Victoria’s Secrets: A week of celebrations

With Donna Lanzetta, Sam Orih, Donna Schneier & Cherie Christmas

The week began as a party week, but turned into a celebration of a different kind after the return of the hostages from Gaza.

As a mother of four, I felt the elation, relief, appreciation and thankfulness of the parents who got their loved ones back! The heroic soldiers — including one who lost his life — successfully carried out the rescue mission that took months in the planning.

The hostages are innocent people who were grabbed from their homes and hidden among civilian Palestinians — how sad! But thankfully, the brilliant IDF forces brought them home!

War is ugly and sadly innocent people die, as they did when Pearl Harbor was attacked and we fought back! 

Ironically, last Sunday I got to meet two Israelis on a mission to create The American Friends of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center.

The Center commemorates those in Israel’s Mossad, Shin Bet and IDF (similar to our FBI and CIA), such as Dr. Eyal Hulata — who I dubbed the “Israeli James Bond” and was formerly an Israeli National Security Advisor and is now the Senior International Fellow in Washington, D.C.  —  and Igal Zaidenstein, head of the Commemoration Center, which was first created in 1985. 

They spoke before multiple groups during their three-day visit to New York to build the visibility of the new “American Friends” arm of the Center. I had the privilege to interview them both on my A-Lister Podcast. Tune in for our remarkable interview wherever you get your podcasts. 

On Tuesday night, at the beautiful Giorgio’s Baiting Hollow, the Dress for Success Brookhaven organization honored me and Karla Waldron, the executive director of Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Foundation.

I was honored to be honored at the Dress for Success Brookhaven gala.

The event was an opportunity to raise money for an organization that not only supplies women with clothing, but also trains them to do job interviews and write resumes as part of their effort to get back into the workforce.

Empowering women is what I do — for 30 years I’ve celebrated women by putting the spotlight on them at our Power Women events.

If you know a successful woman, our next event is the Dan’s Power Women of the East End on Aug. 8. You can nominate by visiting schnepsmedia.com/events/dans-power-women-of-the-east-end-2.

The following evening, Long Island University President Kim Cline celebrated the first graduating class from their College of Veterinary Medicine at a gala at the Plaza in Manhattan. 

Mary Cassai and Kim Cline at the LIU gala

Congratulations on this extraordinary success!

Later in the week, my Fire Island News team put together a wonderful party in Ocean Beach for me to meet people in that community.

I took the ferry there with clouds looming over me, but within minutes of my arrival, the sun miraculously burst out of the clouds! 

My daughter Elizabeth and I at the Fire Island party.
Ocean Beach Association (OBA) Board Member Beth Berns, OBA President Maria Silsdorf & her husband, Ocean Beach Village Trustee Ian Levine
Fire Island News Publisher Craig Low (c.) flanked by Nicole Mosca (l.) and Julia Paone from Northwell Health

It was a glorious afternoon of good people and good food at Scott Levine’s Island Mermaid restaurant overlooking the harbor. What sensational views from his windows and patio!

To cap off my week, I had the great joy of seeing my granddaughter Sloane turn 9 and perform in “Newsies” with her theatre group. I may be her grandmother, but I know for sure that a star is born!

A star is born! My granddaughter Sloane in the “Newsies” show on her birthday weekend.

What a week it was!