Ladies Lunch to Laud Gael Greene

November 27, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Citymeals-on-Wheels Power Lunch for Women The Pierre Thursday, 11.15.01, 12 PM 2:30 PM
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More than 300 of New York's rich, famous and fabulous females donned hats and headed to the Pierre to honor Citymeals-on-Wheels co-founder and New York magazine restaurant critic Gael Greene at the nonprofit's annual Power Lunch for Women. This year's luncheon raised $938,000 for the nonprofit, and reached a new record for the number of individual $10,000 contributions from a select group of 34 male attendees, dubbed the ”$10,000 men.” (That's the only way they're allowed to attend.)

A few event planning twists made this benefit more interesting than your common fund-raising affair. The table centerpieces consisted of baskets of fruit donated by Fairway markets and artfully arranged by Flowers by Reuven. (They were later added to meals delivered to the homebound elderly by Citymeals.) The lunch itself was a combination of donations from different contributors and prepared by the hotel staff. The first course winter vegetable salad was provided by the hotel's in-house catering staff, the halibut entree was provided by Citarella markets, and Ciao Bella provided the patriotic red, white and blue sorbets for the dessert. Evian and Ferrarelle provided water for the tables, bottles of chardonnay were donated by Ruffino Wine, and Crillon Importers donated OP aquavit for the OP cosmos served during the cocktail hour.

Instead of issuing table numbers according to donation amounts, social circles and other qualifications, guests drew their table numbers from a large punch bowl in the cocktail area (the event is considered a great networking opportunity as well). The area was also decorated with carved pumpkins of an autumn leaf, the New York skyline (World Trade Center included) and an American flag, masterfully carved by Hugh McMahon.

The luncheon's program featured a series of roasts and toasts to Greene by fellow journalist Gloria Steinem; New York Post gossip columnists Liz Smith and Cindy Adams; Sylvia's proprietor Sylvia Woods; Kathleen Turner; and Citymeals executive director Marcia Stein. Among the other behatted guests were Roz Abrams, Kate Burton, Betsy Gotbaum, Lizzie Grubman, Valerie Harper, Patricia Hearst, Amy Irving, Diana Ross, Dara Torres, Diane von Furstenberg, Andrea Pomerantz Lustig and Paula Zahn. Among the $10,000 men were restaurateurs Drew Nieporent and Steven Hanson and architect and designer David Rockwell.

--Suzanne Ito

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