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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

RSVP: Reporting Saratoga's Various Parties for 7/27

By | News

Thunder and Glory

On the eve of opening day, Saratoga Automobile Museum celebrated racing of another kind. Famed NASCAR driver Bobby Allison welcomed 250 supporters to the museum’s Thunder & Glory Gala on Thursday, July 19.


Guests enjoyed vodka and moonshine tastings amidst the current exhibit presented by Chevrolet, Moonshine to Millionaires: NASCAR History, Heroes & Technology. Sue Bouchey and Trish Ianniello, who chaired the event with her husband, Tony, were spotted increasing bids on coveted auction items. Packages included bottles from the Richard Childress Winery, gourmet cheesecakes, a Kyle Petty NASCAR jacket, autographed exhibit banners, and of course, Bobby Allison paraphernalia. Others were holding out for the live auction featuring a NASCAR track experience and fantasy car drives with Jim Taylor and Charlie Montano, chairman of the museum board.

A delightful breeze set the stage for dinner outside, served by Angelo Mazzone and his team. Seen in the buffet line were Senator Neil Breslin, Virginia Payson, David Coli, Sam and Linda Palazzole, Frank Viva, and several members of the museum board, including Racemark founder Bob Bailey and his wife, Ginger, Michael Okby and Joe Tardi. Alan Rosenbloom was there too, after touring Lake George that day on a 1927 Gar Wood with Allison, who was still talking about the adventure. He marveled about the boat’s beauty and speed, stating that they went “about 50 miles per hour, though that classic could probably have done 70 or 75.” Once a racer, always a racer!

The annual gala, themed to complement each summer’s exhibit, raises funds to support educational goals, including awareness about the past, present and future social and economic impact of the automobile, according to Tony Ianniello.

Susan Carbonaro, Executive Director of the Saratoga Automobile Museum, added, “Much of the technical and design programming is geared toward children, encouraging them to interact and work together. Cars require teamwork, especially when being built, and the museum programs can be fun learning opportunities.”

Moonshine to Millionaires features a dozen historic racecars, from Herb Thomas’ 1952 Hudson Hornet to the #3 Goodwrench Chevrolet that carried NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt to a Brickyard 400 win. The exhibit runs through November 25, and showcases upcoming visits by NASCAR’s Ron Hornaday, Kyle Busch and Richard Childress. For a full schedule and to learn more, visit www.saratogaautomuseum.org.

They Wore White

Close to 500 attendees donned white last Saturday for Saratoga Bridges’ annual White Party at Fasig Tipton. Beth Alexander, who chaired the fundraiser with close friend Julie Bonacio, declared how much she loved the event, in part because, “It’s so beautiful to see everyone in white.” The pair was exquisite in unique THEIA gowns from Saratoga Trunk.

Guests were greeted with champagne and cocktails, courtesy of Diageo, so the mood was already high when Sammy the Bugler announced the start of the live auction. Saratoga TODAY’s own Chad Beatty, president of Saratoga Bridges Foundation Board, took to the podium, while Sonny Bonacio worked the floor to rally bidders. Seen in the auction round were Beth Smith, Dr. Mark Moreau and his wife, Carole, Heather and Brian Straughter, Marne Onderdonk, Keith and Debbie Atlas, Sandra Beattie Trunzo, Mandy D’Andrea Whelan and Jayne and Emmett McCarthy.

Charles and Candace Wait were the lucky winners of a Palladium diamond ring donated by deJonghe Original Jewelry. Frank Adams Jewelers donated David Yurman earrings that went to Michael and Stacie Arpey, and David Meyers generously bid $15,000 on a home project makeover from Bonacio Construction. Tom and Connie D’Ambra not only took home the Buckets and Beers Party for 20 from Hattie’s Restaurant, but also the Lady Godiva artwork that inspired this year’s event invitation. The original torn cardboard collage was a collaborative effort of Saratoga Bridges’ Creative Endeavors artists, Adam and Shannon. Their pride, and the confidence they’ve gained in their creative ability, shone on their faces as they held up the piece for the crowd.

