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Waldorf Turns Red for Valentine's Day

February 20, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

The Red Ball Waldorf=Astoria Wednesday, 02.14.01, 6:30 PM onward
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Decor pro David Beahm of David Beahm Designs transformed the Waldorf=Astoria into a glowing red romance-fest for the seventh annual Red Ball on Valentine's Day. Beahm filled the cocktail reception areas in the Jade and Astor suites and the dining area in the Grand Ballroom with red candles and giant arrangements of red roses. Special Events Available Light suspended large red Airstars above the dining area, adding an extra spatial dimension to the soft, glowing lighting, which was provided by Bentley Meeker.

In previous years, the ball was held at the Plaza, but when 650 guests responded to this year's invitation, honorary chair Martin Richards moved the ball--considered one of the society events of the season--to a larger venue. Simone Martel and co-coordinators Meredith McCarthy and Jessica Mills of Martel Productions have been producing the Red Ball for the past four years. The event included a silent and live auction that raised money for the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Institute at the New York University Medical Center, a foundation dedicated to organ transplant research, and for the Children's Advocacy Center of Manhattan, a safe house and rehabilitation center for abused children.

The guests of honor were Clive Davis, founder of Arista Records; Jerry Orbach, co-star of NBC's Law & Order; and Orbach's wife, Elaine. Anthony Manning and Chip Turner of Mitchell Manning Associateswere the celebrity-wranglers for the night, posing guests including Gena Rowlands, Paula Zahn, Star Jones, Ben Gazzara, Dionne Warwick and Walter Cronkite, for the numerous photographers who covered the event.

--Suzanne Ito

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