The Tattlers’ Scoop for the Week of June 25th to July 2nd

It’s going to be a busy week in Saratoga as the summer social season is starting to ramp up and the Tattlers have spent Sunday laying out our sundresses in preparation!

First up this week we will be heading to TRASK, an art show and fundraiser to benefit the Preservation Foundation’s efforts to restore the Spencer Trask Memorial. Saratoga Springboard has partnered with the Preservation Foundation to host the event at the Canfield Casino this Thursday evening. Guests will be able to view artwork from local artists in a variety of mediums, as they sip drinks and nibble on hors d’ouerves.

On Friday we will be heading up to the 21st Annual Gala at the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom to benefit the Double H Ranch. We can’t wait to kick up our heels and dance to the great live music of Manhattan Transfer. Guests will be noshing on a plated dinner by the Glen Sanders Mansion, while enjoying cocktails and bidding on the silent auction.

Lastly, we will be humming Rossini and Verdi as we don our finest gowns for the Saratoga Opera Ball. Honorary Chairpersons Ted and Carol Newlin will be leading the festivities as they celebrate the commencement of this years’ Opera Season. With live music, special musical performances and delicious dining, the event proceeds will all go to support Saratoga Opera.

If you spot the Tattlers out and about be sure to say hi, and if you have an event coming up that you’d like us to cover please email us at TogaTattlers@Saratogian.com!

Retirement Celebration for Linda Toohey at the Hall of Springs

It was a who’s who of not only Saratoga’s business elite but also family, friends and admirers who gathered to pay tribute to Linda Toohey on Tuesday. A celebration well deserved for a woman who has spearheaded committees and projects that have become key components in the betterment of the region we live in.

The woman of the evening, Linda Toohey

Linda greeted each of the over 325 guests at the door before they entered the great room of the Hall of Springs. Guests then had a chance to sample an amazing selection of delicious hors d’ouvres courtesy of Angelo Mazzone while they mingled with business colleagues and friends. The room was abuzz with the sound of people swapping their favorite “Linda stories”. Annamaria Bellantoni shared her own feelings about Toohey with the Tattlers…

“She was the best person to work with. I have learned so much from her personally and professionally that I will value forever.”

Master of ceremonies Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, took center stage to guide guests through an evening that left guests in awe of all that Linda Toohey has accomplished. Also contributing and presenting further accolades to Linda were District Attorney Jim Murphy, Past Chamber President Joe Dalton, and longtime friends Bob Allen and Deanne Pfiel.

Deanne and Jeff Pfeil

Annamaria and Mark Bellantoni

Cathy and Bob Allen

The dedication to community does not stop with Linda’s retirement from the chamber. She has established the Linda Toohey Donor Advised Fund. This new fund is committed to strengthen our community’s non-profit leaders. Fashioned after the Leadership Saratoga Programs Linda founded, this program will help Capital Region non-profit directors guide their organizations successfully.

Yaddo Summer Benefit 2012

Driving up to the gorgeous Yaddo Mansion on Tuesday night the Tattlers just knew it was going to be a special evening. Any time one gets a chance to see the inside of this historical home is a treat, and this night was no exception.

Our hosts for the evening were two past artists in residence, composer Nathan Barr and author Will Hermes, who had overlapping stays at the Mansion. Described by Will Hermes as a sort of “summer camp for grown ups crossed with a Zen monastery” both of our hosts had much to say about Yaddo and their experiences there.

“This place is just straight out wonderful because it is beautiful as a building, beautiful as a natural environment, and is inspiring as a place,” described Hermes. “What is super inspiring is the community of artists and being able to not only do your work but come together with all these people who you wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Everyone is engaged in a similar thing here, we are all trying to tap into memories, family inspirations, stories.”

Barr also spoke about the feeling of community at Yaddo…

“It is a great place to come and sequester oneself and then get together at the table each night for dinner and commiserate if you had a bad day or celebrate if you had a good day.”