The sea of white flowed outside for a silent auction, music by The Grand Design and fun dinner stations featuring sliders and Cuban sandwiches, fresh summer salads and ice cream novelties for dessert. After dinner, several enjoyed a hand-rolled cigar from James & Sons Tobacconists. Roaming about the crowd, photographer Heather Bohm-Tallman captured it all, encouraging people to have fun at her crazy booth too. Chris and Melissa Zieker struck a pose, as did Natalie Sillery and Rebecca Beers. Michele Riggi jumped in also, after arriving from SPAC where she and husband, Ron, had witnessed the unveiling of Lew Swyer’s star on the Walk of Fame.

Others whitening the night were Ed and Tracey Lenz, Kate and Andrew Jarosh, Kimberly Adams Russell, Chris and Kelly Armer, Lisa and Chris Kieper, Savino Ferguson, Baroness VonFerg, Lola Livingston, Marilyn Kletter, Tim Seeley and Rhiana Leigh.

Alexander stated, “Julie and I have loved helping Saratoga Bridges brand the White Party. It’s quickly become one of the must-attend benefits of summer, with no wonder. Fasig Tipton provides the ideal venue, and when you add décor by Michael Panza and Fine Affairs, beautiful flowers from Gretchen and Jim Squires at Schrade’s Posie Peddler, and the seamless coordination of Mazzone Hospitality’s Kevin Sykes, you have a perfect evening. We’re so grateful they’ve brought our vision to life.”

Heather Varney, Development and Foundation Coordinator for Saratoga Bridges, reports that the event net a record $89,000, thanks to their season presenting sponsor, The Adirondack Trust Company and White Party presenting sponsors DIAGEO and CDPHP. Additional supporters included Coca-Cola, New Country Toyota Scion, The Bonadio Group, Stewart’s Shops, Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Hope Happens

Fasig Tipton was also the scene of Monday’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society HopeClub. Close to 250 guests gathered for A Night in Tuscany, chaired by Ann Marie Lizzi, Thomas Gallo III, and Joslyn McArdle. This year’s event celebrated the expansion of the Led Duke Family Center of the American Cancer Society and honored Mary Louise “Chick” Led Duke.

Festivities kicked off with cocktails and a Pristine Vodka station. To put everyone in a Tuscan state of mind, tenor David Sutton performed a breathtaking opera serenata before Mistress of Ceremonies Yvonne Perry took the stage. For Perry, the evening was personal as she shared her own cancer experience. Now, four years from diagnosis, she expressed her gratitude for family and friends that have helped her through the physical trials and emotional fallout, noting that unfortunately, there are many who don’t have that support. “But the good people at HopeClub work hard to make sure no one faces this devastating illness alone,” Perry affirmed.

A brief video paid tribute to the significant contributions of Don Led Duke, who was instrumental in the 2010 merger of Gilda’s Club Capital Region with the American Cancer Society that formed HopeClub. According to his wife, Chick, “(Don) understood the demographic shifts that will result in the number of cancer survivors doubling in the next 12 years. His vision for this new organization was to achieve long-term sustainability and to make the merger a showcase of innovation and community spirit in the Capital Region.”

The program continued with a ‘Mission Auction’ raising bids at three levels to sponsor members of HopeClub from ‘Kids Club on the Go’ at Albany Medical Center’s Pediatric Oncology Unit, to Teen Look Good…Feel Better and the new HopeClub Salon, providing women with mastectomy bras and false eyelashes after hair loss.

Then the tone lightened with a traditional live auction. Within minutes, $16,000 was raised from just 5 packages, thanks to Mary Beth O’Brien and her son-in-law, Dan Klaus, who, at $3,600, won a friendly bidding war with Steve Bouchey for dinner prepared by Dan and Ellen Hogarty and served by Kimberly and Stu Jones and Sheila Hogarty Fontenot. Golf for four at the world famous Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, earned a second round of golf when it hit $2,500, and in the end, donors Jared and Sherrie Abbruzzese and BBL Hospitality added a second package for the dueling bidders, resulting in two final bids of $4,000 each by Paul Kasselman and Bob Marzoli.

