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Black - tie and Blushes

Two dozen exceptionally “civil” guests dined at the long table of the Belgian embassy residence for the International Foundation for Education’s Civility Awards; wellnamed, given the topic (and given the host, polished and urbane ambassador Dominique Struye de Swielande).

Tennis coach Kathy Kemper, founder and CEO of the IFE, praised the honorees, Senator SusanCollins and Mayor Adrian Fenty, for bipartisan cooperation and for emphasizing civility’s value in their personal and public lives. The Ambassador expanded on this, as did George Vradenburg, the Phillips Collection’s chairman and IFE dinner chair. IFE trustee Morton Kondracke (of Roll Call) moderated a Q & A with the Democratic mayor and Republican senator that centered on the partisan-powderkeg D.C. voting rights controversy.
At one point, the decidedly Democratic and irrepressible Trish Vradenburg, whose husband supports the GOP, exclaimed to the table: “I can’t believe I’m sleeping with a Republican!”
Unflappable George replied “And loving every moment of it!”

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, the first woman granted the title National Chairman of the American Red Cross in its 126-year history, hosted a superb party at her Georgetown home in October. She returned from the international relief organization’s trip to Madagascar with genial party co-hosts Nancy and William Rollnick, who will once again chair the Palm Beach Red Cross Ball in January. The event honored Ambassador Nancy Brinker’s appointment as U.S. Chief of Protocol as well as Chief of Protocol Emeritus Marion “Joe” Smoak, who has shepherded diplomats at the Red Cross Ball for many years. Seen: lots of Florida-connected folk, including the honorees, Grace Nelson, (wife of Senator Bill); Paul and Becky Rogers; Palm Beach chapter head Marian Dupont; CeCeFarris and Mary Frances Smoak and her husband William Walde.
Others included the new Hungarian Amb., Ferenc Somogyni, with wife Andrea; Samuel Szbogar, the Ambassador of Slovenia; Ecuadorian Amb. Luis Gallegos; Mary Mochary and Phil Wine; Eric Motley, Donald and MiaGlickman, Carmen Petrowitz, Vicki Bagley;

Jane and Calvin Cafritz and the newlyappointed head of the President’s International Education Initiative, Thomas Corts.

In a poignant moment at the Italian embassy, Amb. Giovanni Castellaneta introduced the son of Chris Warnke, benefit co-chair with Pat Oxley for KidSave, which rescues at-risk children. Twelve-year-old John (Sergei) Warnke said, “I was really happy when my mom came to the orphanage and picked me out. I wish that not only me, but thousands of other kids could be rescued, too.”Honored for their work with children were Channel 4’s Barbara Harrison (who, through “Wednesday’s Child” and other programs, does so much for the community), Sen. Mary Landrieu, Stewart and Pat Van Scoyoc, Thomas and Kecia Wherry and the Urban League’s MaudineCooper. KidSave co-founders Randy Thompson and TerryBaugh emceed.TV’s beloved “Rhoda,” Valerie Harper, held the audience in the palm of her hand with her heartfelt plea for funds; they answered, with checks for thousands from the floor … even a few $10K checks.

Black - tie
“We’ve sold all our auction items!” said a delighted Julia Hopping while co-chairing the Arts for the Aging Gala with her husband Stephen and Mary Beth and Robert Powers. Swiss Amb. Urs Ziswiller and wife Ronit opened their new residence to the group, which – thanks to founder Lolo Sarnoff – provides art programs to brighten the lives of the elderly. Guests included Annie Totah, Vibeke Lofft, Dianne Bruce, Vera Emmerij, Gertrude and Nicole d’Amecourt and Cyd Miller Everett. Embassies represented were Bulgaria, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belgium, newly recognized Monaco, and from Taiwan, Caroline (Ruyuh) Wu, wife of their envoy.

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