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Grace Hightower and
Heidi Albertsen come aboard

The Highlander Sets Sail
For Best Buddies New York

Story by Roger Webster
Photos by DMI

EST BUDDIES New York, a charity dedicated to helping people with mental retardation, held a benefit dinner party aboard the Forbes family’s legendary yacht, The Highlander. It was a stormy night in the harbor, but the hosts were the charity’s founder and chairman Anthony Shriver, as well as Tommy Quick, UBS Bank’s Richard Ziegelasch and “Captain” Kip Forbes, so guests came anyway.

As it turned out, the rain and wind made everything seem all the more intimate, glamorous and fun inside the cabin.

Anthony’s mother Eunice Shriver was there demonstrating the famous indomitable Kennedy spirit, as well as Becca and John Thrash, who urged everyone to come to their place in Texas for the next Big Buddies event in the fall; Elite Models Christine Schott and Heidi Albertsen; happy and pretty Grace Hightower; New York Times CJ  Satterwhite with her niece Hannah Flautt; Anh Duong and her fiance Dr. Pentti Kouri; Valerie and Nicholas Mastronardi; Tatiana Gau; and Florence D’Urso.

Christine Schott with Becca and
John Thrash

Committee members included Pat Kennedy Lawford, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Astrid Forbes, Alina Shriver, the President’s sister-in-law Sharon Bush, super athlete Carl Lewis, HBO’s Richard Plepler, Tod Berks, Michael Abrams, Brad Blank, Ronald Book, Stuart Cauff, Lisa Cole, Lisa D’Urso, Terrance Dolan, Raul Fernandez, Bob Friedman, Arij Gasiunasen, Christina Griffith, Thomas Hall, Michael Hardman,  Ted Leonsis, Alexander Hernandez-Dessauer, Penny and Gerry Klingman, Donna and Spencer Lader, Philip Levine, Ana Maria Miyares, Jorge Morilla, Nancy O’Dell, Norma Quintero, Penny Shore Hume and Emi Toutant.

A bronze bust of President John F. Kennedy, a reproduction of the one on display in the Kennedy Center, signed and dated by sculptor Robert Berks, was the most enticing item in the auction. It was bought by the Thrashes, which probably means it is headed for Houston.

Anthony Shriver and mom
Eunice Shriver

Other items included jewels by Michelle du Pont and a long weekend in the Dominican Republic near Julio Iglesias compound at Casa de Campo.

Thousands of dollars were raised for the nonprofit organization created by Shriver in 1989, at Georgetown University, to provide assistance such as one-to-one friendships and integrated jobs to the mentally challenged.

Since then, Best Buddies has aided 175,000 people across the country and around the world. There are more than 500,000 people in the New York area alone who could use help from Best Buddies and this generous group of people are going to try to make sure that they get it.

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