The night continued with a silent auction, the music of TS Ensemble and a delicious Tuscan buffet by Mazzone Hospitality. Spotted sipping wine amidst the sunflowers were Ron Olinsky, Steve Miller, Alyce Ashe, Neil and Jane Golub, Molly Brindle, Greg and Suzanne Grande, Peggy Jacobsen, Maura Gannon, Carrie Hillenbrandt, Leah Slocum, Bob and Martha Blackman, Jeff Pfeil, Theresa and Richard Sleasman, and Stan Smith. In the end, threatening thunderstorms held off for HopeClub to raise $85,000.

RSVP Spotlight

What to do? What to wear? Blue jeans, ‘80s faves, icy cool summer wear, disco gold… the RSVPs this week require some fun wardrobe changes.

On Friday, July 27, the National Museum of Dance's New Action Committee presents Blues, Brews, & BBQ. Enjoy delicious BBQ from PJ's BAR-B-QSA and craft beer tastings from Saratoga Brewery with the music of Blues Noir, Tristan Chase and Low N’ Lonesome. Tickets can be purchased by phone at (518)584-2225 (ext. 3005) or online; they will also be available at the door. For details, visit www.dancemuseum.org.

Special Olympics New York will hold the 22nd annual Satins, Silks & Stars Gala on Saturday, July 28, at the Saratoga Hilton. The 1980s themed event will include a silent auction, cocktails, dinner and dancing to ‘80s tribute band, the Ronald Reagans. To learn more, contact Brian McDonald at (518)388-0790 (ext. 108), or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, July 31, will be dark on the track, but sparkling around town. Start with the Fashionable Fillies Luncheon, this year at the National Museum of Dance. The fun, flirty event includes a silent auction and fashion show, courtesy of Pink Paddock and Violet’s and Stella’s of Saratoga. Proceeds benefit The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation and the National Museum of Dance. For reservations, call (518)226-0609, or visit www.tjcis.com.

Then, it’s Polo by Twilight, the 33rd annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit for Skidmore College. The evening at Saratoga Polo features live and silent auctions and a delicious dinner catered by Skidmore’s renowned Dining Services Department, not to mention a lively polo match. This year, the celebration will also honor Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson as the college presents the couple with the Lucy Skidmore Scribner Medal. Reservations may be made online at www.skidmore.edu/palamountainbenefit.

Start August with Fire and Ice, the 30th annual Summer Benefit Auction for Saratoga Hospital on Wednesday, August 1. Always a fun party, the invitation prohibits suit coats and ties! The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m., with the infamous live auction at 7:00 p.m. Join event chairs Mylea Aldrich and Colleen Carlson for cocktails, an incredible array of food, and of course, the auctions. To find out more details on the event and to preview the items up for bid visit www.saratogacarefoundation.org.

Equine Advocates hosts its annual gala on Thursday, August 2, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live auction and sit-down dinner at the Saratoga Springs City Center. This year’s honorees are George Strawbridge, Jr., owner of Augustin Stable; Lael Stable owners, Gretchen and Roy Jackson; and jockey Edgar Prado. To learn more, visit www.equineadvocates.org.

Come to Studio PRIME, A Disco Inferno, on Saturday, August 4! Chairs Margie and Michael Rotchford will welcome you to the grounds of Saratoga National Golf Club for this divine event benefitting Medical Missions for Children. The spotlight will shine on New York City’s The Dennis Collins Band and food by Prime at Saratoga National. For information and reservations, visit www.mmfc.org.

And on Sunday, August 5, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation hosts An Evening for the Thoroughbred, a gala event celebrating Ogden M. Phipps for his efforts and influence on racehorse welfare, safety and retirement. Carolyn Conley and Tom Durkin will host the benefit at Saratoga Springs City Center, which includes a silent auction, cocktails, dinner and dancing. A live auction will showcase stallion seasons and unique experiences. Up-to-the-minute details can be found at www.trfgala.com.

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