BootLeg Betty

Hurricane Sandy Halts Major Galas, But Typhoon Bette’s Hulaween’s Still On!

Bloomberg News
Social Life Grinds to Halt as Whitney Museum, WNYC Cancel Galas
By Amanda Gordon – Oct 30, 2012

Daniel Loeb of Third Point Capital didn’t do a yoga pose in a photo booth last night at the Bent on Learning benefit.

Citigroup Inc. (C)’s Raymond McGuire and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s Valentino D. Carlotti left their tuxedos in their closets Monday instead of wearing them to the Studio Museum in Harlem gala at Cipriani Wall Street.

And Lulu Wang, founder and chief executive of Tupelo Capital Management LLC, was in blue jeans at home, listening to Brian Lehrer on WNYC instead of being honored at New York Public Radio’s gala at 583 Park.
Arriving in one of the busiest weeks of New York’s social season, Hurricane Sandy forced dozens of nonprofits to cancel their fundraisers. Vendors and nonprofits will have to work out the financials of the situation and determine their next steps.

New York Public Radio will pay the food costs for 470 people, the number who had been slated to attend the group’s gala on Monday, Margaret Hunt, vice president of development, said in a telephone interview. The organization won’t have to pay for staff because enough notice was given, Hunt added.

Another bright note: “So far nobody is wanting their money back,” Hunt said. That will mean the stations, without even holding the event, will bring in $1.45 million, $200,000 above the fundraising target.

It’s still bittersweet for Hunt, though. “We’ve been working on this for a year,” she said. “It’s really hard to exactly get all the elements back together.”

Kate Hudson

That statement certainly applies to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For its annual symposium, it expected to present $40 million in grants to 197 researchers from around the world during a Tuesday luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria. The actress Kate Hudson was to have presented an award.

Hudson didn’t make it to New York, nor did most of the scholars. As for financial loss: “I’m not saying we’re not going to lose anything, but after 20 years of doing this and the relationships we’ve built, every effort will be made to help us have minimal loss,” Anna DeLuca, director of public relations at the foundation, said.

Force Majeure

David Adler, founder and chief executive officer of BizBash, a trade publication for the event industry, said companies and nonprofits with events postponed due to Hurricane Sandy are not likely to recover the money they’ve put out to venues and caterers.

“Venue contracts have force majeure clauses, which means you’re not covered by acts of God, they’re not going to give you your money back,” Adler said.

Elsewhere, the Whitney Museum of American Art canceled its Tuesday night gala, set to take place at a pier on the Hudson River, the Fortune Society canceled a Monday night gala at Tribeca Rooftop, and the East Harlem School canceled a gala last night at 583 Park. “Zone One” author Colson Whitehead was to have been honored at a Brooklyn Public Library gala that wasn’t held last night.

These and other canceled events may be rescheduled. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts postponed a gala scheduled for tonight until November 7.

Bette Midler

At least one fundraiser will go on as planned for Halloween tonight: Hulaween, organized by the New York Restoration Project, will take place at the Waldorf-Astoria.

“The divine Miss M is undeterred,” said New York Restoration Project publicist Roberta Greene of the organization’s founder, Bette Midler.

Its cause, planting trees and maintaining green spaces in the city, is timely in the wake of Sandy, which took out so many trees on the East Coast.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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2 thoughts on “Hurricane Sandy Halts Major Galas, But Typhoon Bette’s Hulaween’s Still On!

  1. Bette played Miami in, I think, 1999, when Hurricane Irene, unpredictably took a wrong turn during the friday of her concert and started making its way towards Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Caught everyone by surprise. Everything was canceled for that night except…Bette’s show. The TV announcers would laugh at the fact Bette was the ONLY thing still happening, as if people could get there. Well. later it was reported that she actually found a helicopter pilot to fly her to the arena (about a good 25 miles) in the storm, and was in her dressing room, all set to go on until the county sheriff slapped her with an order to cancel the show due to public safety. She then explained her insurance would not cover the cancellation if she didn’t show up and no official order had stopped the show from going on. Jokes were made about her being Hawaiian and having the balls to take a helicopter in a minimal force hurricane, and she had to cancel the following night’s stop in Tampa. First words out of her mouth during her opening monologue: “Good night Irene” and the Millenium show went on, including jokes about Tampax! Am not surprised Hulaween is still on. Will be interesting to see how people manage to make it, so I give her credit for being undaunted by the difficult and catastrophic conditions the city and its people are in. All for a good cause to raise money and help put the city back together. A great cause by a great lady.

    1. I remember all the hubbub over that still, but not in the detail you went into…she is a force to be reckoned with….LOL

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