Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Around Town
with Donna Shor

This year's Ambassadors Ball'the twenty-sixth' rolled merrily along again, even though several of the 120 ambassadors it salutes annually were missing. Although scheduling conflicts found them at the United Nations, it was a fun affair, held in the Grand Hyatt Hotel's Independence Ballroom amid roses donated by the Colombian Ambassador Luis- Alberto Moreno and his wife, Gabriela, from the Columbian flower growers and exporters.

Many ambassadors' wives attended in the absence of their husbands, including Nada Simonyi of Hungary, Cheryl Caterino of Portugal, Susan Blickenstorfer of Switzerland, and Marie-Thérèse Lowell of Malta.

The Swedish Ambassador Jan Eliasson attended, as did New Zealand's ambassador, John Wood, and his wife, Rose. Among other ambassadorial couples noted were the Tunisian Ambassador Hatem Atallah and his wife, Faika, and the Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic Baktybek Abdrissaev, and his wife Chalpon.

There were many handsome gowns, but two that attracted attention were Luma Kawar's iridescent ball dress (Luma is the wife of the Ambassador of Jordan), and Micaela Salahi's form-fitting white gown with floating chiffon cut-outs that fluttered attractively as she moved. Her polo player husband, Tareq Salahi, a member of the local Multiple Sclerosis executive committee, donated many of the silent auction's wine items from his Virginia-based Oasis vineyards.



Other guests included executive committee member Renée Robinson, and her husband General Wallace “Robbie” Robinson. Esther Coopersmith and Ruth Frenzel served as co-chairs of the ball's Diplomatic Advisory Committee. Hardworking Jeanne Oates Angulo, president of the National Capital Chapter of the Multiple SclerosisSociety, said that over the years the proceeds of the Ambassador's Ball have contributed more than $8.5 million to fight the illness. James Conzelman, chairman of the chapter 's board of trustees, thanked the Freddie Mac Foundation and Maxine Baker, the foundation's president and CEO, for sponsoring the event for the last four years.

HOT TICKET: Invitations to parties at the home of Jeffery Weiss and Juleanna Glover-Weiss are among the most sought-after in town. Their Kalorama home has long been a party place, as its former owner, Gertie d'Amecourt, was known for her frequent soirées.

Juleanna Glover- Weiss is the attractive redhead who got a river of ink in breathless profiles in the New York Times, Washington Post, citing her wide swath as a dynamite lobbyist with Clark and Weinstock, and spectacular hostess. Juleanna has a high profile political background, and is a wife and mother. She was formerly the press secretary to Vice President Dick Cheney and advisor to both former New York Mayor Rudy Giulani and then–Sen. John Ashcroft.

One of the recent parties honored New York real estate tycoon Jon Tisch and his book, “The Power of We.” Among the very-Washington crowd were: NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell, Debbie Dingell, Mark Ein, Dan and Rhoda Glickman, CNN Bureau Chief David Bohrman, Beth Dozoretz, Elizabeth Drew, Bob and Rita Barnett, Jack Oliver (the Bush- Cheney finance director), Phillipe Reines (press secretary to Sen. Hillary Clinton), Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, and a host of others.

ONE MORE CHANCE: In any city, some good causes are glittery stepping stones to social prominence, while others are the grungier sort, where the need is as overwhelming, but butterfly-types aren't attracted to sign on as easily. It's especially nice when an evening helping a needy cause lures not just the serious types, but the party people as well. Everyone goes home happy. That was the case at the “Last Kiss of Summer” at Teatro Goldoni, the Indian summer party to benefit Second Chance Employment Services. The group provides job placement services free of charge forbattered and abused women and welfare recipients, helping them return to society with dignity and a job. Dr. Ludy Green, the organization's founder and president, aided by cochairs Lanah Hamilton, Donna Lomangino and Katherine Wood, and their committee members, helped muster the troops, as did the event's co-chairs Dr. Ronald S. Perlman and Dr. Kevin Ryan. In the crowd: NBC-4's Barbara Harrison and committee members Cindy Jones, Tracey Ellis, Mary Bird, Grace Bender, Debbie Sigmund and Linda Haan. Attorneys David Harrison and Marc Cohen were two of the men's committee present. Also seen: Peggy Ledvina and Corrine Skye—whose Indian name is “Kills Pretty Enemy”—decked out in the fullfeathered regalia of her Lakota tribe.

SHOCKER! The crowd at Kitty Kelley's book party at the Warner Atrium drew about 300 guests waiting for copies of her latest blockbuster, “The Family,” a warts-and-all chronicle of the Bush dynasty from the 19th century onwards. Kelley signed books steadily for three hours with a black felt-tipped pen, of the heavily-footnoted tome, which includes several eyebrow-raising revelations that might have scared off a less intrepid writer. She records chapter and verse of the disclosures from her interviewees, who invariably tell her more than they had planned todivulge. Though feared and disliked by many she has chronicled, she has never been sued successfully.

