Sunday, October 16, 2011

Merrymaking at Meridan

Steny Hoyer Susanna and Jack Quinn
by contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

Meridian House President emeritus Walter Cutler and his photographer/artist wife Didi pulled a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astair number on the dance floor at the 43rd Annual Meridian Ball.  Hands down, they were the smoothest matched-set. 

It was glamour galore at the Ball - good-looking women, a handsome setting and prominent faces among the 750 guests that began the Black Tie affair with dinners hosted by 22 ambassadors at their embassies and residences or at the private dinner held in the White-Meyer House.

White-Meyer and Meridian House, adjoining mansions designed by famed DC architect John Russell Pope, form the Meridian International Center.  Throughout the party guests streamed back and forth through the connecting garden, stopping at the ample dessert buffet provided by the Embassy of Finland and alternating between the two dance bands.   Under the garden's huge white tent, the dancing was fast-paced and energetic; inside, the tempo smooth.

Mary Ourisman Matt Gavin Holidae Hayes Mandy Ourisman
Guests were greeted by Stuart W. Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian House Center.  Among others in the receiving line were Ball Chairman Mary Ourisman, Congressional Co-chairs Jill Cooper Udall and Linda McCaul and Susanna Quinn, chairman of the White Meyer dinner.  Honorary Chair for the ball was First Lady Michelle Obama.

Christopher Reiter Juleanna Glover

Seen: former Meridian Ball chairmen: Marlene Malek, Dr. Susan Blumenthal Markey, and Debbie Dingell; longtime supporters on key committees Evelyn and Charles Di Bona and Coca Cola Vice president Janet Howard; The Hon. Michael and Meryl Chertoff; jewelry designer Ann Hand, who created the cufflinks sets twinning White Meyer and Meridian Houses in silver; Shaista and Ray Mahmood; Pam and Malcolm Peabody; Kay Kendall and Jack Davies and Carlos Gutierrez.

Jack Davies and Kay Kendell
The evening benefited the Center, whose mission is to strengthen international understanding by engaging public and private sectors and the diplomatic community in an exchange of people, ideas and culture.

Jonathan Martin and Betsy Fischer

   Click on the video here: 

In saying that this year alone Meridian will undertake 200 projects and delegations to carry out this aim, President Stuart Holliday concluded by saying of Meridian’s core values: “Meridian is Global Leadership. Never has there been a time where that is more important.