Bethesda Hospital Foundation Women of Grace honorees and their guests react to the unveiling of personalized windows at Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach. Each honoree had a window decorated representing her own style.
By Amy Woods
The Bethesda Hospital Foundation’s Women of Grace benefit not only will turn 14 this year, it also will turn a corner.
The annual luncheon that honors the female rock stars of volunteer service has moved to a new venue — the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach — and will emerge Nov. 13 with an added element of elegance.
“There’s quite a buzz about the event,” said Kristin Calder, the foundation’s director of communications and special events. “It’s really going to be amazing and over the top in a way that’s never been done before. Everybody is going to leave there really feeling loved.”
The fundraiser will debut with a poolside fashion show for VIP ticket holders in the Mar-a-Lago Club’s stately courtyard, featuring resort wear from event partner Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach. Guests can sip a welcome mimosa or glass of wine while admiring the couture.
A luncheon and awards presentation will follow the fashion show, and a guest list that numbers 500 is expected to raise more than $200,000.
“It’s grown every year, and we actually have outgrown the [former] Ritz-Carlton,” Calder said of the Manalapan resort that housed the luncheon for five years. “Moving to a new venue like Mar-a-Lago adds an exciting historical element to an already special event.”
The foundation’s partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue led to a clever and creative kickoff event in October, at which fashions inspired by Chairwoman Jacqueline Moroco Maloney and each of the five honorees were featured in individual windows in the Worth Avenue department store. The women selected special outfits to be displayed in the windows based on their personal styles, and attended a window unveiling reception with friends, family and the luncheon committee, posing for pictures with their windows.
The public can view the displays through the day of the luncheon Nov. 13.
“The pre-luncheon event [was] our special way to salute the five honorees and chairwoman of the Bethesda Foundation’s 2013 Women of Grace luncheon, by recognizing their individual contributions to the community in our historic windows on iconic Worth Avenue,” said Peter Schuette, the store’s general manager.
The surprise of the evening was not only the unveiling of the varied vignettes, but also the presence of aesthetics queen Tammy Fender. The holistic skin guru of the rich and famous mingled with guests, who got a preview of the Tammy Fender line of organic products, which will be part of the luncheon favors for each guest. Fender also will attend the luncheon.
“Kristin Calder and Tammy Fender both reached out to Saks Fifth Avenue Palm Beach for our partnership and support,” Schuette said. “Our specific role is to provide important in-kind service and elevate the experience of the luncheon attendees.”
If You Go
What: Women of Grace Luncheon to benefit the Bethesda Hospital Foundation
When: 10 a.m. Nov. 13
Where: The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach
Cost: $150 for general admission; $200 for VIP admission
Information: Call 737-7734 or visit bethesdahospital