The 4th Annual Music & Mingling to benefit the Saratoga Senior Center

It couldn’t have been a lovelier evening Thursday at the Saratoga Polo Fields for the event that helps kicks off the Saratoga Summer Season – the 4th Annual Music & Mingling to support the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga. Champagne was flowing at the VIP reception for major sponsors including Ron & Michele Riggi, Vincent & Patty Riggi, Fred & Dinda McNeary and Colleen Carlson, along with many other festively dressed guests. Polo players Mario Dino, Kim Durling and Lauren Lis helped jump start the festivities with polo demos on the lawn, while Sabine Rodgers and Patty Riggi kicked off the Veuve Cliquot sabrage.

View More:

photos courtesy of Heather Bohm Tallman Photography

View More:

photos courtesy of Heather Bohm Tallman Photography

Event Chairpersons Angie Sultan and Raymond Bryan greeted their guests with executive director Lois Celeste, directing them to the evening’s festivities including cigar and bourbon tastings, sushi and sake bar and live music by Grand Central Station. Taunia Kipp & Steve Coons, Mary Fiorillo-Lentini, Norm & Kim Levy, Jeff Oleska, Lisa and Tim Higgins, Kerry and Tom Selfridge, Lisa and Bob Berls, Radka Dooley and Marty Ferrillo were all on hand showing their support for the Senior Center. Also spotted were Ken and Clover Schwartz, Tommy and Rachel Uccellini, Chris and Melissa Zieker, Val Collins and Tom and Kristie Roohan.

Fashion Guru Natalie Sillery delighted guests dressing up the crowd for the Heather-Bohm Tallman photobooth, and Lauren Cavanaugh was on hand with her one of a kind Life Rocks Jewelry.

One of the evening’s highlights was a live auction with a chance to bid on 2.5% share of a racehorse owned by West Point Thoroughbreds – owners of Kentucky Derby Runner-up Commanding Curve. Terry and Debbie Finley generously doubled their offer when the bidding hit an all time high between two groups – one led by Abe Sultan & Marty Ferrillo, and the other by Rich White who was buying the share as a wedding gift for his new bride to be Margaret D’Andrea. West Point Thoroughbreds generously offered 2.5% to both parties – doubling the profit for the Senior Center. Organizers were delighted to report the evening raised over $75,000 , almost twice the total of last year’s event.

Cantina Cocktails for a Cause

Jared Cantanucci & Marcus Fuller perfecting 'The Chupacabra'

Jared Cantanucci & Marcus Fuller perfecting ‘The Chupacabra’

Cantina owners Heath and Jeff Ames hosted the very first ‘Cantina Cocktails for a Cause’ last Wednesday at their signature Broadway restaurant. The event was designed as a compliment to their wildly popular Cantina Kids Fun Run and judging from the crowd on Wednesday, they have another hit on their hands. Event Co-Chairs Amy Cantanucci, Ashley Freeman and Heath Ames welcomed guests as they arrived and within minutes the bar was packed with supporters including Mike Toohey, Alysa and Jay Arnold, Julie and Marcus Fuller, and Caroline and Stowe Burke.

Drink requests were being tripled teamed by celebrity bartenders Jeff Ames, Jared Cantanucci and Marcus Fuller who mixed, poured and charmed for the length of the event. Marcus was flipping tequila bottles in the air as Jared mastered the Chupacabra (a massive conncotion of frozen margarita topped with Coronas) while guests filled up on guacamole, tuna tartar, stuffed chiles and other scrumptious nibbles. Heather Straghter, Bridget Kraev, Kelly Hite, Lisa Mosier, Jenn and Kyle Perry, Stephanie and Dave Collins, Liz O’Brien and Marti Laird were spotted chatting in the crowd along with Saratoga Hospital President Angelo Calbone and his always gracious wife Kate. The energy in the crowd was infectious and as they night continued DJ Dragonette had everyone on their feet dancing. With no signs of the party ending, the Ames’ kept generously pouring drinks long after the bar was to close. The success of this new event was certainly a testament to the passion and dedication of Heath and Jeff Ames and their fundraising efforts. Since 2008 The Cantina Kids Fun Run has raised over $170,000 for pediatric care at Saratoga Hospital’s Emergency Department and Wednesday’s event will add $7000 to the 2014 race totals.

