Philanthropist Noreen Drexel Honored by Newport Hospital

The opulent tent at Wakehurst

It was an elegant, early evening affair, reminiscent of a garden party at an old English Manor house, as Newport Hospital honored philanthropist Noreen Stonor Drexel at Wakehurst, the former home of James van Alen (founder of Newport, RI's International Tennis Hall of Fame) on the campus of Salve Regina University.


And to complete the international illusion, Lady Sarah Campbell and her husband Lord Campbell arrived, along with Georgina Stonor, Mrs. Drexel's cousin, bringing their marvelous accents along with them. Daughter Nonie Drexel and Mrs. Drexel's grandson Finn O'Farrell were there to applaud.

Mary & David Bush Brown

The tent itself was reminiscent of Camelot, enormous and pointed. (Dare we say "turreted"?) Outside, the cocktail reception had spilled down from the terrace of the mansion, and convivial conversation reigned.

The evening was a tribute to Noreen Drexel, a Newport and Palm Beach resident who has dedicated herself to charitable causes, including Newport Hospital's Birthing Center, named for her. Salve Regina's Our Lady of Mercy Chapel  was endowed by Mrs. Drexel this year, as well.

Among the five hundred guests was Bill Cunningham, the peripatetic social reporter of the New York Times, scampering to get his photos "before the light fades." Mr. Cunningham was the subject of a recent documentary film. Shannon Donnelly of the Palm Beach Shiny Sheet was seen with her camera.


Dennis Cook & Allan Bernstein entertained

Committee members for the event included Mary and Tom Gilbane, Sarah and Bernard Gewirz, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, Donald Christ, Jane and Bob Grace, Ruth Buchanan Wheeler, Joanne and Henry Breyer, Dale Mercer, Ann and Matt Hamilton, Jane Smith, Michael Sullivan, Maureen Donnell, Mary van Pelt, Kate and Jimmy Gubelmann, Jane Smith, Carolyn and David Brodsky, and Alice Lynch. Chaired by Gladys Szapary, overall planning members included The Honorable Juliette McLennan, Stephanie McLennan, Kim Herrlinger, Linda Gordon, Dorienne Farzan, Andrea Breyer, Donald Christ, Mary Lou Daly, David and Christy Elwell, David Ford, Sister Jane Gerety, Paula Murray, Kathy Ross, Alice Ross, Diana Slocum, Jeffrey and Cathy Siegal, and Mary Van Pelt.


Hugh D. "Yusha" Auchincloss was there, in deepest conversation, as was Roger King,  Gus Cordeiro of Newport Hospital,  George and Nanette Herrick, Judy McLennan, Jane Smith and daughter, Jerry and Diana Bitting, and Governor Donald Carcieri and wife Sue.


Karen & Stuart Bevan


A lovely dinner was served, and after the speeches, and Mrs. Drexel's sweet acceptance, a live auction ensued. The five hundred guests  (notice the number has swelled from the historic 400?) had a marvelous time, and the evening concluded rather promptly at 10:00 p.m.




Tom Gilbane & Carolyn Cordeiro

Rear Admiral John Christenson & Mrs. Christenson

Kristine Hendrickson & Roger King

Dorienne & Muhamad Farzan with friends

Friend & Stephanie McLennan

Patricia & Torre Peterson

Libations on the lawn

Kate Leonard, Jerry & Diana Slocum

The New York Times' Bill Cunningham, on the job

Jae French with Steve & Diana Lewinstein

Cocktails outside the Wakehurst tent

Evening cocktails on the Wakehurst mansion terrace

Parvi & Steve Horan, Lisa Armstrong, Alison & Ted Kutcher

Norman Beretta & Peter Rector

Louis Fazzano & Constance Evrard

Readying the tent for the sit down dinner

Elegant table setting

Nonie Drexel, Finn O'Farrell, & honoree Noreen Drexel

Mrs. Drexel, Donald Christ & Gladys Szapary

Suzy & Jay Schochet with Sarah & Richard Henken

Mrs. Drexel & Gladys Szapary discussing the tribute

Georgina Stonor speaks with Linda Gordon


Lady Sarah Campbell greeting Nonie Drexel


Teal Aroy, Philip Bilden, Ross & Leah Cann


Gus Cordeiro of Newport Hospital


Bill Harvey, Bart Grimes, Don Kaull & Paul Parchesney


David Gordon & Doris Feinberg


George Herrick, David Mann & Lord Campbell


Norey Cullen, Matt Hamilton & Mary Hayes


Oatsie Charles arrives!


Dale Mercer, Yusha Auchincloss & friend


Nanette Herrick & Judy McLennan


Sydnor Settle & Noel Settle


Mr. & Mrs. Matt Dick


Carolyn & Robert Silva with Governor Donald Carcieri


J.C. Keefe, Ruth Buchanan & Jane Smith arriving


David Thalmann & Didi Wilsey


Sitting down to dinner


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