A Philanthropic Soirée, French Heritage Society’s 2023 Fall Gala Kick-Off

October 31, 2023

French Heritage Society will host its annual Gala Dinner Dance at the University Club in New York City on November 16th, 2023.

This year, the non-profit will honor award-winning architect Gil Schafer III. The author of two bestselling books, The Great American House and A Place to Call Home, Gil is a member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and winner of Veranda’s “Art of Design Award.” This highly anticipated, black-tie affair will have music and dancing provided by the Alex Donner Orchestra.

On Wednesday, October 25th, 2023, FHS kicked off its busy gala season with festive cocktails hosted by FHS Board Member and former FHS Gala honoree and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff at her residence. Remarks were given by Jean Shafiroff, as well as FHS Chairman Elizabeth Stribling and Gala Honoree, Gil Schafer III. Guests were further delighted to see New York State Congresswoman Rebecca Seawright present Elizabeth Stribling, Jean Shafiroff and Gil Schafer III with certificates of recognition from New York State for their contributions and service to the French Heritage Society.

Esteemed guests included FHS Board Members CeCe Black, Judy McLaren, and Kazie Metzger Harveyas well as Alixandra and Stuart Baker, Susan and Jerry Baker, Tomaczek Bednarek, Bettina Bennett, Lee Black, Liliana Cavendish, Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, Jennifer Farrell, Vincent Festa, GiGi Fisdell, Maria and Kenneth Fishel, Meera Gandhi, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Dr. Penny Grant, FHS Executive Director Jennifer Herlein, Sylvia Hemingway, Dr. Claudine Holt, Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson, Margo Morton Langenberg, Valerie A.E. Lettan, Vicky McLoughlin, Robert Murray, Sue Phillips, Guy Robinson, Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, Courtnay Schafer, Patricia and Thomas Shiah, Elizabeth Steimberg, Miss VanBuren-Brown, Julissa Tudor, Allison Baroness von Arnim, David Weiner, Andrew Werner, among others.

Here are some of the photographs from the event:

The French Heritage Society or Harlem’s Schomburg Society, philanthropy is the next step in changing societies.

French Heritage Society

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French Heritage Society (FHS) is an American nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the French architectural and cultural legacy in France and the United States.  Our generous patrons help us ensure that these treasures survive to inspire future generations by supporting the three key areas of our mission – Preservation, Education and Cultivation of French-American Friendship.


FHS raises funds to support the preservation of culturally and historically significant French architecture in France and the U.S.  To date, FHS has awarded nearly $15 million in grants to over 670 châteaux, historic properties and gardens.  FHS also creates special funds for emergency restoration efforts, which have provided critical support following the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.


Each year, FHS selects and sends around 30 students from universities in France and the U.S. across the Atlantic for internships at esteemed organizations.  Since the program’s inception, over 550 students have benefited from these opportunities. The Richard Morris Hunt Prize, which was founded in 1990 in partnership with The Architects Foundation, fosters and supports cross-cultural professional exchange for architects between France and the U.S.  Two French or American laureates are selected each year, alternating between the two countries.

French-American Friendship

FHS’s network includes ten chapters across the U.S. and one in Paris and collectively, they organize over 50 events each year to raise local awareness and funds for FHS’s mission.  In addition, the FHS community comes together for annual fundraising galas in New York, Palm Beach and Paris.  FHS is also known for the specially curated trips to France that it offers its members every year.

Photo credit: 1) Gabriela Dago, Missy VanBuren. 2) Katie Grishman, Jennifer Farrell, Elizabeth Stribling, Jennifer Hurlein. 3) Claudine Holt, Christian Zimmermann. 4) Gabriella Khristov, Dr. Miranda Morgan. 5) Gabriella Khristov, Dr. Miranda Morgan. 6) Meera Gandhi, Marco Battistotti, Anna Rothschild. 7) Meera Gandhi, Marco Battistotti, Anna Rothschild. 8) Jean Shafiroff, Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe, Lucia Hwong Gordon. 9) Lansing Moore, Julia Lindenthal. 10) Lansing Moore, Julia Lindenthal. 11) Allison von Armin, David Alexander Jenkins. 12) Jody Lichtenstein, Michael Miro. 13) Vincent Festa, Andrew Werner, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Tomaczek Bednarek. By Patrick McMullan and Annie Watt Agency (John Sanderson).

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