Saratoga Hospital Flower and Fruit Mission’s Annual Luncheon

Spring was in full bloom last Tuesday at the Flower and Fruit Mission’s Annual Luncheon.  Some of Saratoga’s loveliest ladies gathered at the Hall of Springs for the event, with over 300 people in attendance to support the William J. Hickey Women’s Health Services at Saratoga Hospital. Guests streamed in wearing brightly colored dresses with show stopping fascinators and hats and were greeted with warm smiles from the luncheon committee, Tina Nigro, Beth Silver, Laurie Murphy, Mylea Aldrich, Holly Lee, Lisa Higgins and Bart Altamari.

Ladies received a glass of champagne as they enjoyed the social hour and the room buzzed with conversation in what always feels like the unofficial kickoff to the social season. Julie Bonacio sparkled in a Don O’Neill for Theia blue and green dress and Jill Henning hat and chatted away with Mary Gavin, in a beautiful pleated spring dress. Robin Kappler, Mariah Harrison, Lydia Bazar and Harriet Kalejs made their way to their table, which were covered in pink and white linens and beautiful spring centerpieces of hydrangea and bright gerbera daisies. Flower and Fruit Mission member Marcia MacDonald was one of several ladies charming guests as they sold raffle tickets for some exciting prizes including a basket full of wine and a money hat.

ffphoto 3 ffphoto 5 ffphoto 1 ffphoto 2
ffphotoPeople took their seats as Flower and Fruit Mission president Amy Sutton addressed the crowd, articulating the many advances in Women’s Health Services at Saratoga Hospital that have resulted from the fundraising efforts of the Mission. These efforts have helped in purchasing equipment and supporting renovations for the maternity ward as well as funding scholarships for advanced nursing education. Amy, resplendent in a white sleeveless dress,  then joined Saratoga Hospital President & CEO Angelo Calbone and wife Kate, Mayor Joanne Yepsen, Maureen Lewi and others as lunch was served. Jeannette Jordan, Jean Belisario, Deana Signor, Karrie Steuer, and Jane Wait enjoyed the first course, a scrumptious asparagus soup while nearby several tables of young mothers were dining including Allison Meyers, Erica Gough, Julie Fuller, Cara Milde, Jennifer Hennessy, Leah Parillo, Jennifer Perry, Amy Cantanucci, Michelle Muir Galarneau and Valerie and Stephanie Collins. Expectant mother’s Chelsea Silver and Rebecca Beers were also spotted, Silver in a sleeveless purple sundress and stylish black headband and Beers in an emerald floor length dress and Christine A. Moore hat. Clover Schwartz, Lisa Gabryshak, Heath Ames, Beth Alexander, Kelly Hite and Beth Alexander were also on hand enjoying the luncheon. As the afternoon wound down we caught up with Delores Parillo and Amy Sutton as they left the Hall of Springs, and both ladies seemd  thrilled with the outcome of the luncheon, which raised over $15,000 dollars.

The 2nd Annual Shaken and Stirred Celebrity Bartender Party to benefit Universal Preservation Hall

The 2nd Annual Shaken and Stirred Celebrity Bartender Party to benefit Universal Preservation Hall hit Prime at Saratoga National this past Thursday with a spirit that not even a tornado watch could tame.

The clouds parted over the gorgeous view from the veranda as notable celebrity bartenders like Charles Wait and Cindy Lunsford took their spots behind the bar ready to sling some drinks and raise some funds for Universal Preservation Hall with proceeds going toward development of UPH as a venue for the performing arts.