Our very gracious hosts for the evening, author Will Hermes and composer Nathan Barr

The evening was marked with a sense of community and camaraderie. Guests mingled and chatted while sipping champagne and Joseph Carr wines and spirits were high as the second floor filled up. The Tattlers bumped into guests like Colleen Hart Carlson and her husband Skip Carlson, Sponsorship Committee Chair Cindy Hollowood, her husband Brien and lovely daughter Colleen, and Supreme Court Justice Joe Sise and his beautiful wife Robin. While Sponsorship Committee member Rick Partyka delighted the Tattlers with stories, Margie Rotchford, Micki Massry and Benefit Planning Committee Member Susan DePaula all chatted with friends.

The Tattlers got a chance to speak to one of the current artists in residence, Alessandro Ricciarelli, about what makes Yaddo so special.

“Yaddo is the one thing in my life where nothing is wrong with it at all. It’s the one thing that is completely amazing, it’s a very magical place.”

Yaddo Artist In Residence Alessandro Ricciarelli

Soon the evening was ready to move downstairs to the music room for the artists’ discussion. The event was sold out so every seat was filled and Will Hermes and Nathan Barr gave the guests a fantastic talk about their work, their experiences at Yaddo and answered questions from the audience. Barr has scored all four seasons of HBO’s Emmy-winning series True Blood, and he is currently at work on Season 5. He has composed music for more than 30 feature films in addition to his television experience. Barr even gave guests a little tidbit about maybe bringing HBO’s True Blood to Broadway! Hermes delighted guests sharing his experiences with the New York City music scene in the mid-1970s, the subject of his latest book, Love Goes to Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever.

Jill & Mike DeAnzeris

After the talk, guests spilled out into the gorgeous Yaddo Mansion, filling up the elegant rooms and enjoying the twilight view from the terrace. Many local restaurants provided the delicious food, and there were also stunning floral arrangements from local florists. Guests like Justin Jordan, Benefit Planning Committee Member Melissa Zieker, and Larry Ambrosino and wife Linda browsed the silent auction table with items from Saratoga Polo, Hidden Gardens, Saratoga Trunk and more. The Tattlers spotted Jamie & Shane Williams-Ness, Penny Jolly and Jay Rogoff, Jill & Mike DeAnzeris and Brendan Flanigan among the revelers there to support Yaddo.

Our evening ended on a high note as we got to chat with Benefit Planning Committee Chair Tamie Ehinger and Honorary Patrons Chair Anne Palamountain. Ehinger described Anne as “all that is elegance and graceful” and we couldn’t agree more. Both women looked even more stunning in the beautiful, unique setting of Yaddo. Always a highlight of the social year, the Yaddo Summer benefit was a smashing success with organizers reporting that the event surpassed its fundraising goal of $110,000!

Tamie Ehinger and Anne Palamountain

You can find the live feed from this event on our Twitter page here, and check out the full gallery from the evening on our facebook page here. If you have an event you’d like us to come Tattle on, email us at TogaTattlers@saratogian.com. Check back to find out where the Tattlers will be mingling next…

The Tattlers’ Scoop for the Week of June 18th-24th

The summer social season is already in full swing in Saratoga Springs, and this week we’ve got two great events that we are going to cover for you both happening on Tuesday, June 19th. The Tattlers are going to split up to give you full coverage of both events!

First up is the retirement party for Linda G. Toohey, a mainstay of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years, who is retiring this year. Toohey was Executive Vice President of the Chamber from 1980 until she semi-retired in June 2005, becoming Vice President of its Leadership Saratoga program, which she founded in 1985. The model leadership training program graduated its 25th class in 2011 and now counts more than 600 local volunteers among its alumni association. The event honoring Linda will take place at The Hall of Springs on Tuesday, June 19th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.

Linda G. Toohey

Two Yaddo artists – composer Nathan Barr and author Will Hermes – will entertain friends and supporters at the 2012 Yaddo Summer Benefit with a lively exchange about the New York City music scene in the mid-1970s, the subject of Hermes’s latest book, Love Goes to Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever.

Barr has scored all four seasons of HBO’s Emmy-winning series True Blood, and he is currently at work on Season 5. He has composed music for more than 30 feature films in addition to his television experience. This year, Barr is writing original music for Lionsgate’s upcoming comedy The Wedding, starring Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton. He also scored IFC Films’ The Ledge, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Other credits include: 20th Century Fox’s Shutter, Warner Brothers’ The Dukes of Hazzard, and Film for Thought’s Hood To Coast. In addition to writing his compositions, Barr performs all of the instruments heard in much of his work, and he is skilled in many styles and genres ranging from orchestral to rock.

