On December 12th, Petra Nemcova hosted the Happy Hearts Fund (HHF) gala for Mexico at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Special guest Carlos Slim celebrated the recent partnership between HHF and The Carlos Slim Foundation, marking the start of HHF’s outreach in Mexico, starting in Veracruz.
After surviving the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, Ms. Nemcova founded HHF to rebuild schools and the lives of children following natural disasters. Unlike some organizations, all administrative costs are underwritten by the Board. That means 100% of the HHF funds raised are used to help children recover and rebuild following tragedies, emphasizing a sustained response model.
If you’re looking to rub elbows with influencers, celebrities, and models, HHF galas are right up your alley. Marc Anthony performed to an impeccably dressed crowd including Chase Blackburn (NY Giants), Honorable Laurent Lamothe (Prime Minister of Haiti), Honorable Carlos Sada (Consul General of Mexico), Russell Simmons (Board Member), Judith Missoni, William Lauder, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Svetlana Nemcova, Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Archie Punjabi (The Good Wife), Vivienne Tam (Designer), Summer Rayne Oaks, Veronica Varekova, Alina Baikova, Linette and Matt Semino (Selling New York, TV legal, and Tie Domi (Hockey Player).
Upon arrival, guests were given their “passport” for the evening, and greeted by beverage bearing flight attendants (HFF was also fêting their recent United Airlines partnership) and a mariachi band. The Step and Repeat was packed with VIPs and photogs (including Patrick McMullan) throughout the cocktail hour where Mexican hors d’oeuvres circulated around the Mayan temple bar.
With help from sponsors Clinique, SNR DENTON, Sura, and United, Metropolitan Pavilion was transformed into interactive city displays. Guests got their passports stamped at a mini Rodin exhibit from Slim’s Mexico City museum, a Tabasco primary school classroom, in the Campeche jungle (complete with a live baby Puma), a food and craft market, and even an underwater Cancun museum scene. A mole tasting station transported authentic Mexican flavor prior to guests indulging in Chef Roberto Santibañez’s three course meal.
CNN Live anchor Nicole Lapin served as emcee for the evening where Warren G. Buffet was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his Foundation’s recent partnership with HHF to start work in Peru. The Estee Lauder Company President Lynne Greene accepted the Honored Partner award while Don Juan Beckmann Vidal, Chairman of Jose Cuervo, was presented the Heart of Gold Award for his Mexican philanthropic work.
Fittingly, Swiss art auctioneer and collector Simon de Pury helped raise nearly $2.2 million during the evening’s auction prior to Marc Anthony rocking the stage. Guests left with Clinique’s his and hers Happy Fragrances (including the new Happy Heart charitable perfume) and continued on to the after party at hotspot No. 8 (the nightclub formerly known as Bungalow 8) where the door was especially tight in true Bungalow fashion.
Photos via Patrick McMullan