David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

November 20, 2006

Balls, galas, luncheons, book parties... all on NYSD...

Earlier this month on a Tuesday at the St. Regis Roof, the Horticultural Society of New York held its 13th annual Fall Luncheon and honored Carleton Varney with the HSNY Award for Excellence. Mr. Varney is the president of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc, the oldest established interior design firm in the United States. It was named after its founder who had a long career that was so well-publicized (before the days of television and internet) that she was actually a household name in America – a rare occurrence even in these media saturated times. She ran her own design firm from the 1920s through the 1960s and was honored by the Museum of the City of New York this year in a very successful retrospective exhibition of her work.

Carleton Varney’s latest book, In The Pink-Dorothy Draper -America’s Most Fabulous Decorator, was published concurrently with the museum exhibition, and is filled with countless photographs of Draper’s work taken from the archives of Dorothy Draper & Company. For design connoisseurs and designers themselves, it’s a trip.

The funds raised from the luncheon event support The Horticultural Society of New York’s community outreach programs such as: Apple Seed, a science program offered in schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods; GreenBranches, a program of installing and maintaining professionally designed gardens at branch libraries in neighborhoods with few green space; GreenHouse / GreenTeam program on and after incarceration at Rikers Island, which prepares inmates and ex-offenders for entry into the job market, by training them in horticulture and landscaping

Co-chairs of the luncheon were CeCe Black, Margaret M. Carnwath, Karen K. Clark, Lucy Day, Millicent M. Johnsen, Anne Shearman-Betts, Suzette de Marigny Smith, Sheila Stephenson, Elizabeth F. Stribling and Jessica Tcherepnine. Vice-Chairman were R. Ellen Avellino, Sharen Benenson, Dominique Buaron, Wendy N. Carduner, Sharon Casdin, Charlotte M. Frieze, April Riddle Gow, Ted Hartley & Dina Merrill, May Brawley Hill, Ursula Lowerre, Charlotte Mathey and Mary S. Phipps. Junior Chairs wereVirginia Apple, T. Paige Betz, Susan Parker Fore, Leslie Hull, Cynthia Ketchum, Stephanie Loeffler, Pia Murphy and Mary Van Pelt.

Paige Betz, Alison Minton, and Elizabeth Belfer