Miss Universe

Miss Universe Comes,
So Does Bill Clinton

Story by Tim Boxer
Photos by Nina Boxer

OLITICAL satirist Al Franken noted the presence of gorgeous Miss Universe 2001 (Denise M. Quinones of Puerto Rico) in the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf-Astoria. “Which is why Bill Clinton is here,” he cracked. “The reason I’m here is to honor Bruce Schonbraun – whom I don’t know.”

Bill Clinton and Frank Lautenberg

Franken added the right degree of levity for a fundraising effort of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in these trying days of terror in the world.

American Friends of Hebrew University invited supporters to a black-tie gala to benefit the Lautenberg Research Center for General and Tumor Immunology at the university’s Hadassah Medical Center. It was founded in 1968 by Frank Lautenberg, former U.S. senator from New Jersey, who noted that his father died of cancer at age 43 when the son was 18 and in the Army.

“Al Franken has wit and brains – but no class,” Lautenberg declared to general approval.

Miss Universe and Bruce S. Schonbraun

No matter. The black-tie audience loved Franken’s satirical quips, especially his observation that the U.S. planes dropped 150,000 tons of ordnance in Afghanistan and did $37 worth of damage.

Franken offered the ultimate solution to win the war: Stop buying heroin – hit them in the pocket!

“One day,” Bill Clinton said, “there will be a Jewish president in the White House. Thank God it won’t be you, Al. You’re my friend, but you’re a twisted soul.”

The former president Clinton urged the nation not to believe that all Muslims agree with Osama bin Laden.

“It would be a mistake to blame all Muslims. We need to support the moderate and secular elements in the Muslim world, and support democracy.”

Bruce S. Schonbraun and
Frank Lautenberg

The evening’s honoree was Bruce S. Schonbraun, managing partner of Schonbraun Safris McCann Bekritsky & Co., a national accounting and real estate consulting firm based in Roseland, N.J.

The event raised one million dollars even though, as Schonbraun pointed out, “we had to change the date, move to a smaller ballroom and turn people away.”



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