The 2012 Yaddo Summer benefit will be held Tuesday, June 19th, in the Music Room of the Yaddo Mansion. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the program begins at 8 p.m., and a party will follow the performance.

Composer Nathan Barr

The Hyde Collection Annual Gala: Summer of Light

The huge white tent on the grounds of the historic Hyde House in Glens Falls was filled with revelers excited to support the Hyde Collection and have some fun last night for their Annual Gala. Another spectacular summer night served as the backdrop for the celebration. Honorary Chairs Pamela and John Davidson and Executive Director David F. Setford welcomed guests to the evening which started off with a cocktail reception. Guests like John and Kitty Sconzo had a chance to peruse the large selection of generously donated silent auction items lining the tent. During the cocktail reception guests also had a chance to enjoy the exhibitions at the museum: Stephen Knapp: New Light and Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light. It was hard to choose which exhibit was the Tattlers favorite, but if pressed I guess we could say the Tiffany one, it was simply gorgeous.

Executive Director David F. Setford addressed the crowd…

“The Hyde Collection used to be called Upstate New York’s best kept secret. But it is a secret no more with over 30,000 visitors each year.”

Executive Director of The Hyde Collection David F. Setford

Setford spoke with excitement about the plans for the Hyde to partner with Yaddo and the Charles Wood Theater for a performance in the upcoming Adirondack Theater Festival. He also spoke to the guests with a heavy heart, as he will be leaving the Hyde at the end of the summer. He shared his feelings about how much the support and commitment of members and donors means to the museum and how that was reflected in the guests and donors at the gala. The Tattlers could also see the support in the filled room. Guests like Linda Toohey, Natalie and Charles Wait, Jr., Nick and Linda Frangella and Christel and Colin MacLean were all there to support the Museum’s educational programming, exhibitions, and collections care activities. Volunteers for the event wore fun flashing light rings which you could see sparkling on many hands throughout the event.

Natalie and Charles Wait, Jr.

Carolyn vonSchank, Stephen vonSchank and Linda Toohey

The live auction was up next, and up on the block was another Tiffany item. Bidders had the chance to sponsor a Tiffany window at the museum and the bidding was heated under the tent. Martin Seelye held the auction and the excitement built as guests were eager to win their favorites. Jim and Jan Patterson donated a Casita in Sante Fe for a week and Martin was busy keeping up with the bidding on that hot item as well. Many cheers went up as the items were won, and after the live auction guests were treated to an elegant dinner catered by Classé Catering.

A gorgeous oil painting by Michael Dolen up for bids in the silent auction.

Guests under the tent.

Molly Lebowitz and Sam Wildman

After the delicious dinner, guests had a chance to check on their silent auction bids and make one last attempt before it closed to win their favorites. Silent auction bidders circled their favorites, with hot items from Glimmerglass Opera, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Wishing Well Restaurant and more. As the bids were collected the band Standing Room Only started up and the dance floor was soon filled. As the Tattlers made their way out under the glittering awning set up for the event we were delighted to catch one more piece of art as we left, one of Stephen Knapp’s “lightpaintings”. It served as a beautiful reminder of how important the Hyde Collection is, and we can’t wait to come back next year to show our support for this true gem in Glens Falls.

Our last gilmpse of art as the Tattlers headed home, one of Stephen Knapp’s “lightpaintings”

As always, you can find the live feed from this event on our Twitter page here, and check out the full gallery from the elegant evening on our facebook page here. If you have an event you’d like us to come Tattle on, email us at TogaTattlers@saratogian.com. What will we be Tattling on next? You have to stay tuned to find out…

2nd Annual Dogs & Divas

The posh pups and their fashionable owners put on their finest yesterday to support the American Cancer Society at the Second Annual Dogs & Divas event held at Saratoga National Golf Club. This fundraiser, spearheaded by the always glamorous Michele Riggi, featured a canine catwalk show where owners and dogs got to strut their stuff all for a great cause. Riggi, the event’s “Honorary Diva Extraordinaire” pulled out all the stops. Walking in you just knew there was going to be a high level of fabulous displayed by the guests and you can’t hear the words “doggie fashion show” without expecting an equally high level of fun.

