Victoria’s Secrets: What a week it was…

Mayor Eric Adams helped me celebrate 30 years of recognizing Power Women.
Photo courtesy of East 27 Creative

With the 30th anniversary of Schneps Media’s Power Women events, I was delighted to celebrate the women we honored with an event on May 14 at the historic and iconic Gracie Mansion hosted by Mayor Eric Adams.

He kindly gave me a proclamation marking the event, but for me, the best part of the night was seeing our 200 guests meet and be photographed with the mayor. The delight on each person’s face was my delight. 

Rosanna Scotto, Victoria Schneps, Power Women of Grace honorees Jean Shafiroff, Leah Rambo and Megan Ryan. Photo courtesy of East 27 Creative

Beloved broadcaster Rosanna Scotto acted as the emcee of the evening and I got a surprise visit from Geraldo Rivera, my mentor in the news business and a hero to people with disabilities.

The guests helped me raise money for the historic home of mayors since 1942, which is now under the stewardship of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and its director, my old friend Rhonda Binda.

The mayor has appointed more women to high positions as commissioners than any mayor in New York City history and Laurie Cumbo, the city’s talented Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, spoke powerfully about the Power Women and their accomplishments.

A highlight of the night was to see on the screen all the women in the administration and the Power Women of Grace honorees Jean Shafiroff, Leah Rambo and Megan Ryan.

Lucky for us, Chioma Ohakam wrote and delivered a moving poem, titled “Woman of Grace.”

For every moment she raises her head

For every word she states

For each step she takes

For each smile she makes

For every twinkle in her eye

For every beat of her heart

For each embrace she gives

For she carries the world on her shoulders

For she is Queen of her domain

And she lives undeniably as the Woman of Grace 

It was a night for the memory books that will be stored in my heart forever!

Geraldo does it again

On May 13, Geraldo Rivera kicked off the 36th annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic benefiting Life’s WORC, the group I founded over 50 years ago.

Geraldo Rivera kicked off the 36th annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic benefiting Life’s WORC.

We honored the brilliant and powerful attorney Howard Festerman at the dinner and, in the morning, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman proclaimed May 13 as “Geraldo Rivera Day” in Nassau County and Babylon, where he was born, in honor of Rivera’s work as a legendary journalist on the infamous Willowbrook State School exposé. 

With Mike Billia (Life’s WORC CEO) and honoree Howard Festerman & Lynne Koufakis
Bruce Blakeman announces “Geraldo Rivera Day”

Joining Geraldo was his beautiful wife Erica and long time friend Bill O’Reilly.

The money raised is going to support a new Workforce Program for training people with special needs in work skills and will be launched soon in Garden City.

Lynne Koufakis, Mookie Wilson, Bill O’Reilly, Geraldo & Erica Rivera received gifts made by Life’s WORC clients

Even the sun supported the golfers with a spectacular day! It doesn’t get better than this!

An extraordinary show

Thanks to my friend, Broadway producer Wendy Federman, I was invited to go to opening night of “llinoise,” a dance musical featuring young dancers as actors and young actors as dancers. What an extraordinarily unique play it is!

“llinoise” features dancers as actors and actors as dancers. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The scenes featured dancers/actors on the stage with singers/musicians on a balcony providing the music. I kept waiting for the dancers to begin singing, but not a word was spoken by the 14 performers; instead, the extraordinary choreography told the story.

The simple stage sets help tell the vignettes of the writers’ struggles in life and in their craft. The music enhanced the show, but the night came alive watching each performer use their bodies to express the story. 

“llinoise” is an extraordinary and unique experience. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The three-act, masterfully crafted show by choreographer and director Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury was based on the music and lyrics of Sufjan Stevens and captured my heart and imagination.

After the performers received a thunderous standing ovation, the brilliant director came on stage to explain that his love of theatre was instilled by his dad, who took him to the theatre as a child. 

He was grateful to the producers who allowed him to follow his vision of creating this unique show.

Based on the roars of the audience, the producers and the director of “llinoise” should have a long run on Broadway. 

It was an extraordinary and unique experience. I loved it and I know you will too!

Love to you, my dear readers.