Mayor's Fund fete to draw crowd - some will be made of wax

The Baltimore Sun

A FEW years ago when my birthday raised around $265,000 for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York, I never dreamed Mike Bloomberg, his board and I were going to make charitable fund-raising history.

Few New Yorkers had ever heard of this discretionary fund back then. Recently, an online guide, Charity Navigator, named the Mayor's Fund the No. 1 "slam dunk" nation's charity. The four-star rating was based on fiscal management, overall organizational efficiency and capacity. Charity Navigator investigated more than 5,000 other charities. The board of the Mayor's Fund, made up of 47 generous, dedicated citizens under Rob Speyer, deserves credit.

On Oct. 2 at 73rd & Lexington in a Carey Maloney/Hermes Mallea balloon-decorated tent, the annual (it's only four years old) Fete de Swifty cocktail party kicks off. The mayor's choice for the funds - to establish more domestic violence shelters.

Madame Tussaud is lending us a few celebrities in wax. Swifty's restaurant is prepping the feast and the famed Glorious Food offers up a handsome raw bar. The Statue of Liberty will be there with her torch. We have Starr African Rum, Snow Queen Vodka, Brooklyn Brewery beer, plus Prosper Maufoux wine. Estee Lauder does the gift bags and Quest magazine and the N.Y. Social keep their eye on us so you may turn up in their pages.

If you can't attend, we'd still love your help. Or go to from Sept. 25 to Oct. 11 and bid on some of the silent auction items like tickets to Oscar de la Renta's 2008 fashion show, Bobbi Brown makeup sessions, American Airlines tickets, Me & Ro gold and diamond pendants, etc.

If you join the Fete de Swifty effort, you'll be chiming in on the No. 1 charity effort in the United States, along with our chairs, the gorgeous Nicole Kidman and sports aces Muhammad Ali and Joe Torre.

Reason to get up early

A beleaguered CBS News, fending off critiques of placing Katie Couric in the evening anchor chair, may have just dealt itself a winning hand. You saw that Les Moonves has hired one Shelley Ross to be the new producer for the third place CBS The Early Show and she settled into place yesterday morning with her usual panache and dynamism.

Not that she ever "settles" actually. Ms. Ross, wed to the famous music producer David Simone of "Who Let the Dogs Out" fame, is renowned as a "take no prisoners" kind of competitor. She is widely credited with having helped catapult ABC's Good Morning America into the competitive ranks before the network decided she was too much trouble to keep on the ranch.

Now she'll double, triple her efforts to launch Julie Chen's morning show into a major competition with GMA and the Today show. (The adorable Ms. Chen is Mrs. Moonves in real life.)

You can also be sure that Shelley will be using Katie Couric to excellent news effect in guesting along with Julie. This will be a morning scrap worth watching.

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