More than 350 women — leaders of industry, media, government, and the arts â€“ gathered at The Plaza Hotel this afternoon for the Citymeals-on-Wheels 26th Annual â€œPower Lunch for Women.â€ This by-invitation-only benefit, emceed by the â€œGood Morning Americaâ€ Lifestyle Anchor Lara Spencer, raised over $1.1 million, or enough to provide more than 177,000 meals for New Yorkâ€™s frail homebound aged. Scroll below for photos from the event!
Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Zahn was honored for her commitment to the cityâ€™s homebound elderly. Randi & Dennis Riese, of The Riese Organization, were also honored for their dedication to Citymeals. Mr. Riese is a long-serving member of the Citymeals-on-Wheels Board of Directors. Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald performed â€œMake Someone Happy.â€
Among this yearâ€™s lunching ladies were Karen Allen, Donatella Arpaia, Cindy Barshop, Betsy Bernardaud, Sharon Bush, Anne Cohen, Laura Day, Michele Oka Doner, Sharon Epperson, Dasha Epstein, Roberta Flack (her new albums include Let It Be Roberta – Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles and Christmas Songs), Gael Greene, Jamee Gregory, Donna Hanover, Joan Helpern, Jill Herzig, Caroline Hirsch, Dana Ivey, Suri Kasirer, Rikki Klieman, Barbara Lazaroff, Alexandra Lebenthal, Sandra Lee, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Trish McEvoy, Bette Midler, Liz Neumark, Karen Page, Betty Rollin, Silda Wall Spitzer, Emily Tisch Sussman, Marcy Syms, Diana L. Taylor, Lillian Vernon, and Patricia Wexler, among others.
A few adventurous men bought the privilege of dining with these powerful and famous women for an admission price of $10,000. This yearâ€™s â€œ$10K Menâ€ included Bill Bratton, Ed Brown, Millard Drexler, Bill Fischer, Michael Lynne, Craig Pfeiffer, John Shapiro, Bronson Van Wyck, John Zaccaro, and Steven B. Zavagli. Other â€œ$10K Menâ€ who contributed but were unable to attend included Jeffrey Bliss, Henry Buhl, Jeffrey Chodorow, Joseph M. Cohen, Peter Ekelund, Robert Grimes, Steve Hanson, John Pomerantz, and Donald Tober.
Also given special recognition at the lunch was former New York Times reporter Dorothy Gaiter. Gaiter wrote the seminal article in November 1981 about how the cityâ€™s funds to feed the homebound elderly did not cover weekends and holidays that was read by Citymeals co-founder Gael Greene and eventually led to the start of Citymeals-on-Wheels.
One hundred percent of the money raised from ticket and auction sales at Power Lunch, and all Citymeals events, goes to the preparation and delivery of nutritious meals to homebound elderly in the five boroughs of New York City.
Gael Greene served as auctioneer for the special live auction of a seven-course dinner party in the winnerâ€™s own home from Chef Ed Brown. Roberta Flack made an on-the-spot announcement that she would serenade anyone who paid $20,000 for CheF Brownâ€™s dinner party. The item sold twice.
Silent auction items included a trunk filled with Bobbi Brownâ€™s favorite skincare and makeup along with Bobbiâ€™s Makeup Manual and brush set, donated by Bobbi Brown; an in-home five-course dinner party for six with Aureole Executive Chef Marcus Ware, donated by Aureole New York; a private guided tour of the Manhattan headquarters of fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and a $1,000 gift certificate, donated by Diane Von Furstenberg; two tickets to the show during Fall/Winter 2013 Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, donated by Carolina Herrera; and a two night stay for two, including breakfast, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, dinner for two in Bar Boulud with wine pairings, and two tickets to THE BODYGUARD, donated by the Mandarin Oriental, Bar Boulud and the Nederlander Producing Co. of America.
Founded in 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels is a not-for-profit organization that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs of New York City. Last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of over 1.8 million meals to nearly 17,000 aged New Yorkers. One hundred percent of donations from the public to Citymeals goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for homebound elderly. For more information, visit http://www.citymeals.org.
Arrivals photo credit: Alan Barnett Photography; luncheon photo credit: Star Black.