DONALD, MELANIA and FRIENDS TOAST the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION -- WITH a LITTLE HELP FROM GRAFF and MICHAEL KORS
"Remember, red wine is best for your heart, but all liquor will help raise your HDLs," said Mount Sinai Hospital's Mary Ann McLaughlin to an audience of American Heart Association friends and supporters the likes of Douglas Hannant, Frederick Anderson, Felicia Taylor and Campion Platt. And with that mandate, the official kickoff to the 55th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball had begun.
Hosts Andrea and John Stark graciously welcomed guests to their stunning midtown penthouse in celebration of the occasion. Honored were co-chairs Petra Levin, Melania Trump and, of course, The Donald himself, who received a special thank you for giving the lead $100,000 gift to reach the Heart Ball's $2 million fundraising goal.
For Andrea Stark, the festivities were joyous, but also slightly bittersweet: "I became involved in the American Heart Association to honor my father, who died of a heart attack on his 58th birthday, the same date as our anniversary, which happens to be next week," she told me. "Unfortunately, John's father passed away from a heart attack, as well, so we really feel a duty to help raise money and awareness for this cause."
The AHA has long been on the cutting edge in research. Having raised $1.2 billion since its inception, the foundation is leading the way with such treatments as the Polypill,a pill that is meant to combat and prevent a host of cardiovascular problems, from diabetes and high cholesterol to hypertension and stroke.
So what do some of the other Heart supporters do to stay healthy? Co-chair Levin, who was leaving for Stowe, Vermont the next day (surely skiing is a heart-healthy sport, no?), opines that it is all about "thinking healthy. It starts with the attitude and everything follows. My life is so busy that I feel like my whole day is exercise."
Of course, that doesn't mean that a little fun cannot be had. In keeping with the maxim "everything in moderation", the evening's treats were decidedly decadent… mac n' cheese tarts, foie gras, mini-grilled cheese, caviar shooters, and chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Thankfully, the portions offered were tres petit!
However, the best treat of all may have been the golfball-sized Graff gems on display, courtesy of the Michael Kors-clad models. I could not take my eyes off of one particularly bewitching emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, whose color was so flawless that it had a blue-ish cast. Indeed, the 19-karat stunner had so many admirers that evening, one could not help but wonder: Which lucky lady will be receiving an early Christmas present this year?
Now THAT would do a heart some good!