail party a few days later in her Georgetown home honored fashion designer Steven Stolman, president of the Ovation Society, which coordinates individual donations for the upcoming Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. Charles Fishman, the festival’s founder and producer, said the June 5-15 event will celebrate New Orleans with a long roster of Marsalis family members and other musicians linked to the “Big Easy.”
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