Catherine Saxton
Photos by Rob Rich

Martin Benante


ECEMBER 7, 1941 was, as FDR said, "a day that will live in infamy." But on December 7, 2005, it was a glorious night to celebrate the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.

The USO Gold Medal Gala was held in the sparkling Starlight Roof of The Waldorf-Astoria. From the freshest and brightest faces of the West Point Cadet Glee Club, and young military, to the sparkle and shine of the generals’ medals and brass, it was a night to honor "service and sacrifice." Twelve men and women from "The Greatest Generation," WWII veterans, were honored with special medals.

Gold medal for corporate leadership went to Martin Benante of Curtiss-Wright, a major military supplier, who spoke eloquently of the pride his workers took in producing materiel for the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, marine and Coast Guard all serving on foreign land.

General James Helmly, was the military honoree. Malcolm Pray, an enlistee in the Korean War, who became one of Connecticut’s major businessmen as head of the Pray Automotive Center, was the veteran honoree for his humanitarianism. His Pray Center contains some of the world’s rarest, most expensive, vintage car collections, which are used to teach schoolchildren the value of hard work, dedication and loyalty, lessons we all value.

Karmine Alers

Star Rises On Bway

NE of New York’s greatest treats is a trip to Broadway. So run, don’t walk, to see the talented Karmine Alers currently starring as Mimi in Rent. Karmine recently donated her singing magic to a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids CD. She was featured on the Tony Danza Show on television. Catch this rising star.

Russell and
Kimora Lee Simmons

G&P Angels Rock

ET’S talk about the Angel Ball again, as the event was well worth a repeat proclamation. All the angels were out in force for the G&P Foundation’s gala at the New York Marriott Marquis.

All monies raised in the name of Gabriella Rich go to support cancer research, and a ton of money is always raised for this fun, fabulous, and musical event.

Patti LaBelle, diva extraordinaire, was this year’s honoree. Catching the crowd by surprise, she revealed she just had her own cancer scare. For anyone, that’s a big deal, but for Patti it is enormous as her mother and three sisters all died from breast cancer. But, she’s okay and we will all continue to marvel at her fabulous voice.

Surprising Miss Patti was the unique sound of Stevie Wonder with his super-talented daughter Ayesha. Patti and other artists joined Stevie in a fabulous impromptu jam session as the rafters rocked and rolled.

Headed by Denise Rich, with daughters Ilona and Daniella, it was a star studded gala with hockey legend Rod Gilbert with Judy, Ivana Trump, American Idol Ruben Stoddard, the divine Miss Natalie Cole…and on and on into the night.

Catherine Saxton has been a part of the New York social and celebrity scene for
the past 25 years. She has worked with Presidents, Kings and Princes,
plus celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly,
Donald & Ivana Trump, Madonna, and on, and on.

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