Event Co-Chairs Beth Smith & Brendan Flanigan welcomed over 300 people with Master of Ceremonies & Auctioneer Garland Nelson getting the excitement going and music by Pulse Entertainment lending just the right vibe for the upbeat evening. Bartenders included Fran Dingeman, Philip Morris, Anne Marie Flores, Corey Aldrich, Margaret D’Andrea, Michele & Dieter Funiciello, Richard Lovrich, Ardie & Dan Russell, Heather Ward, Melissa Zieker, John Witt and Chrissy Goodness, all working hard to pull in those tips. The signature drink, “The Steepletini” was especially popular and a winner for UPH as Tito’s Vodka & Prime at Saratoga National sponsored the costs so most of the proceeds went toward the fundraising goal. The biggest tippers (and there were many of them) got a rousing thank you with help from a handful of tambourines given to the celebrity bartenders to up the ante in fun.

Charles Wait Teddy, Bruce & Beth

photos courtesy of Lisa Miller of Studio diLuce

photos courtesy of Lisa Miller of Studio diLuce

Garland Nelson really gathered the crowd for the live auction and paddles were waving excitedly to bid big, and with preliminary figures around $15,000 the event exceeded last year’s fundraising goal.

We spoke to Teddy Foster, President of the Board of Directors for Universal Preservation Hall about the event, who said, “The Board of the Universal Preservation Hall is very grateful for the support of our title sponsors New York Long Term Care Brokers, Palio-Ignite, Mazzone Hospitality, and all of our other contributing sponsors and donors for helping to make our Second Annual Shaken & Stirred Celebrity Bartender party a resounding success. A BIG thanks to our bartenders for their hard work and the community for coming out to support us!”

Keep this event on your radar for next year as it keeps getting bigger and better every year.

St. Clement’s Spring Ball at Prime at Saratoga National

School spirit doesn’t adequately describe the enthusiasm felt at the St. Clement’s 20th Annual Spring Ball held this past Friday at Saratoga National. Event chairs Augie and Lisa Vitiello welcomed 250 guests including alumni, parents, faculty, community members, local business leaders and supporters alike to raise funds for the local Saratoga Springs school serving the children from St. Clement’s Parish in grades K – 8 since 1918.

Inside the ballroom the décor was coincidentally apropos for the rainy weather outside with colorful paper umbrellas dotting the windows and many guests opted for a little black dress instead of spring colors. As guests mingled during the cocktail hour they had a chance to peruse the ample silent auction spread with a spotlight on One-of-a-Kind Classroom Masterpieces.


Spotted in the crowd were Sabine Rodgers, Rich White and Margaret D’Andrea, Bonnie Farrelly, Katrina and Dave Lucas, Jill Perkins, Dan and Maryanne Moerschell, and David and Allison Meyers. Guests also enjoyed dancing to The Accents and taking turns getting their photos snapped in the Saratoga Photo Booth as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres by Prime.

The live auction was definitely noteworthy with some really incredible items up for bid including a Cooking Class with Wine Pairing for Eight courtesy of Augie Vitiello & Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant, a one-week stay in Lake George courtesy of Robert & Lisa Moser, a one week stay in Cape Cod courtesy of Michael & Jill DeAnzeris, a fabulous NYC Fashion Week experience courtesy of Dynasty Financial Partners and Ed & Liz Swenson, and many more. Winners of the evening included Tom and Kerry Selfridge as the high bidders at $3,000 on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Experience courtesy of Dynasty Financial and Shirl & MaryAnn Penney and Bob and Lisa Moser also bid $3,000, for the Ultimate Home Dinner Party for six with Chef Tim Thompson of PRIME at Global Foundries.

The Bloomin’ Cash Raffle raised $25,900 that night with the school receiving 50% ($12,950) and 50% was split among the first, second and third place winners – Gregory Akiki, Mario Martinez and Kelly Porreca, respectively. Overall, the event raised over $140,000, directly benefitting St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School by providing educational enrichment materials for the students, funding capital improvements, and supporting the operating budget.



Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar Gutterball Bash

Supporters of Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar celebrated 6 years of success on Saturday at their Annual Bowling for Scholars and Gutterball Bash.  After a day of fun at the Saratoga Strike Zone, guests were invited to enjoy cocktails, music and scrumptious food from Hattie’s while they feted the scholar’s accomplishments. With 28 high school students and 24 college students currently in the program, we always enjoy attending this event as the local cause clearly resonates so strongly. The non-profit organization accepts 10 financially disadvantaged sophomores from the Saratoga Springs City School District each year and provides them with the resources they need to successfully complete high school and college. This includes mentors, many of whom were in attendance, academic tutoring, PSAT and SAT training and yearly cash stipends in college.

l-r: Barry Potoker, Skip Carlson, Colleen Carlson

l-r: Barry Potoker, Skip Carlson, Colleen Carlson

Tom & Kristine Roohan

Tom & Kristine Roohan

Executive Director Jim LaVigne and wife Mary Gavin with program founders Lew and Pat Titterton were delighted to welcome guests on Saturday, including ten SSAS students who enjoyed dinner and meeting some of the program’s sponsors. Board members Gary and Nancy DiCresce were on hand for the celebration, enjoying the evening with generous supporters Ron and Michele Riggi and Eileen Guarino. Tom and Kristie Roohan, Bob Courtney, Mark & Elisa Haworth, Colleen & Skip Carlson, Mike and Susana Hoffman and Clark Brink were also in attendance chatting and listening to the music from Free Play. We were delighted to see Frank and Dolores Parillo who stopped by the Gutterball Bash before continuing on downtown to celebrate Dolores’ birthday. Harvey and Cassie Fox also joined the fun before heading out to celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary.

The great line up of silent auction items created some heated bidding and competition amongst party goers, especially for a pair of VIP concert tickets to see James Taylor at SPAC, taken home by a very happy Barry and Cindy Potoker. The auction raised a record $4000 and included some fabulous items including a gorgeous David Yurman necklace won by Patty Riggi and VIP tickets to see the Baltimore Orioles play the Red Sox at Fenway Park, taken home by Brian and Heather Straughter. The baseball tickets were generously donated by John Angelos and Margaret Valentine. Terry White, a SSAS mentor, won a round of golf for 4 at Saratoga National. Saturday’s event was SSAS biggest fundraiser of the year and Jim LaVigne was pleased to report the evening raised $111,000, with 100% of every dollar going directly to the scholars.

3rd Annual HerLife Red Carpet Event at Hall of Springs

Angela Beddoe and Javier Rodriguez

Angela Beddoe and Javier Rodriguez

The cars were lined up early outside the Hall of Springs last Wednesday night for the 3rd annual HerLife Red Carpet event to celebrate the anniversary of HerLife magazine hosted by Greg Aidala. 600 guests were expected at the sold out event and no one was wasting any time getting inside for the festivities.

The party moved to a larger location this year to accommodate the guests for this growing event and it’s a good thing they moved because the Hall of Springs was absolutely filled with well dressed partygoers ready to celebrate. People mingled and noshed while also eyeing the apparatus set up for the “Cirque de Herlife” performance by Heliummm aerial dance.

In the crowd HerLife fans and supporters (including some past cover girls) were spotted like Benita Zahn, Elaine Houston, Brenda Bull-Tholin, Theresa Skaine, Theresa Marangas, Lori Anne Harris, Heather Tangora, Catherine McCann, Sandra Fox, Karen Carpenter-Palumbo, John Witt, Wendy Lawrence, Tom and Rachel Uccellini, Elinor Keeler from the evening’s presenting sponsor Keeler Motor Car Company and Rob Fraser, Ray Bryan, Bob and Mary Alice Lee, Heather Straughter there with husband Brian, Jill Cenatiempo Richardson, Tom Nigro, Cari Endres, Elizabeth Perella, Walter Sparks, and Kirk Sisson.

Up next the aerial dance by Heliummm took place and added a special dose of excitement and glamour to the evening as they pulled off a perfect performance to much applause. Angela Beddoe, the publisher of HerLife magazine thanked guests for attending and brought up a bevy of beautiful past cover girls to help her celebrate the 3rd anniversary of HerLife magazine.

