Pomp, Pageantry and Philanthropy Inform International Red Cross Ball in Palm Beach

Singer Cole Rumbough

It was a study in red, and diplomats and decorum were the hallmarks of the 56th Annual International Red Cross Ball, a white tie event of the highest purpose, held at The Breakers in Palm Beach recently.

The flag of the International Red Cross, a red cross on a field of white, is the color-reversed flag of Switzerland, and reflects the universality and neutrality of the charity, knowing no borders or national loyalties, and aiding victims of war and natural disaster throughout the world.

Over 450 guests arrived for the elegant evening, which began with a receiving line in the Mediterranean Room of The Breakers for the Ambassadors from Iceland, Indonesia, Morocco, Portugal, The Netherlands and Singapore and their spouses, the space bathed in red light. Honorary Chairman of the event, former Ambassador to Barbados Mary M. Ourisman wore a stunning red gown, as did the ladies of the committee, including the Honorable Mary V. Mochary, who gave a stirring address to dinner guests about the work of the organization. American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern and Chairman of the Board Bonnie McElveen-Hunter welcomed guests.  Co-chairmen were Paula Butler, Trish Donnelley, Darlene Jordan, Amanda Schumacher, Kathryn Vecellio, and Rhonda Wilkins,


Ambassador Stuart Bernstein  with Regine and Commissioner

William J. Diamond

A Marine honor guard escorted each of the Ambassadors and Committee members into the ballroom, quite fitting, as The Red Cross was originally formed in 1863 in the aftermath of a European war to care for wounded and sick soldiers without regard to nationality or national loyalty. As countries joined The Red Cross, the efforts expanded to include relief for victims of natural disasters.


Washington and Palm Beach come together for this event each year.
This year's Honoree was Mrs. Dina Merrill Hartley, whose mother, Marjorie Merriweather Post, founded the Ball, originally held in her estate Mar-a-Lago. In attendance was young singer Cole Rumbough (the great-grandson of Ball founder Mrs. Post) and grandson of Dina Merrill Hartley, together with his entire family from Greenwich, Connecticut: parents Stanley and Leah Rumbough, and attractive sisters Siena, 

Allegra and Kiera.  Mr. Rumbough sang with the Peter Duchin Orchestra, as the ladies in red danced for the cause.

His ExcellencyAmbassador Dr. Dino Patti Djalal & Dr. Rosa Rai Djalal

of Indonesia in the receiving line

A short film of people helped through terrible situations by The Red Cross was a moving testament to the organization. Co-chairmen  were Paula Butler, Trish Donnelley, Darlene Jordan, Amanda Schumacher, Kathryn Vecellio, and Rhonda Wilkins, The Honorable Mary V. Mochary, The Honorable Nancy Ellison Rollnick, The Honorable William D. Rollnick, and The Honorable Beverly White Yeager. Associate chairmen Mr. and Mrs. Matthew T. Mellon II were unable to attend due to a flight cancellation, and expected NewPalmers Angela Moore and Gary Moore were called away to an emergency.


The evening was a stately and stunning homage for the international charity, graced by its guests.


The receiving line for the Ambassadors

Newport Seen talked with Shannon Donnelly, of the Palm Beach Shiny Sheet, Chris Meigher, publisher of Quest Magazine and the New York Social Diary, polo  player Rene Black and  Ambassador Dr.Dino Pati Djalal of Indonesia.


The seated dinner included lobster appetizers, filet of beef Rossini with foie gras, and a selection of dessers, all decorated in red, and served in an adjoining room.


                                                        --Linda Phillips


The International Red Cross Mission Statement: "To inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies, with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world".



His Excellency the  Ambassador of Iceland Gudmundur A. Stefansson

and wife in the receiving line

Ambassador from Singapore, Ashok Mirpuri and wife

The cocktail hour

Musicians playing during cocktails

GySgt. Hattman,A., GySgt. Reichling, T., GySgt. Bernier, C. &

Ssgt Brtitzman, A., of the 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company

Diana Guber

Paula Wilkin, Sarah Evans and Amanda Schumacher

Beverly White Yeager, Honoray Chair & Michael Lee

Portuguese Ambassador Bill Told & wife Jane Told

His Excellency the Ambassador of the Netherlands Rudolph Bekink

&Mrs. Bekink 

Veronica Atkins, Herme deWyman Miro & friend

Cocktail crowd

A beautiful table

Two glamorous dresses


Vaulted, lighted ceiling at The Breakers

Kimberly Walko, Jennifer Susko, Rebecca Lobretto & Sarah

Hennis, military wives

Peter Duchin with polo  player Rene Black

Sandy Thompson, Ann Johnson & Allie Hanley

Ambassador Gian Campagnola, wife Johana, Ken Aspromonte

Dinner is served:  a sennet

The Peter Duchin Orchestra warming up

From Greenwich, CT, the Rumbough family



Cole Rumbough with his mother, Leah

Siena & Kiera Rumbough

Sabrina Forsythe with Chris Bickford

Leah Rumbough and Sabrina Forsythe

Allegra, Kiera, Cole & Siena Rumbough, with cousin Phoebe Fitz

Tweed Mcelveen Bogache & Bill Bogache

Photographer Annie Watt shooting for Time Magazine & Fairfield

County Look.com

Jean Shafiroff & Christine Schott

The Honorable Stuart A. Bernstein, Chief of Protocol


The Honor Guard


His Excellency the Ambassador of Indonesia Dr. Dino Patti Djalal &

Dr. Rosa Rai Djalal


His Excellency the Ambassador of Portugal Nuno Brito & Mrs. Brito


His Excellency the Ambassador of Iceland & Mrs. Gudmundur

A. Stefansson


The Ambassador of the kingdom of Morocc & Mrs. Rachad



The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands & Mrs.

Rudolph Bekink


President of the American Red Cross Gail J. McGovern


The Honorable Mary V. Mochary



Trish Donnelley, Co-Chair


Rhonda Wilkins, Ball Co-chair


The Honorable Mary M Ourisman, General Chairman,

addressing guests


Making a salient point


Dining in style at The Breakers


 Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the American Red Cross


A touching film about the Red Cross' international work,

each day serving over 80 million families


A victim of a natural disaster thanks the Red Cross


The attentive dinner audience


Dancing to the Peter Duchin Orchestra


The entryway to the Breakers' Venetian Room


Honoree Dina Merrill












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