The Honorary Diva Extraordinaire herself, Michelle Riggi

The event setting was a dream afternoon with an amazing lunch put on by Saratoga National, shopping from great local vendors like Pink Paddock and Stella & Violets and a fun photo booth from Heather Bohm Tallman set up for dogs and owners alike. Ladies lunched with their pampered pets right next to them at the table (some even sitting in their own chairs) and many of the four legged guests were dolled up in incredible style which rivaled the owners. The Tattlers spotted one little dachshund sporting a custom made pink dress with a dachshund pattern and one guest had a clutch purse the same size and shape as her pint sized puppy.

Julie Bonacio and Beth Alexander sporting fun fascinators

Emcee Benita Zahn kicked off the festivities and Natalie Sillery from Saratoga Trunk emceed the fashion show. Models including Benita, Kate Otis, Sandy Moore, Rebecca Beers, Andrea Como, Nikki and darling daughter Isabella Roche had a ball on the runway. Joining the other models on the runway was Michele Mack, the Senior Director of the American Cancer Society, who has been through her own cancer battle and knows first hand the importance of supporting such a worthy cause. Underscoring the fun was the focus on just how important the American Cancer Society is, and the guest speakers shared important messages with the attendees about helping to create a world with “less cancer and more birthdays”. Sharing the day with pets was designed to highlight the special role our pets have in our lives by giving support, comfort and companionship.

The Tattlers’ pick for sweetest pooch- the dapper Oates, here wearing a Lilly Pulitzer necktie with owners Michelle and Nicole Borisenok.

The silent auction tables were abuzz all afternoon as guests bid on a generous amount of items with donations from Frank Adams Jewelers, Saratoga Trunk, Hattie’s, Dawgdom, Frivolous Boutique and much more. While Michele Riggi mingled with the guests, Patty Riggi and sister Sandy Foley tried on hats for the upcoming Double H Ranch fundraiser. They chatted with the Tattlers about their shared knack for accidentally dressing alike for events, and both sisters looked great in their chic orange dresses.

Patty Riggi and Sandy Foley

Incredibly fun floral centerpieces from Hidden Garden

This event definitely put the “fun” in fundraising, and Diva Committee Member Nikki Roche hit the nail on the head when she described it as “fabulous and unique”. The Tattlers were impressed with how well behaved all of the doggie guests were and are happy to report no scuffles broke out amongst the four legged fashionistas. The dogs were so well behaved in fact that one Tattler is even considering attending next year with Hunter, her 85 pound chocolate Labrador. It might be hard to top Oates’ preppy style but we have a whole year to try! Want to see even more photos from the event? Head over to our facebook page here, and to check out the live Twitter feed from the event click here. If you have a party or event you’d like us to tattle on, email us at TogaTattlers@saratogian.com. What event will we tattle on next? Stay tuned to find out…

Grand Opening of Boca Bistro

The Tattlers braved the rain in our Hunter wellies yesterday and took shelter in the absolutely stunning interior of the brand new Boca Bistro at 384 Broadway. Warm and intimate, the space immediately draws you in and features thoughtful details like reclaimed wooden tables and light fixtures crafted from antique mine carts. We arrived just as owners David and Roslyn Zecchini cut the ribbon and the guests couldn’t wait to sample the tapas. Servers circulated smoothly through the growing crowd bearing trays laden with samples from the menu. Classic tapas like patatas bravas, bacon wrapped dates and pan con tamat were served and guests tried an assortment of Spanish cheeses and meats while they sipped sangria. Julie and Sonny Bonacio sampled the Spanish fare and chatted with David and Roslyn who are so excited to bring the robust Spanish cuisine to Saratoga.

David and Roslyn and the rest of the Boca Bistro family cutting the ribbon to kick off the Grand Opening

The Grand Opening was definitely the place to be seen yesterday and the restaurant was soon filled with guests happy to help celebrate. We spotted Angelo and Kate Calbone, Linda Toohey and Mayor Scott Johnson who proclaimed the sausage and pepper tapas his favorite of the evening. The Tattlers chatted with Brad Wagner of Merrill Lynch and his absolutely charming wife Kiki about the conversation piece in the restaurant, an enormously fun pig sculpture found at Hidden Gardens right in Saratoga Springs.

