Anyone who ever carried one of those little orange collection boxes for UNICEF while trick-or-treating on Halloween would’ve been blown away by the charity’s Children’s Champion Award Dinner at The Castle at Park Plaza.
Guests were greeted by a wall containing 16,000 multicolored scrolls, representing the number of children who die every day of preventable causes. Kids from around the world had written their greatest fear upon them, and attendees were asked to each take one and replace it with their own. After the cocktail reception, dinner was served and a live auction ensued, helping the event to raise upward of a million and a quarter smackeroos. On hand: honoree Yo-Yo Ma and his arts consultant wife, Jill Hornor, honorees and philanthropic giants Alli and Bill Achtmeyer, co-chairs Bryan Rafanelli and his political operative husband, Mark Walsh, co-chair and incomparable beauty Kerry Swords and her handsome husband, Brendan, Congressman Joe Kennedy and his better half, Beth, presidential adviser David Gergen, the perfectly lovely Joanne Rogers (widow of the iconic PBS children’s show host), real estate sex bomb Michael Harper, ink-stained wretch Ben Mezrich and the flawless Tonya, Weston party pair Debbie and Bob First, Channel 5 beauty Rhondella Richardson, Persian stunner Maryam
Rahmani, up-and-coming shutterbug Lucy Lyons and one person who declared, “Vodka has no calories.”
The evening’s best comment: When the bidding on an auction item opened at $15,000, one attendee mumbled, “I don’t think I paid 15 grand for my car.”
Photo Credit: Scott Eisen/ Getty Images for UNICEF USA