10 People, Parties, and Brands Making a Splash in Boston's Philanthropy Scene

| November 30, 2017 | Culture

Who is excelling in the Boston philanthropic world? We’ve got the top-secret scoop.

1. ONE TO WATCH: DR. TRICIA ROSE

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Optometrist Dr. Tricia Rose believes that clear vision is an undeniable human right, especially for kids. In a partnership with the Mayor’s Educational Task Force and Boston Public Schools, Rose is committed to providing free vision screenings and free glasses to all children in the school system who need them. The doctor will go to four schools this year and plans to increase that number each year. In an effort to spread the word about the program, she launched high-profile Visionaries, a photographic campaign (shot by Kerry Brett) with area VIPs like Jamie Bissonnette and Linda Holliday sporting eyeglasses from her business, Envision Optometry. envisionbostongiving.org

2. BEST PARTY: THE BOSTON BALLET BALL

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It’s hardly a stretch that a killer dance party would involve professional dancers, but classical ballet is one thing and bustin’ a move on the dance floor is another. Yet, year after year, one of the biggest and best parts of this legendary dance company’s signature annual fundraiser is the insanely awesome BB dancer-led dance party that ensues post-programming. The black-tie event (Feb. 10) also features cocktails, dinner, live auctions and actual performances by dancers of the Boston Ballet. Pace yourself and make sure to stick around all night to see even the stiffest of Brahmins boogie down. bostonballet.org

3. POWER PLAYER: ASHLEY BERNON

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Talking about your menstrual cycle or labor complications isn’t exactly appropriate cocktail party fodder. Yet somehow, Ashley Bernon has managed to make women’s health fashionable at swanky events and beyond. The mother of two is a tireless champion for Beth Israel Hospital’s Division of Labor and Delivery, where she had both of her children. From a party with InStyle and Burberry to an exclusive Vogue-sponsored dinner at Yvonne’s, Bernon gathers Boston’s best and brightest to raise funds for women’s health. She has also helped create a women’s task force with the hospital of powerful female ambassadors and ran the Boston Marathon this past year on behalf of the hospital. bidmc.org

4. MOST ENTERTAINING: BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION HOT PINK PARTY

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Long gone are the days of supercial pleasantries at charity events. Now, people want authentic experiences and to party like (and with) rock stars. e Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Boston Hot Pink Party never disappoints. From human disco ball dancers to private performances byJon Bon Joviand Nile Rogers, e Pink Maa know how to throw a good party. Boston is the second-largest concentration of BCRF funding in the country, and in October, BCRF awarded more than $8 million to 37 researchers from New England’s premier academic medical institutions; to date, BCRF has funded over $73 million in area research. bcrf.org

5. YOUR NEW GO-TO FOT BLACK-TIE EVENT GOWNS AND COCKTAILS DRESSES: FIRAS YOUSIF DESIGNS

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Yousif launched his eponymous special occasion line five years ago and has made a successful business making brides blush on their big day. While he did the occasional mother-of-thebride or wedding party dress, he recently launched a capsule collection of customizable ready-to-wear dresses in a limited size run. Think stunning handembroidered silk and intricate beadwork. HUB stylists are making their way to Yousif’s Newbury Street showroom to score semicouture threads for their elite clients. While Yousif says that bridalwear will always be his first love, his new evening gowns currently make up 50 percent of the brand’s overall business. Prices start at about $1,500. firasyousiforiginals.com

6. BEST MAKEOVER: DRESS FOR SUCCESS BOSTON

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Sometimes those who give makeovers need a makeover. Dress for Success Boston is dedicated to empowering women to achieve economic independence by giving them professional attire, development tools and networking support.On March 1, the organization is reinventing its biggest annual fundraising event by hosting STYLE + SOUL, a fashion show fundraiser at e Ritz-Carlton, Boston. Area media mavens like Kennedy Elsey, Jackie Bruno-Finley and Shayna Seymour will rock the runway in discoinspired duds, then schmooze with more than 300 guests over cocktails, nibbles, makeovers and more. boston.dressforsuccess.org

7. BEST LUNCHEON OF THE SEASON: PARTY IN THE PARK
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Every spring, hundreds of Boston gals (and a handful of gents) don stylish chapeaus to attend the most anticipated charity luncheon of the season, Party in the Park. Underneath the sea of fabulous fascinators are devoted women on a mission to preserve Boston’s largest park system. This year, co-chairs Kathleen McIntyre, Ellie Cornish Chu, Elena Matlack, Julie Hume Gordon, Holly Safford and Danielle Frissell, and a gigantic committee, are moving the event to a new location—Franklin Park, the “crown jewel” of the Olmstead-designed outdoor space. The timing of the move coincides with the projected completion of the Casey Arborway Project, which will reconnect the Arborway and Emerald Necklace via a greenway. emeraldnecklace.org

8. HOT INDUSTRY INITIATIVE: PEAK GIVES

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Earlier this year, the events industry received some major news: A merger and acquisition united Peterson Party Center, Rentals Unlimited and Table Toppers to create PEAK Event Services—a New England go-to for party rentals and the biggest game in town. As creative director for PEAK Event Services and co-founder of its RESERVE division, Nilda Martin overseas buying, creation, art direction and event design with key partners and clients. Martin also heads up Peak Gives, the company’s charitable wing. Through the initiative, employees get paid to volunteer for their favorite charity; the company has donated over $500,000 in cash and in-kind donations to various organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Share Our Strength. peakeventservices.com

9. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: FLYING KITES

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Boston-based Flying Kites will celebrate a decade of schooling orphaned and critically poor kids in Kenya at a Nov. 16 event at the State Room. The organization has grown from a small school for vulnerable children to a community-based movement impacting thousands of rural Kenyans. They group is on track to raise $2 million this year. Other landmark moments include the opening of an Alex + Ani dorm on its campus this month, breaking ground on new classrooms and opening a Nutrition and Teacher Training Center. Founder Leila de Bruyne has also hosted Mount Kilimanjaro climbs with notable Bostonians to raise awareness. flyingkites.org

10: CHARITY BUZZ: PUBLIC ART

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Public art projects are popping up all over Boston thanks to various organizations, including Now + ere, a nonprot dedicated to creating powerful public art projects. e group’s catchy name comes from the fact that its conversation-starting projects are site-specic and temporary. The privately funded arts organization is painting the town red—and green and blue and purple, and well, you get the idea. e latest endeavor is a playful new mural, “Patterned Behavior,” created by Silvia López Chavez and funded by the Esplanade Association. nowandthere.org



Photography by: DR. TRICIA ROSE PHOTO BY KERRY BRETT; BOSTON BALLET PHOTO BY MICHAEL BLANCHARD