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The Hot List

From event-planning and fabulous florals to the newest causes around, here are 10 things abuzz in Silicon Valley philanthropy.

SLIDESHOW

Ideas Event Styling

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Drew Altizer Photography

Photo: By Natalie Schrik for Drew Altizer

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Urban Botanica

Photo: Kelly Vorves

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Part the Cloud

Tony Bennett set a high bar singing at the first Part the Cloud in 2012, and other fine artists have followed.

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Jeffrey

The space, once occupied by a palm-dotted Polo Ralph Lauren, is now a minimalist shrine to designer apparel.

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Rodin by Moonlight

Dining amid the Rodins. What's not to love?

 

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Under One Umbrella 

Philanthropist Lisa Goldman, between Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, at 2017’s Under One Umbrella cancer benefit

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American Friends of the Rainbow Railroad

Photo: Courtesy of Seth Rosenberg

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Butter Paddle

Photo: Courtesy of Butter Paddle

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Park James Hotel

The Park James courtyard holds 400.

Photo: Courtesy of Park James Hotel

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1. Event Planner Du Jour
Silicon Valley philanthropists on Bay Area fine-arts boards know firsthand that J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas Event Styling creates all-out glamor for gala nights. For a French-themed San Francisco Opera Ball, he brought in models wearing hoop skirts and Marie Antoinette wigs to walk live poodles; for the San Francisco Ballet’s Cinderella gala, he created a fairy tale coach and dinner tables lush with florals— and clocks ticking the stroke of midnight. He’s done corporate work for Google and private equity firm Accel-KKR, and residential clients have enlisted him to assist with winter holiday decor. The hallmark of his style? Details, details, details. 71 Stevenson St., Ste. 400, San Francisco –Catherine Bigelow

2. Best Photographer
Want your event to get headlines? No one comes close to Drew Altizer Photography. The self-taught Altizer has 18 people shooting up to 80 events per month. His clients book him to share photos with the media, but his website is where curiosity- seekers go to see how people looked and, more importantly, to figure out why they weren’t invited. –Carolyne Zinko

3. Premier Petals
For visual poetry, few florists create arrangements as naturally harmonic or as riveting as Urban Botanica. Located in Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Guild complex—in the former studio of legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, no less—Urban Botanica is a favorite of savvy hostesses, corporate receptionists, brides-to-be and event chairs for its inspired floral masterpieces. Trending now, says owner Lisa Berlin-Solberg, is Tulipina, a style she describes as dripping with drama and energy, perfect for decadent private parties and star-power weddings. 75 Arbor Road –Laura Ness

4. Celebrity Cachet
Michaela Hoag’s Part the Cloud, a biennial black- tie benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association, which funds research on drugs for human trials, is a big lure in Silicon Valley, even without its star power. The brain, after all, is key to innovative ideas. Since 2012, Tony Bennett, Brooke Shields, Virginia Madsen, Seth Rogen, Ashley Campbell (daughter of Alzheimer’s sufferer Glen Campbell) and Broadway star Idina Menzel have lent their talents to the cause. A luncheon is held alternate years; the next is Feb. 29 at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club. –CZ

5. Designer Dressing
East Coast retailer Jeffrey Kalinsky’s new Jeffrey at Stanford Shopping Center is the talk of the social set for its selection of Céline, Gucci, Dries van Noten and other designers, and just may save highly particular shoppers a trip to Beverly Hills or New York for a gala gown nobody else will have. Palo Alto –CZ

6. Best Arts Gala
Stanford’s biennial Rodin by Moonlight at the Cantor Art Museum (museum.stanford.edu) is the most elegant party and setting around, with drinks and dinner amid the Rodin Sculpture Garden, the largest collection outside the Rodin Museum in Paris. The event’s name will change to Museums by Moonlight for next year’s dinner Sept. 28. –CZ

7. Noted Anniversary
The Stanford Women’s Cancer Center celebrates the 10th anniversary of its annual Under One Umbrella fundraiser with a gala at Bing Concert Hall Feb. 27. Led by Atherton philanthropist Lisa Goldman, the format changes from lunch to dinner, but features the same star power that guests have come to expect each year, this time with couples Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, and Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman as celebrity guests. Since the event’s founding in 2009, the Oscar-winning Kidman has been a major supporter thanks to Stanford Dr. Jonathan Berek, who treated the actress’ mother when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year’s sold-out luncheon raised $1.8 million, and during the past decade, the event has raised more than $48 million for research, treatment and wellness. Sponsorships $25,000-$100,000 per table, 327 Lasuen St., 650.725.0644, nikkimancini@stanford.edu –CB

8. One to Watch
Former Facebook manager Seth Rosenberg helped bring the Messenger app to phones. Now a venture capitalist, he’s building anew with the American Friends of the Rainbow Railroad. The Jewish 28-year-old, who understands the concept of persecution, was behind the launch in San Francisco last year of the first U.S. chapter of this Canadian nonprofit. Gay people are provided safe passage from countries where homosexuality is illegal or punishable by death, for some $10,000 per person. The group’s second annual fundraiser is slated for Dec. 8. Tickets $100 –CZ

9. Retail Giving
As the fundraising arm for Uplift Family Services, every gift from the Butter Paddle provides mental health and social services to children and families in crisis in Santa Clara County. Since its debut in 1967 as the county’s first gourmet kitchen store, the all-volunteer- run shop has evolved to include distinctive gifts in all price ranges—like Annieglass’ blissful Bali collection and the elemental elegance of Nambé serveware— complete with custom wrapping. Give joyfully, knowing it will truly make a difference. 33 N Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.395.1678 –LN

10. New Venue
Menlo Park has a new high-end spot for business and social gatherings: the 61-room Park James Hotel, with interiors by Steph Curry’s favorite designer and featuring masculine, earth-hued decor synced with high-tech amenities. An outdoor courtyard accommodates up to 400 guests, and on-site farm-to-fork restaurant Oak + Violet serves up gourmet fare and cocktails like the El Camino, Southside and Pacific Mule. King suites at Park James feature 180-degree panoramic views, Frette linens, MoMo toiletries, in-room coffee (featuring the Bay Area’s best roasters), and curated minibars. In- room tablets and digital entry pads offer one-touch comfort control. Rooms ($319 to $899 per night) boast oversize windows that open to the outdoors, letting in mountain breezes. Already a favorite with corporate clients, this new hot spot should also be conducive to liquid diplomacy. 1400 El Camino Real –LN

 

Originally published in the December issue of Silicon Valley

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