How Benefits Are Continuing

November 13, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

“Benefits Are Toned Down, or Called Off” was the no-news headline on a story about fund-raisers in a special “Giving” section in Monday's New York Times. The story rehashed the dilemmas event planners have been facing since the September 11 attacks--wondering about cancelling, finding the proper tone, getting guests to show up--and mentioned a few cancelled and postponed fund-raisers (the Actor's Fund of America's gala, Lincoln Center's fall benefit). But it made scant mention of the numerous events that have gone ahead with considerable amounts of glitz and production. The Whitney Museum of American Art's fall gala was barely toned down, for example.

The concerns expressed by event planners are quite real, though. Caterer Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions' Jim Kirsch said many of his clients are not sure how to proceed with events. “People are holding dates, but they are having trouble lining up honorees,” he said. “Many people are unwilling to make a commitment too far in advance.” And Daisy Soros, co-chairwoman of Lincoln Center's spring benefit, offered a view into how recent events have changed its look. “The evening will be scaled down, less la de da, less flowers,” she said. “It's not in good taste. You have to use judgment.”

Posted 11.13.01

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