Toys, DJs, & Surprise Guests At Sandy Benefit From The Folks Behind Champagning

This Monday, December 17 there will be a soiree that shouldn’t be missed; Nick Andreottola of Status Luxury Group has teamed up with the Happy Hearts Fund, and will try to collect 2,000 toys and $20,000 for schools in the New York-New Jersey area affected by Hurricane Sandy. The event is at the Gansevoort Park Hotel and begins at 9pm. DJs Cash and Drek Martinez and some surprise(?) guest will provide the sounds to hob-nob with the fabulous. Tickets are available, or donations can be made directly here. I caught up with Nick and asked him all about it.

How did the benefit come together?
I love Christmas and the holiday season, so a few years ago I started putting together a holiday party for my friends, clients ,and business associates I deal with throughout the year, just for a good time. Each year it has grown. Two years ago, we implemented a toy drive to give back to children in need. We collected about 200 toys and dropped them at Toys For Tots in Times Square. Last year, my friend Renata Lopes-Merriam said, “Let’s do it bigger.” So we did. We did it a lot bigger.

I’ve also always loved the Bartender’s Ball which hasn’t happened in over 10 years. With this in mind, I called on a few friends from various luxury industries and brands, formed a committee, and made Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund, the beneficiary. We collected over 1,400 toys and successfully sent over 1,100 of them to Haiti, along with almost $15,000. Even before we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, we had decided to focus our efforts more locally this year since there are plenty of children in need in New York City and the surrounding areas. When Sandy hit, it was obvious that we needed to keep it local. The event is on Monday.

On Thursday, along with the Happy Hearts team, some of my committee members and I will be delivering all the toys and presenting them to children in one of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island. Apparently, there will be celebs joining us and media covering it. We are very excited about this. Anyone who wants to support with toys or funds can visit the official website to do so. Our team will even shop for your toys and make sure they get delivered properly if you don’t have the time to do so.

Who are the players involved, and what can be expected at the event?
My co-chairs are Nicole Rose Stillings who is my partner in the Champagning events, and Kim McCall who is the director of the Happy Hearts Fund. The committee consists of key players from all sorts of industries; we have celebrity stylists, publicists, bankers, CEOs, nightclub owners, and other notables. Each year we will raise the goals and add more key players to help us reach them.

There will be a silent auction at the event with some great luxury brands participating and some amazing experiences. The music will be on-point as we have two of the best DJs in town donating their time for the cause: DJ Cash and Drek Martinez. We may also have a surprise performance like last year. There will be a lot of holiday cheer, champagne, and a lot of drinks. We have some fun surprises planned.

Are people in a more charitable mindset post-Sandy, or are there just so many benefits and causes, especially at this time of year?
Even pre-Sandy, there are always lots of benefits this time of year. Post-Sandy, a lot of people, venues, brands, etc. have stepped up to help. The 12-12-12 concert last night was huge, Petra’s Gala on Tuesday raised over $3 million, and Charity Water’s Charity Ball is always prominent. You see a lot of the same people at all of these events, continuing to pledge lots of money. Whenever something happens in New York, New Yorkers are always quick to come together and support each other to get back to normal, so I think regardless of how many benefits there are, people will continue to support and do their part if they are able to.

Is your following recession-proof?
For the most part, they are. We are very fortunate for this. Our clients are also very giving people. They are always supporting causes that are close to them.

Tell me about your company and what you do in nightlife.
Status Luxury Group is a lifestyle management company. We handle some of the most affluent clients in the world. They are always looking for the best of the best all over the world, so that is what we provide for them. Our services are customized to each client’s need, but usually consist of travel-planning, sourcing rare luxury items, access to events, and other unique experiences. Much of what we do is hosted to make sure everything is flawless. We have a marketing division which handles luxury brands and creates programs and events for these brands.

In terms of nightlife, many times our clients want to entertain friends, family, or business associates. We create the best possible experience for them. They usually do not have a budget and just want to make sure everything goes smoothly for the guests they are entertaining.

Earlier this year, we started a brand called Champagning. It was basically started because I like champagne. Nicole and I work with all of the best brands and create a setting for champagne-enthusiasts to enjoy champagnes that are not usually served by the glass. We have done pairings with Petrossian Caviar and will have others in the future. Over the past year we have done programs with Perrier Jouet, Armand de Brignac, Veuve Clicquot, and Dom Perignon. We have a lot of fun programs coming in 2013. Updates will be posted at Champagning.com. Tonight we are doing an event with Swarovski and will continue to align Champagning with other relevant brands.

