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 benefiting Medical Missions for Children. Guests will dine at Prime dinner stations and enjoy an open bar before hitting the dance floor to the sounds of New York City’s The Dennis Collins Band. Renowned singer Joe Cerisano will also entertain disco-goers. Over 300 have already registered for this incredible evening. Don’t miss it! Reservations may be made at www.mmfc.org, and a limited number will be available at the door.
On Sunday, August 5, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation hosts An Evening for the Thoroughbred, the most important annual fundraiser for this organization devoted to providing a lifelong haven for more than 1,000 former racehorses. This year, the gala event will celebrate Jockey Club’s Ogden M. Phipps for his efforts and influence on racehorse welfare, safety and retirement. HRTV host Carolyn Conley and Tom Durkin, the voice of racing, will host the benefit at Saratoga Springs City Center. A live auction will showcase stallion seasons and unique experiences including an expedition to Machu Picchu, a Formula One racing package and a behind-the-scenes visit to the Fox NFL Sunday set. For details, visit www.trfgala.com.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 189 selected yearlings for its 92nd Saratoga Sale on Monday and Tuesday, August 6-7. While the serious bidders sit quietly, the backyard always provides fun people-watching, not to mention the chance to see beautiful horses strutting to capture the eye of their next owner. Have a glass of wine and see who you can spot!
Tuesday, August 7, offers the opportunity to support two unique events. First, the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. invites guests to Visión, a look at life behind the scenes, featuring a new exhibit of photos by Latino immigrants living and working in the area. The showcase reception kicks off at 5 p.m. on the Clubhouse Porch at the Saratoga Race Course. Light fare and drinks will be served to the tunes of The Garland Nelson Ensemble. To learn more, visit www.saratogaeoc.org/vision.
Also that evening, the Little Sisters of the Poor will host a Gala in the Pines at the Hall of Springs. The benefit for Our Lady of Hope Residence in Latham will honor Fr. Thomas Morrette and Michael Cocca for their untiring service to the sisters and their mission to serve the elderly poor. Dr. and Mrs. William Vacca will serve as Honorary Chairs for the night which includes cocktails, a strolling buffet, live and silent auctions and a grand raffle. The Hamilton Street Jazz Trio, featuring Donna Purnomo, will perform. For reservations, call Sue Ferris at (518) 213-4503.
The week ends with Song & Dance at the annual gala for the National Museum of Dance on Saturday, August 11. Michele Riggi chairs the elegant event with honorary chairs Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, and it is truly one of the most exquisite benefits of the season. Ben Vereen headlines this year’s celebration as he is inducted into the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame. Vereen will also entertain guests, and the New York Song and Dance Company will dazzle with a show-stopping performance. For details, visit www.dancemuseum.org.
And They’re Off!
Vapor Night Club became the Vapor Racecourse last Thursday, July 26, when Jake’s Help From Heaven featured Saratoga’s Finest Fillies. Close to 150 guests placed $10 ‘bets’ on nine lovely ladies, earning a chance in their favorite filly’s drawing. While attendees received one ‘bet’ with admission, additional betting was fast and furious after the evening kicked off at 7 p.m.
All waited with bated breath when post positions were drawn early in the night. As with true horse racing, position can make a difference in Plinko, the chosen method for advancing the fillies in their race. Taking the first spot was “All Eyes on You,” better known as Susan Halstead. The rest of the field filled in quickly. Julie Johnson, Johanna Friedman, Elaine Sillery, Christianne Smith, Kelly Hite, Heather Straughter, Amy Raimo and Melissa Zieker cheered as their positions were noted. At stake were not only great prizes for their betting fans, but also a one-of-a-kind hat for the filly with the highest handle at the end of the night. Each of the ladies modeled their favorite chapeaus from Saratoga Trunk, several of which were the creations of Cat Stevens, in the audience that night cheering the fillies to victory.
Rachel and Tommy Uccellini chatted with Donna Talley, surmising which lady would win the race, and which lucky guest would be heading to Hawaii for the grand prize. Bill and Dianne Sillery encouraged friends, Amy and Eddie Esposito, to bid often on their daughter, Elaine. Knowing so many in the field was a challenge for bettors like Rebecca Beers and Joanne Finn. Who was a good bet? How to choose?
Post time came shortly after 8 p.m. Brian Straughter, who founded Jake’s Help From Heaven with his wife, Heather, took the stage to share the story of their sweet Jakey, his struggle with a rare illness and the charity they launched in his memory. The organization is dedicated to supporting individuals with multiple medical challenges and disabilities, and helping them and their families.
Following Brian’s introduction, Skip and Colleen Carlson joined Mistress of Ceremonies Natalie Sillery on stage. It was post time at Vapor! The Plinko puck fell where it might, and with each drop, one of the fillies advanced in her row of dots. Only 10 moves were needed to win, place or show.
