William Ivey Long and Mario Buatta
Jim Watkins, Joan Jett,
Lauren Thierry Watkins
Deborah Antar and
CHILD LEARNING INSTITUTE
Spring Party Helps
Children With Autism
Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Chance Yeh/Patrick McMullan
IG HEARTED guests and generous friends of the New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI) filled the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum for a silent auction and a Champagne Veuve Clicquot-fueled cocktail party to support education for autistic children.
WB/11 anchor Jim Watkins emceed a program honoring handsome interior designer Mario Buatta and NYCLI’s director Sue Vener.
Lauren Watkins, a former CNN anchor and mother of an autistic son, produced a sensitive video that illustrated the good work being done and the happy faces of the children who are helped daily at the school.
Celebrity interior designers including Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Thom Filicia, Alexa Hampton, Jamie Drake, Mark Epstein, Harry Heissmann for Albert Hadley, Lisa Jackson and Richard Mishaan joined Richard Carpenter, Jackie Colliton, Susan Zises Green, Elaine Griffin, Liz Orenstein, Barbara Ostrom, Scott Salvator, Roderick Shade, Priscilla Ulmann, and Kelly Wearstler to transform luxurious fabrics donated by F. Schumacher & Co. into pillows for the silent auction, dubbed Pillow Talk.
Event chairs included Deborah Antar, Oren Warshavsky, Lydia Hearst-Shaw, Gillian Hearst-Shaw, T. Keller Donovan and Phillip Alden Thomas.
NYCLI executive director Christopher Weldon was on hand to shake hands with his many supporters.
Among the 400 guests were City Councilwoman Christine Quinn; Tony Award winning costume designer William Ivey Long; rocker Joan Jett; Elite Celebrities model Yfke Sturm; interior design wunderkind Stephen Siegel; the original Bachelor Alex Michel; CeCe Cord with her dog Tiger; Eva Dillon, Michèle Gerber Klein, Jill and Bobby Zarin, Sotheby’s Royce Pinkwater with her son Jonathan Kohana, Christine Schott, Lehman Brothers’ Fred Appel, William Goodman, Sarah Horne, Imad Izemrane, David Cataletto, Eileen Ekstract and the New York Post’s newest gossip Elisa Lipsky-Karasz.
Other committee members included Caterina Hausmann, Cornelia Guest, Alexandra Lind Rose, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Katie Kinnell, Andrew Black, John Frank and Debbie Van Cura.
It was the perfect spring event. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to benefit the autistic children at NYCLI.