I have been a member of the San Francisco Opera Guild’s board of directors since 1995, and I support the annual fundraising event at the Spring Fashion Show and Auction, hosted by Neiman Marcus, by purchasing one particular auction item: a trip to New York Fashion Week to attend an iconic fashion designer’s show, take a tour of the atelier, and interview that designer for my magazine’s spring fashion issue.
This year, the auction package included an exclusive “Breakfast at Tiffany” experience at Tiffany & Co.’s store in New York for 10 guests plus a $2,000 credit toward a dream piece of Tiffany jewelry. I was a big fan of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961, when I was a little girl dreaming to go to Tiffany’s in New York one day. My exclusive Breakfast at Tiffany experience turned out to be far better than the movie.
I invited my friends in New York, including three Broadway performers: Christina Maxwell who is an actress and singer, renowned inspirational speaker, published writer, and pediatric oncology arts therapist for the nonprofit RipRap, providing intensive one-on-one music and art-therapy sessions for pediatric oncology patients and their families in underserved parts of the New York City; Lance Horn, the Emmy Award-winning composer, pianist, and lyricist who performed for President Obama and Queen Elizabeth and at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, and London’s West End; Jelani Remy, stage actor, Broadway singer, and the superstar cast as Simba in Broadway production of The Lion King and many dozens of musical events; Lorrie Erlick, a luxury event planner at Colin Cowie Lifestyle known to produce mega VIP events, including Jennifer Lopez’s wedding, and a co-producer and investor of the newly opened Broadway Museum.
My magazine’s editor-in-chief, Teresa Rodriguez, invited her friend, Heidi Pettit, who has been a marketing consultant, and Nicole Rodriguez and Janet Vasquez of Day One Agency. Christina invited her two dear friends, Brigitte Norton, a sculptor based in New York with her husband, Christopher Norton, CEO of Equinox Hotels, and mother of the brilliant late artist and writer, Charles W. Norton. and Laura Day Webb, the director of partnerships, programming and events at High Line Nine Galleries in New York City. Webb is also an independent curator and art consultant, and a development officer for the Immigrant Artist Biennial.
This is a group of interesting and hard-to-impress guests. The breakfast at Tiffany did not disappoint. It was held in a lovely room at top floor of the flagship store overlooking Fifth Avenue and surrounded by Tiffany’s fabulous jewelry in glass cases.
Servers brought non-stop champagne along with the chocolate croissants, assorted pastries, aged gouda frittata with sugar snap pears and baby spinach, and gourmet coffee. The exquisite table setting with beautiful flowers, delicate porcelain dishes, napkin rings made of silver and stone resembled a piece of Tiffany’s jewelry.
We started the breakfast with each person saying something about their recent activities, and the conversation got active from there. With three Broadway stars at the table, we could have started a concert or at least a rendition of Moon River. The display cases surrounding us grabbed our attention for shopping. The amazing breakfast lasted three hours, and it was a truly magical experience to share with a great group of friends. I thank Tiffany & Co. for their generous donation of this event to San Francisco Opera Guild’s spring fundraiser and Tiffany’s director of client relations, Chrissy Vassar Raus, and her wonderful team for hosting this event which give us a truly priceless, unique experience.