First out of the gate was Elaine Sillery, aka “Billionaire Beanzie,” followed by “Runway Sensation” Smith. The others followed, with “Get Along Gimpy” Johnson making a late showing, not because of her ankle brace, but because the puck wasn’t kind to her. Heather Straughter, “Go Big Go Home,” waited patiently with Hite, “U2 I Follow You Mrs. Bono,” to get out of the gate, while “Wrinkle Remover” Zieker crept slowly toward the finish.
Seen rooting for their favorites were Ilene Kahn, John Tartaglia, Gayle LaSalle, Mary Gavin, Jim LaVigne, Mary Alice Lee, Lisa Gabryshak, Tamara Rapisarda, Julie Slovic and Todd Shimkus. In the end, it was Sillery who won. “I’m Too Sexy for My Hat” Raimo placed, and Friedman, the “Naughty Teacher,” showed. Each drew one lucky bettor from their respective boxes. The grand prize, five nights in an ocean view room at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort, went to Carole Moreau, and Barent Aldrich took the second prize, an overnight at either the Hampton Inn & Suites in Saratoga or the Holiday Inn Resort in Lake George. His mom, Mylea Aldrich, accepted on his behalf.
After tallying the bets, the filly with the greatest take was Halstead. All eyes really were on her as she sashayed out of Vapor under her stunning new hat, donated by Saratoga Trunk.
Of course, the ultimate winner of the night was Jake’s Help From Heaven and those the organization assists. Thanks to the fillies, their fans and the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, over $10,000 was raised for this extraordinary charity.
Saratoga’s Finest Fillies was part of Vapor’s Party for a Cause series. Held on Thursday evenings throughout the racing season, the parties feature selected charities, providing use of the night club and the house DJ without any rental fees. The organizations pre-sell admission tickets, keeping all proceeds. Admission is also collected at the door the night of the event and Saratoga Casino and Raceway matches all ticket sales up to $1,000 for every guest attending. To learn more about the series and upcoming events, visit www.saratogacasino.com.
Recipe for a Benefit
Start with a lively polo match, throw in 90 silent auction items and nine live auction features, mix with unlimited amounts of scholarship support, and top with an incredible ‘school-made’ dinner buffet. That, combined with perfect summer weather, was the recipe for success at Polo by Twilight, the 33rd Annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit for Skidmore College.
More than 500 guests, including current students, recent graduates, alumni and community donors, donned colorful attire on Tuesday, July 31, for this classic Saratoga event. Early arrivals, like Patty Novo and her mom, and Skidmore alums Chris and Kristin Grosso, were able to enjoy a match for the famed Palamountain Cup. And while players took to the field, other guests played under the tent, sipping champagne with raspberries and shopping amongst the three sections of silent auction items. There was something for everyone, from a CBS News “insiders” tour and a unique horse hitching post, to wine, jewelry, riding and dance lessons, dinner packages and artwork. Spotted bidding were Virginia Payson, Linda and Michael Toohey, Liz Bishop, Gary and Beth Harker, Fran Dingeman, Susan Bokan and Mary Ellen O’Loughlin, out for girls’ night with her daughter, Allie.
The bright Veuve Clicquot umbrella tables along the tent allowed several to keep an eye on the match without missing the action inside. Melissa and Chris Zieker toasted their 13th wedding anniversary with friends Jason and Michele Jacobs, and Nancy Smith and her husband, Peter Flaherty, chatted with colleague Dan Czech.
With so many friends to see, and auction bids to watch, attendees were slow to trickle into the dinner tent. Of course, that kept the line manageable, providing time for diners to carefully select from the delicious spread. Should one go with the wood-grilled tenderloin, or the braised barramundi? The salad of grilled asparagus with cippolini onions or the healthy grains? There were no bad choices. The food is always a highlight of this event, as it’s prepared entirely by the award-winning team at Skidmore’s Dining Services Department.
Seen savoring the feast were Skidmore president Phil Glotzbach and his wife, Marie, Anne Palamountain, event chair Tabitha Orthwein and her husband, Will, Chris and Beth Payer, Ed Lewi, Clark and Linda Brink, Curt and Cathy Tucker, Lew and Pat Titterton, Don and Judy McCormack, Mayor Scott Johnson and his wife, Julie, and honorees Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson. The couple was later presented with the Lucy Skidmore Scribner Medal. Named for the college’s founder, the medal recognizes a selfless dedication to others, a capacity to imagine creative solutions to social problems and a deep commitment to community.
“From early on, Marylou Whitney has been a staunch supporter of our cause, and she has been a constant presence at the Palamountain Benefits over the years,” said Mrs. Palamountain. “She and John are truly our loyal and caring friends.”
Friends to all Saratoga residents, in fact. And with that special recognition, Skidmore College put the finishing touch on a delightful evening.
Fire & Ice
Visit us online for the full RSVP on the 30th Annual Summer Gala for Saratoga Hospital.