Elinor Keeler and Rob Fraser

Elinor Keeler and Rob Fraser

Meanwhile in the VIP area local restaurant owner Javier Rodriguez of Javier’s Nuevo Latino Cuisine was there with wife Katie chatting about the after party being hosted later on in the evening at the restaurant as DJ Chris Wright got everyone on the dance floor in record time and it was filled all night.

As well as presenting sponsor Keeler Motor Car Company, other sponsors of this fabulous spring party included Mazzone Hospitality, Cool Cat Events, Williams Plastic Surgery Specialist who sponsored the VIP access area, Angela’s Bridal who put on a fabulous display of wedding and evening dresses, Saratoga’s Dr. Gerald  Benjamin and the Benjamin Smile, Select Sotheby’s International Realty, B. 95.5 and FLY 92.3 radio stations, Regency Sedan, Elhosn Eye & Aesthetics also supported the event. Hannoush Jewelers were gracious enough to raffle off a pair of diamond earrings valued at $4500 and trips to the Otesga Resort and Mirror Lake Inn were also raffled off with all raffle proceeds going to Girls Inc of the Great Capital Region.  The Marvelous Candy Buffet was also there with a selection of classic candy for the crowd to enjoy.  SWAG bags featuring a classic navy blue and tan canvas boat tote featuring the Herlife Magazine logo were given to the first 300 through the door.  Gift items included the recently released I Know New York board game graciously donated by Keeler Motor Car Company and Mode Cosmetics.

HerLife Publisher Angela Beddoe was thrilled with the turnout for the event, saying “I feel so honored to have so many fans, friends and family come out and support the magazine.  It is truly humbling.  The best part of the evening was when I gave roses to our past Herlife covers.  To see Benita Zahn, JoDee Kenney, Marrissa Jacques, Elaine Houston and several more covers all together was surreal”.

Child’s Play 5 to benefit the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation for Children

photo 2Susan Koppi and Lisa Munter did a magnificent job orchestrating the fun and festive Child’s Play 5 event last Wednesday at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The Karen and Gary Dake Foundation for Children hosts this annual event which raises funds in support of their mission, to provide children with disabilities the tools they need to become as independent as possible. Supporters and friends including Dan and Valerie Collins, David and Stephanie Collins, Tom and Kristie Roohan, Mike and Susana Hoffman, Frank Parillo and John and Cindy Munter all gathered to raise money and further the foundation’s mission.

Attendees sipped cocktails and nibbled on a delicious spread of food from Lily and the Rose while listening to the music of FreePlay. We spotted Annie and John Krasnicki, Jennifer Perry, Skip Carlson, David and Allison Meyers, Brian and Denise Czerpak, and Heather and Brian Straughter enjoying the playful atmosphere, which included life size games of Jenga and Connect Four. The evening also featured a variety of silent auction items up for bid, including an overnight and breakfast at the Holiday Inn Lake George, family membership to the YMCA and box at the Race Course this summer. Honorary Chairpersons Kate and Richard Edwards, Leah Parillo, Jennifer and Matt Hennessy and Jim and Christine Mastrianni were all spotted perusing the variety of items.

Guests also had an opportunity to buy raffle tickets for VIP seats to several concerts this summer with the lucky Kate Jarosh winning tickets to see Jason Aldean and Valerie Collins taking home the coveted Dave Matthews tickets. One of the most impactful moments of the night was the presentation by Kevin Weiler who spoke to the crowd about his son Eric, who’s struggle to walk prevented him from going more than 20 steps at a time. Eric received a walker through the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation and Kevin recalled his son using it for the first time and watching him take off around the block and walking for nearly a mile and a half. Lisa Munter was delighted to tell us that the event on Wednesday raised nearly $55,000 for the foundation so they can continue to impact the lives of children like Eric in and around the capital region.

photo 1 photo 4

Second Annual Saratoga Mom Prom

Gail Veitch and Suzi Ingmire, two of the founders of the Saratoga Mom Prom

Gail Veitch and Suzi Ingmire, two of the founders of the Saratoga Mom Prom

It was a sea of sequins and puff sleeves on Saturday night at the Saratoga Hilton as guests filled the ballroom for the sold out second annual Saratoga Mom Prom, this year raising funds for the Saratoga County Children’s Committee with over 270 guests.

