A Frog House First Annual Gala 2023 Photo Journal

Anu Tanwar and Lindsay Graham in equally sparkling black. Do you think they planned it? Photo Credit, Jennifer Patterson Kelly.

Certainly The Frog House Gala on December 2nd was our crowning achievement, the first time we have attempted such an event. We can claim it as a great success, mostly due to lots of social media and some mighty Fine Fundraising by Friend to all and A Frog House Advisor Lindsay Graham, CEO of Car-Pal.  Anu gets credit for fanning the idea she and Lindsay had when they met actors Cadden Jones and Michael Schantz in Nantucket, and encouraging us to pull it off.

Our frequent volunteer photographer Jennifer Patterson Kelly.  It seems she got the sparkling black memo too!  Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

Are these guys coming or going? Let’s just say they are arriving, as I have picked it for the beginning of the blog. Photo Credit, Rob Corby.

This is the front entrance to the Century Club where each visitor signed in, and hopefully was introduced to others. The beautiful bouquet on the right were contributed by Gallea’s.

Those red shoes smack below the stairs belong to Grequan Carter. See more about Gre at the end of this journal. In front of Gre are Carter Remy and Denique Belcher, behind him are Dr. Xingua Cui and his son Sam, and behind the table are our Birthday Girl Lydia Brown, her boyfriend, hidden Patty Love (I have a full on photo of me with Patty, but her eyes were closed, so we can’t see her!), her partner David Schuh, and Kara Kotwas.

We were honored to have Unirondack friend and New York Times Senior Editor Alan Burdick (left), who had helped with Martin’s obituary, attend from Westchester County. Jim Moyle (center), and Robin Moyle (right) gathered around at Martin’s memorial table. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

Here is Alan speaking with our “biographer” Steve Howe, Weather, climate crisis and lake issues reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Steve wrote a great article about A Frog House and the Gala, which you can read here.

Many thanks to Madeline Ross for making the D&C connection.

Because my husband Martin had passed away just a month before, Lindsay had the brilliant idea to celebrate Martin’s and all life at this event. We had a lovely display with flowers (and frogs in them!), contributed by Robert Corby, photos of Martin from childhood through adulthood, a scrapbook of Martin’s many articles as a film critic from the Toronto Film Festival, one of his many journals, his high school yearbook, and a box of very old fashioned 3 dimensional photos with a stereographic viewer.

Janet Krause is always enthusiastic about many things and people, but she particularly loved Martin. She enjoyed leafing through his photograph album, as well as reading some of his journal pages. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

My cuz Paul Earle was the Beau of the Ball and made friends with everyone, including Joyce Lindley, with their conversation carrying on from table to table. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

Lindsay was a busy beaver, not only taking photos all evening, but dragging people from one place to another to meet other friends. Does Sandra Frankel travel in the same circle as Ken and Carolyn Sullivan or did they just meet? Photo Credit Lindsay Graham

Here we are graced by Bill and Kim Taylor in the reception hall. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham. People, not realizing what a feast was awaiting them in addition to the hors d’oevres, were quite busy in the bars, one place of libation behind the Taylors, and the other off to the right.

Michelle and Mark Brown, with Maggie Everhart, Donna Payne, et moi in the background.

We were lucky to have run into our old friends Mark and Michelle Brown at Basha’s the night before, because, God-incidentally or FROG-incidentally, neither had opened their email. As it turned out, December 2 is their daughter Lydia’s birthday, and they hadn’t decided what to do for her. She was delighted with the idea and brought her boyfriend as well.  (See second photo above)

Anu Tanwar, Donna Payne, and Kunal Tanwar sip their drinks while the other attendees enjoy the amazing food au table. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

Here’s the same scene from the other side of the room.  Mark Payne has rejoined Donna with his food.

Far side of table from left to right: Joyce Nakada, Dave Ferguson, Denique Belcher, Gre Carter, Carter Remy, Dr. Marcia Krebs (front right) and Dr. Raman Qazi. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham.

We were so so happy to have Raman and his wife, Dr. Savita Puri, because we hadn’t gotten together with them for too long. During my medical school years in 1981, I had met doing a rotation in oncology, and along with everyone else who came within his presence, fell in love with him.

In 1998, when Martin had his first cancer, Raman was gracious enough to take care of Martin through a miraculous recovery from a perforated colon and metastases throughout his abdomen. Raman and Martin were particularly good friends, doing a film series together at Gilda Club.

Marcia had gotten to know Raman a little better when six of us went out to Thali of India for Martin’s birthday dinner. Marcia also works in oncology at the University of Rochester, and said Raman always was her best advocate.

Raman was  beloved by all; there was even a half mast ceremony for him at the University of Rochester. We were devastated to learn just a week after the Gala that he had died suddenly.  Life. It is precious and fleeting.

Naturally I was planning to have my own two cents worth at the end on Climate Change and Mental Health, which I presented in the form of question and answer. Photo Credit, Mark Wochner.

Ever-loyal former Village Mayor Robert Corby didn’t know he would be asking the questions. While everyone was enjoying the food downstairs, here we are rehearsing in one of the upstairs rooms. Rob looked at the script for two minutes and said “sure!”

Gala Margot on Stairs.heic

And naturally I had to make a super grand entrance, pretending to be Dolly (listen to the Hello Dolly title song here). Photo Credit Lindsay Graham.

I don’t know about Rob, but I didn’t get one bite to eat of food everyone raved about.

An attentive audience listens to Bill Smith’s remarks. The musician team sits in the front row. From left to right, our performers: Alex Lo, Michael Schantz, and Cadden Jones. Photo Credit, Lindsay Graham

A close-up view of the crowd. Why is my cousin Paul the only one looking this way?  Photo Credit, Robert Corby.

Alex Lo on the piano and Cadden Jones at the mic, performing “The Way You Wear Your Hat” in honor of Martin’s life. A painting of young Martin, painted by Margot, sits next to the piano. I am proud to say Bill Smith mistook it for a photograph. Photo Credit, Rob Corby.

Grequan Carter, founder of Eye of Nature Coaching and president of Respite and Restoration at Lagom Landing was inspired to share one of his poems, which provided the perfect closing. Unfortunately, I can’t find a photo of him at the microphone.

Remember his red shoes in the beginning? Apparently, Gre likes red, because here he is with his beautiful fiancé, Denique Belcher, who came with him to the Gala.  She is equally creative and they partner on children’s books.

The  2023 AFH team at our Mental Health and Climate Change Fundraising Gala. Left to right, Wynn Thompson, Payton Carroll, Madeleine Ross, Iyanna Rogers, Rey Sunglao, Bonnie Garner, Thompson Marinho, Margot Fass, Robert Corby, Paul Earle, Sandra Frankel, Bill Smith, Katherine Dennison. A few board members and volunteers missing. It’s the first time I have been able to get practically our whole team of our board, advisors, consultants, interns, volunteers, and even my cousin Paul Earle, in from Chicago, in one photo. Of course, Ms. Lindsay had disappeared by then. Photo Credit, Richard Moon.

We had 75 attendees, 40 of whom were sponsored by generous donations from others. We had our best fundraising event ever. While I may not have featured or named every one of you who participated, as Stevie Wonder almost sang “I just [wrote] to say ‘I love you [each and everyone] ’… and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”.  His true words here:  Enjoy!