Around The World: Valentine’s Day Parties I Can’t Get To

My Facebook page and inboxes are over flowing with Valentine’s Day invites. Susanne Bartsch and Patricia Fields Valentines Day Ball at Marquee is undeniable. If I were in Miami (a rarity) I would surely take Ivan Wilzig up on his offer to attend Valentine’s Day at the World Erotic Art Museum. If I was landed in Bangkok ( a name I always have trouble saying) I’d RSVP to Daryl Scott and go to UB Radio and Bash present Unlucky in Love at Bash. If I found myself in Paris, Frederic Agostini and I would toast ourselves at Slap-Valentine’s Edition with Feadz/Manare/Noahey Green at Wanderlust. If I found myself in quaint San Francisco, I’d do anything to attend Joey Arias’ with Veronica Klaus’ Valentine Day Concert at the Castro Theatre. If I were swept out to Baldwin, Long Island, I surely would be interested in hanging with Todd Shapiro and the VH1 Mob Wives Star Ramona Rizzo at the Coral House.

Alas, fate has me here, and I will probably go to Nick Andreottola’s shindig Champagning at GoldBar. Devorah Rose is having a Valentine’s Day Massacre gala at RSVP but I have never RSVP’d for an event at RSVP before and although I worship Devorah it probably will stay that way.

Another clever gal Natasha Adonzio is having her own unrelated Valentine’s Day Massacre. It’s a fashion show of her very rock and roll clothes. Rock legend Donna Destri will join models Miz Katastrophe, Extasy Micheals, Bonnie Elizabeth, Latoya Muneca, Shannon Fatale, Tiffany Johnson, Laurel Aslaksen, Grace Telephone, Anna Pine, Brittney Haren, Barbie Dematel, Eliane Luduvino, Kortlynd, Glamour Jessica, and Bethany Mae. It’s going to be hot. The show is at the Parkside Lounge, Thursday night at 10pm. There’s a bunch of bands as well, including Krebs & The Maynard G’s, King Bee & The Stingers, Puma Perl, The Rewd Onez, Charm School, and The Bowery Boys. I am no longer doing my rock night at Hotel Chantelle so I will be in attendance and probably in heaven.

Now, back in the day a friend of mine named Jillian Black died of an overdose of heroin on her second try at the junk. I was livid and obsessed. At that time, St. Marks and the surrounding streets were places where dealers set up shop. I decided to support the newish local business with a series of huge events to support them and drive the dealers elsewhere. Natasha Adonzio had a store on St. Marks across from the still-relevant Trash and Vaudeville near Enz’s , Manic Panic, and many others. I threw the "East Village Look," a fashion show at Danceteria with over 20 designers. It made all the papers and my nightlife career began. I had thrown Dee Dee Ramone’s birthday party at Max’s Kansas City prior to this event, but this party got me hooked on nightlife as a career. 

Natasha was the first person to say yes to me. All the other designers came on board because she legitimized me. Thousands came and everybody who owned a club wanted me to do events with them. I am one who rarely forgets a disservice and always remembers a favor. Natasha Adonzio is fabulous and I cannot wait to see her  show and hang at her party.

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Spring Begins, Nightlife Booms, Chaka Khan Eats Her Birthday Cake

TGIGF (Thank God it’s Good Friday). For many, this is Good Friday. For the folks over at EVR, it figures to be a Great Friday. They will resume their late-night programming, which had been curtailed by wording on their liquor license which I have been told has been reworded. The restaurant/lounge on 39th St. between 5th and 6th is removed from residential buildings on a block where they fold up the sidewalks on weekends since the retail/business establishments aren’t usually open. The very pretty EVR (pronounced ever) has had a pretty good week so far.

Tuesday, EVR hosted Chaka Khan’s 60th birthday bash. The "I’m Every Woman" and "Ain’t Nobody" legend attracted a lot of non-every-woman types… a slew of somebodies including Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, Star Jones, Cissy Houston, Taraji P. Henson, Soledad O’Brien, Juanita Jordan, and many more. A three-course dinner was served for her 150 guests.

On Wednesday at EVR, I DJd at Nick Andreottola and Nicole Rose Stillings’ Champagning event. The packed, adult crowd enjoys the sharp atmosphere, great food, and early hours (event starts at 6pm) – and maybe my music. For working folks who can’t get to my 11pm-till-4am DJ gig at The DL, pop by EVR to visit Mr. Lewis. 

Spring is in the air. I’ve seen crocuses and daffodils and migrating birds and an ice cream truck by the school by my Brooklyn abode. I have pep in my step, although my increasingly serious relationship with Amanda has stopped me from looking for love in all the wrong places. 

The next few weeks will bring a big boom to nightlife as the frost will finally leave and Al Gore’s global warming shtick finally comes to fruition. As always: party responsibly. Never try to fit a year’s worth of mayhem into a single evening. 

Photo: Uptown Mag.