The women only partygoers were encouraged to dress in their finest (and funniest) prom dresses from any era, and the dresses spanned the decades from the 50s all the way to today matched with plenty of outrageously fun prom hair and makeup.

Inside, the spirit of the evening took it up a notch with nods to proms past with activities like a tarot card reader, photos from the Saratoga Photo Booth Company, and life-sized cardboard cutouts that prom goers could pose with including a Dirty Dancing Patrick Swazye and Jennifer Grey cutout and a swashbuckling Johnny Depp cutout from Pirates of the Caribbean. Dancing was the highlight of the evening with “COMPLETE” DJ Services spinning tunes both old and new, mixing in a good amount of tried and true prom classics that got everyone on the dance floor.

Some of our favorite dresses of the evening

Some of our favorite dresses of the evening

Now in its second year the Saratoga Mom Prom seems to already have hit a stylish stride and has really caught on with the fairer sex in Saratoga. Primary sponsors that helped make the evening happen include Myrtle Street Ob-Gyn, 101.3 The Jockey, The Saratoga Hilton, Adirondack Trust Company, Advantage Press, Bridget McDonald Photography and Raina’s Fine Flowers.  Also making notable contributions to the success of the event were Fragomeni Insurance, Roohan Realty, Tara Fantauzzi, Michael Veitch, Joanne Sole and Rick Tunison, Colin Morton, DDS, Kedley Lobylar Wealth Management, Clements Insurance Brokers, the Saratoga Springs Police Benevolent Association and Hedley Kobylar Wealth Management Group.

Guests also had a chance to bid on some fantastic raffle baskets with items donated from dozens of local businesses and sponsors, all with a seasonal theme. One basket for the month of July was particularly popular stocked with goodies like a picnic and SPAC tickets to see a NYC Ballet performance.

Capping off the evening winners were crowned for the Prom Queen for 2014 and one lucky winner was chosen as the tackiest dress winner.

Kudos to the group of local longtime friends and classmates (calling themselves the “Saratoga Seven”) who organize this fabulous event, Gail Veitch, Jan Perrotta, Joanne Sole, JoAnn Berrigan, Maureen Maciariello, JeanAnn Dennis and Suzi Ingmire, on another successful year.

What to Wear: Saratoga Mom Prom {April 26th}

screenshot-2014-02-03-10-58-39The second annual Saratoga Mom Prom is coming to the Saratoga Hilton this Saturday, April 26th and we’ve got some ideas on how to do it in true prom style.   The event promises to be a uniquely fun time with raffle baskets, dancing all night to DJ Joe from Complete in Albany, Saratoga Photo Booth, delicious lite fare, signature “Stiletto” drinks and of course their wonderful prom traditions. And remember, you don’t need to be a Mom to join in on the fun (just 21 and over)! Visit their website here to buy tickets. Now for the prom inspiration, click here to see some photos from last year (guests really went out all out we must say), and here are our top three pop culture prom dress winners. Which one is your favorite? Bonus points for anyone who comes in matching dresses like Kelly and Brenda from 90210!

1. Andie from Pretty in Pink Going the DIY route for a prom dress is a bold move to say the least, and even after all this time we are still divided whether or not she actually pulled off this handmade pink shoulder-less shift dress. What she did have for sure was lots of confidence though, which you would need to be attending prom with a guy named Duckie.



2. Sandy from Grease Sandy makes our list based on pure nostalgia, which is really what prom is all about. Pick an era, doesn’t have to be the one you actually attended prom in, and go with it (dancing the Hand Jive is optional but encouraged).


3. Kelly and Brenda from 90210 One of our favorite episodes of 90210 included these (accidentally) matching prom dresses which featured those larger than life bows and we will openly admit that we wanted to wear these to our own proms at the time. It really is a teen nightmare scenario to show up at prom wearing the exact same dress as someone else, but would make for a hilarious photo op at the Saratoga Mom Prom.