FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA CELEBRATES 'WHY NOT" SPIRIT AT INAUGURAL GALA ON USS INTREPID!
Under the generous corporate sponsorship of Moët Hennessy, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America (FOH-LA) held its first GALA for more than 600 diplomats, dignitaries, guests and Francophile supporters from across the globe on board the USS Intrepid Air & Space Museum in New York City last night, October 14, 2014. Funds raised from the GALA will help support the voyage of the Hermione, "Freedom Frigate", during its triumphal tour of ports from Yorktown to Boston in 2015.
The assembled guests received a message from Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, who wrote: "I wish to express how much the French Embassy and the French Consulates all over the United States are committed to supporting the Hermione project." Present at the Gala was Bertrand Lortholary, Consul General of France in New York, as well The Honorable and Mrs. Craig R. Stapleton, former U.S. Ambassador to France.
To begin the evening's ceremonies, the first-ever Friends of Hermione-Lafayette In America Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Henry A. Kissinger by FOH-LA President Miles Young. Later after several tributes to the Hermione project, including a video direct from France by Hermione Captain Yann Cariou, Gala guests listened intently to a wide-ranging conversation between Emmy-award-winning journalist Charlie Rose and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who ably addressed all the major political, economic and diplomatic issues of the day.
It was also a glittering evening of festivities, featuring a menu inspired by the culinary heritage of Poitou-Charentes curated with the help of Ariane Daguin, CEO, D'Artagnan, and Chef Philippe Bertineau, a native of Poitou. The main course featured "Poulet Grand Mere" with roasted fingerling potatoes, autumn squash, button mushrooms and Heirloom carrots in a Pineau des Charentes light liqueur sauce.
For Hermione supporters there were delicious libations, wines and Cognac Hennessy courtesy of Moët Hennessy; an auction conducted by Robbie Gordy of Christie's; an inspired speech from French commentator and author Bernard-Henri Lévy on the lasting friendship between France and America; and music from French jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel and his trio, who channeled the gypsy rhythms and songs of Django Reinhardt.
With Gala Co-Hosts Miles Young and Pascale Richard presiding over the evening's ceremonies, the Gala was a great success for all involved!
Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America also wishes to thank the following Gala Chairs: P. Miles Young, Pascale Richard, Irwin Gotlieb, Sir Martin Sorrell, and The Honorable and Mrs. Earle I. Mack.
In addition, FOH-LA again thanks all its generous supporters and followers to make this Gala a genuine celebration of enduring French-American friendship and Lafayette's "Cur Non", Why Not, "Pourquoi Pas" spirit. FOH-LA also thanks Restaurant Associates for all their wonderful help in making the Gala a truly memorable event.
A big MERCI and THANK YOU to one and all!