The Lighthouse Guild hosted its annual Light Years Gala on November 23, 2015 with cocktails beginning at 6:30 pm on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel. The Lighthouse organization provides vital support and services to help people who are blind or visually impaired lead productive, fulfilling lives. This year’s honorees were Real Estate mogul, Gary Barnett, President and Founder of Extell Development, Louise Hirschfeld Cullman, President of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation and philanthropist Lewis B. Cullman.
|Laurel Marcus of Lookonline. in Alexander McQueen|
Due to the presence of Real Estate bigwig Gary Barnett, a lot of Real Estate titans were there including: Charles and Jared Kushner, famed Real Estate lawyer Joel Marcus and many others. Unfortunately, Barnett did not show up because his mother was in the hospital, which put a significant damper on the event.
|Carol Alt and Roslyn Kind|
However, with model Carol Alt on the dais, the evening was salvaged. Alt looks incredibly young and holds herself with extreme poise. Moreover, she was an excellent mistress of ceremonies, speaking with clarity, conciseness, and confidence. Alt was requested to dress conservatively because honoree Gary Barnett is an orthodox Jew so she complied; wearing a black long sleeve shawl over a dress I could not see. If Alt ever wants to enter the Jewish faith she has got the appropriate attire required down perfectly. I personally like her in dazzling evening wear but she still looked stunning.
|Jean Shafiroff and Somers Farkas|
The evening also contained socialites/philanthropists Jean Shafiroff, Somers Farkas and Sharon Bush sporting cocktail attire, since this year was less formal than others. Speaking of philanthropists, honoree Lewis Cullman danced up to the stage belying his age with a youthful vigor, despite that he said he was born in 1919. Lewis Cullman is an uber philanthropist and has given away nearly $500 million to the arts, education and sciences. He also authored the book “Can’t Take It With You-The Art of Making and Giving Money.” I know how to give money it’s the making of it I find difficult. Cullman said he loves embarking on the journey of giving charity and his wife Louise Hirschfeld also spoke about Al Hirschfeld and his works. Louise was married to the late Al Hirschfeld, and currently works as a theater historian and president of the Al Hirschfeld foundation.
|Tony Mannarino and Derek Trulson|
At the early hour of 9:30PM much of the dinner had emptied out before the tunes of Roslyn Kind, Barbara Streisand’s half sister were heard. Kind has a powerful voice and sang her songs with soulfulness and strength. At the conclusion of the evening the young crowd congregated outside to socialize as the other guests quickly exited. The warmth of the Plaza ballroom was a perfect antidote to the brisk weather outside-a harbinger of the imminently arriving winter.