RING-A-DING EVENING Chaired by Susie Eisinger and Anna Maria Via, Arts for the Aging's benefit was one of the organization's most outstanding efforts since its founding 13 years ago. It was hosted by the Japanese Ambassador Toshiko Koto and his wife, Hanayo, at their residence, where the three hundred guests had plenty of space to roam through its handsome, understated rooms. It was a see-and-be-seen crowd, the sushi, hot dishes and never-ending desserts were excellent, and the silent auction (conducted by Bob Ryan) was fun. Ambassadors and their wives represented Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, France, Iceland, New Zealand, Malta, Portugal, Colombia and Turkey. Other guests included Bill and Dorothy McSweeny Calvin Cafritz, Judith Terra, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alessandra and Michael Daigneault, Pat Bush, Cynthia and VanKirk Fehr. .. Also there was John Boyd and his bride, the stunning Ann Boyd, who was born in Ireland and living in Paris before their marriage.

The chrysanthemums donated by Colombia found their perfect match when Julia Hopping found Silver Spring florist Erica Paz, who produced the tall crystal containers of Over 1,000 guests danced the night away on the Filene Center stage for Wolf Trap's annual ball, “Jewels of India,” hosted by Indian Ambassador Renendra Sen and his wife, Kalpana, and chaired by Mark Lowham and Dr. Joe Ruzzo. Dr. Ludy Green, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Dr. Ronald S. Perlman Photo courtesy of Second Chance Second Chance held its “Last Kiss of Summer” benefit at Teatro Goldoni on September 23. The group provides job placement services free of charge for battered and abused women and welfare recipients. Janice Martel Gaiter, Frida Burling and Kitty Kelley Over 300 guests lined up on September 21 at the Warner Atrium for signed copies of Kitty Kelley's latest blockbuster, “The Family,” a chronicle of the Bush dynasty from the 19th century onwards. 1. Eloise Poretz, Dr. Joe Russo, Kalpana Sen, Indian Ambassador Renendra Sen and Mark Lowham 2 .Leola Higgs Dellums and Keter Betts 3. Susie and Steven Cooper 1 2 3submerged flowers as well as the vases of sprays. Lolo Sarnoff, the indomitable founder of Arts for the Aging, has passed on the presidency to Donald Bliss, but will remain as chairman of the board of the organization that does so much to enrich the lives of the elderly.

HERE AND THERE: Good to have Café Milano back after a renovation that kept it closed in August. Owner Franco Nuschese started things off with a book launching party for his friend, thriller author Robert Andrews, whose “A Murder of Justice” made its debut. The heavens opened in a torrential downpour but it didn't deter 100 hearty souls wanting to meet the colorful Andrews, a writer fascinated by unsolved homicides, a former Green Beret and the author of seven books. Guests included Dr. Jane Morse, Paul Dooley, Garnett Stackelberg, Tandy Dickerson and Beverly and Richard Amberg… ..The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center premiered a documentary on Washington-based, world-renowned artist Yankel Ginzburg. The film, titled “Ladders” after a recurring theme in his work, traces his life from his boyhood in Stalinist Eastern Europe to his present place in circles of influence in Washington. One of the rungs up Ginzburg's ladder was from an asbestos shack on the Israeli-Jordanian to his current home, the former residence of Jordan's late King Hussein in Chevy Chase… Cairo Fred, one of the more offbeat bands in the tri-state area, is headed by Desson Thomson, a music critic at the Washington Post for seventeen years. The group call its innovative music “original adult pop rock,” and so it is. Cairo Fred's weird moniker was the nickname international Egyptian movie star Omar Sharif had in the movie industry, after Peter O'Toole so dubbed him during the filming of “Lawrence of Arabia.”

GREEN INTO RED: That was the objective when Jelli van Eenennaam, wife of Netherlands Ambassador Boudewijn J. van Eenennaam, and Aniko Gaal Schott decided to change the rather pale green drawing room of the embassy to a rich cinnabar red. The unveiling was a great excuse for a party, and Jellie and her husband went all out, performing a really amusing skit. The ambassador also thanked and paid homage to Aniko's talent and charm, and said he would call her “ambassadorable,” except that this particular title was reserved for his wife. Aniko, who was recently appointed to the 11-member President's Advisory Committee on Cultural Property Heritage, was pleased to find that all of its members came to the party, including James Willis, a tribal arts specialist and son of Rowena Willis, twin sister to Roberta McCain; Earl “Rusty” Powell of the NationalGallery; and the group's head, Jay Kislak, the Miami Beach philanthropist who has donated manuscripts and maps valued at $100 million to the Library of Congress. NAME THE DAY: When Washington Mayor Anthony Williams proclaimed a city-wide “Dorothy I. Height Day,” he cited Height's lifetime of working to enhance the quality of life for others, and her career of advancing democratic freedom and social justice for all peoples. That same evening, Dr. Walter Boek, president of the National Graduate University, inducted Height into the Democracy Hall of Fame at a dinner where he cited her many international and domestic accomplishments. At age 92, she is the chair and president. Participating in the program were Rev. Walter Fauntroy; Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; Anna C. Chennault of the university's board of governors; and Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of the Washington Times. Keeping the evening on track was Dr. Jean Boek. Guests, many of whom participate in the university's development, included General Donald and Ginny Dawson, Louise Gore, Ernest and Betty Mays, Jill Smart Gore, Francis Colt de Wolf III and George L. Hesse.

Do you have an item “Around Town” should know about? Send it to me at donnashor@aol.com

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