Brad and Kiki Wagner

Mayor Scott Johnson, Fran Dingman and Pete Bardunias

Sonny and Julie Bonacio

The Tattlers spoke with Susanne Simpson, the Director of Sales for DZ Restaurants about the DZ brand and their excitement about the new addition to the DZ Restaurants family:

“David and Roslyn want Boca Bistro to be accommodating and accessible to everybody, to be able to have everyone come in and have an exceptional meal and an exceptional experience.

Part of the appeal of the new restaurant space was the fact that they tried to preserve as much of the original building as possible. They went down to the original brick walls and the tin ceiling was carefully restored and looked absolutely dazzling. The attention to detail was apparent down to the tiny dollop of salsa verde on the hanger steak tapas.

Another fantastic part of the evening was that all proceeds will go to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Community Health Resource Center, coming to Saratoga Springs in January. Their mission will be to provide high-quality, affordable primary health care with complementary medical and social services to any individual who needs it regardless of ability to pay.

Gambas al Ajillo-shrimp, garlic, lemon, salsa verde

Perfect portable bites ready to be picked up by partygoers

Guests enjoying the tapas

The party was still going and the restaurant was absolutely filled as the Tattlers headed out back into the rain, and we simply cannot wait to go back and try even more from the menu at Boca Bistro. Congratulations to David and Roslyn on their newest of ventures. You might just spot us there when you try it for yourself, we definitely can’t go very long without having those amazing croquetas again!

The Tattlers’ favorite tapas of the night? Definitely the melt in your mouth croquetas!

Head over to our Facebook page for even more photos from the event last night, then check out our Twitter page for the live coverage we did of the event. As always we’ll be live tweeting each event we attend so no matter what you’re doing you can stay in the loop with the Toga Tattlers! Till next time Saratoga!

Want us to Tattle on your party? Email us at TogaTattlers@saratogian.com!

The Second Annual Belmont Stakes Party at Saratoga National

The Toga Tattlers had a ball Saturday night at Saratoga National for their 2nd Annual Belmont Stakes Party! Wish you had gone? Check out our recap for the next best thing…

Even though everyone was disappointed that I’ll Have Another didn’t wind up running, partygoers enjoyed another cocktail on the house in celebration of the race. We spoke to Angelo Mazzone, CEO of Mazzone Management Group as the party was getting started.

Attendees began arriving at 4pm as the sun came out, perfect weather for a night outside. The newly expanded patio was filled with partygoers eager to sample the delicious cocktails and watch the historic Belmont race as the sun set over the golf course. DJ Wayne had the crowd on their feet, spinning an infectious mix of Top 40 and Seventies classics.

Matt Waine, Andrew Fleming, James Thibadeau and Jack Young relaxing in the beautiful weather.

Restaurant Manager Stuart deVoe was pleased with the crowd, “We are absolutely thrilled with the turnout at our second annual Belmont Stakes party. It seems like we are starting to get a history of horse racing parties at Saratoga National, with our 2012 Derby Party and our Belmont Party and we are certainly going to continue through the Saratoga racing season.”

Jen Tourangeau, Jenn Thibadeau, Andrea Siwik, Liz Flemming and Kristen Richard enoying the patio.

The energy at the party began to escalate as the horses made their way to the starting gate. Crowds gathered around several big screen TVs on the patio and above the bar as the running of the 144th Belmont Stakes began. The crowd went wild as Union Rags and John Velazquez took the race home! (The Toga Tattler’s Belmont pick!)

Joanne Wheelock, Beth Smith, Teddy Foster and Tammy Margan mingling at the bar.

The crowd was dressed in their trackside finest with women awash in colorful sundresses and men looking dapper in their summer pinstripes. The Tattlers spoke with Angelo post-race and he gave us the scoop on the summer event lineup at Prime. For more from Angelo, check out the Tattlers’ Q&A with him on our Facebook page! And to view all of the Tattlers’ photos from the event check out the gallery below.

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