2 December 2010

A Park Avenue Class Act: A Festive Gathering In Honor Of 'Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations'

New York City - Park Avenue is synonymous with class - the old-fashioned way. Frankly, that's the way I like it best, the old-fashion way. Finding myself in the middle of the holiday season with a few "how-to" questions, it was a treat to discover the way "Class Avenue" folk do it. The ladies and gents at The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have written a book, "Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations," full of doable plans and recipes for the holidays.

The book has menus for 14 family celebrations including "A True Potluck Tradition: Thanksgiving," "A Winter Feast: Holiday Dinner," (for Christmas and Hanukah) and "A Sparking Soirée: New Year's Eve." There is also one for Park Avenue's signature holiday, The After the Fund For Park Avenue's Memorial Tree Lighting Cocktail Party, (which is always on the night of the first Sunday in December), when the switch is pulled to turn on 40,000 lights on 104 evergreen trees lining The Avenue in honor and remembrance of our veterans and soldiers.

On Wednesday, November 17, President of Scully & Scully, Michael E. Scully and President of The Society of MSKCC, Heather Leeds hosted a reception to celebrate the best-selling international Entertaining Guide, which has been authored by The Society's members who just happen to be among New York's most celebrated hostesses and hosts. The festive cocktail party was held at Scully & Scully on Park Avenue. To show their support, the store donated 10 percent of the proceeds from purchases made in the store that evening and for the two days following to The Society's mission of promoting the well-being of patients, supporting cancer research and providing public education on prevention, early detection and the treatment of cancer.

Amid the showcase of top-of-the-line luxury gifts and fine home furnishings, the party featured beautiful table settings saluting "Icons of Style," designed by members of The Society. Chesie Breen chose Cole Porter. Mother and daughter team, Nicole Limbocker and Hilary Dick designed one as a tribute to the style of Babe Paley. Eugenie Niven Goodman and Jamie Niven chose The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who were most probably acquaintances of their grandfather and father, David Niven. Leslie Perkin thought pink in the spirit of Diana Vreeland and Kathy Thomas conjured up the outstanding taste of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Guests were serenaded by the seasonal sounds of Alex Donner's band while they enjoyed hors d'oeuvres inspired by the book. Guests included four past Society Presidents, Susan Burke, Leslie Jones, Coco Kopelman and Nicole Limbocker. As well as The Society's Cookbook Committee Co-Chairs, Kathy Thomas and Barbara Tollis and Vice-Chairs, Wendy Arriz, Chesie Breen and Elizabeth Fuller.

The Society's Cookbook Committee members include Muffie Potter Aston, Catherine Carey, Nancy Mulholland Conroy, Chiara Edmands, Kelly Forsberg, Martha Glass, Leslie Heaney, Amy Hoadley, Stephanie Loeffler, Barbara McLaughlin, Sarah S. Powers, George Rudenauer, Tracy Snyder and Alexandra Wernink.

Among the shoppers and celebrants were Alexandra Lind Rose, Andrew Thomas, Jennifer Creel, Mark Gilbertson, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Anna and Michael Safir, Lisa McCarthy, Bernard Maisner, Annette Rickel, Tom Leeds, Grace and Chris Meigher, Frances and Bill Bruder, John Glass, Libby Fitzgerald, Jay Snyder, Eleanor Fahey, Tom Edelman, Patrice Bell, Kevin McLaughlin, Fernanda Niven, Peter Jones, Alison Minton, Derek Limbocker, Barbara Regna, Justin Mitchell, Jean Shafiroff, Bryan Carey, Robin Cofer, Arie Kopelman, Kamie Lightburn, Cynthia Wilby, Kate Edmunds, Lisa Selby, Greg Kelly, Polly Onet, Nick Goodman, Mary Snow, Greg Kachejian, Ester Bovino, Spencer Melder, Blakely Griggs, John Wegorzewski, Eliza Nordeman, Ed Callaghan, Jane Walkowicz, LeeLee Brown and Scully & Scully's resident Interior Designer, Jonathan Tait.

Award-winning food writer for the New York Times, Florence Fabricant contributed the forward to "Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations," which was released nationwide by Rizzoli in October 2009. Partial proceeds from the cookbook benefit The Society's programs at MSKCC.

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