Trump, Trumpeters and Dancers: ‘Lady in Red’ Dazzles Guests

Donald Trump, Lois Pope, J.R. Martinez

PALM BEACH, FL – From uniformed trumpeters and a bubble-enclosed dancer to musical performances by pop recording legends, little was spared on behalf of supporters of the 18th annual “Lady in Red” gala at The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach.

Proceeds from the event, according to LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education), The Lois Pope Foundation, will benefit the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Organizers said it was the last LIFE gala to raise funds for the memorial, with the official groundbreaking set for October 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Special guest of the evening was J.R. Martinez, an actor, motivational speaker, U.S. army veteran and recent winner of “Dancing with the Stars.” LIFE presented Martinez with the Unsung Hero Award, a Tiffany-designed crystal, for overcoming devastating injuries and publicizing the plight of America’s 3 million living disabled veterans.

Martinez, in turn, presented Donald Trump with LIFE’s Presidential Hero Award, a crystal bowl also designed by Tiffany & Co. The award was given to Trump for his service to LIFE and his efforts on behalf of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

Lois Pope, Toni Holt-Kramer and Terry Ebert Mendozza served as chairwomen of the gala. Paul David Pope was junior chairman, and Sally and Dick Robinson were co-chairs. International honorary chairs were Elizabeth and Jeff Bateman. Honorary chairs were Rhoda and David Chase, Nathalie Fernandez, Patrick Park and Ari Rifkin.

The evening began auspiciously as guests were greeted at the renowned estate by trumpeters in full regalia, and proceeded to enjoy cocktails poolside, where pianist Copeland Davis performed and a dancer inside a bubble glided across the estate’s pool.

Guests were soon led into the elegant ballroom, where they were met by sparkling gold and red decor created by Sutka designs. The entertainment continued as Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. performed their most beloved hits.

Next, emcee and auctioneer Dick Robinson took the stage to introduce Lois Pope, who announced that fundraising had been completed for the memorial. Next up was Junior Chairman Paul David Pope, who gave a tribute to his mother.

Then it was on to the live auction. Paul David Pope was the high bidder for the one-of-a-kind Mini Cooper convertible donated by Braman Motorcars, which was designed and painted for the LIFE gala by the acclaimed artist Romero Britto. The auction also included a dazzling pair of Tiffany & Co. 25th Anniversary Paloma Picasso diamond earrings donated by Tiffany & Co., won by Franz Rosinus, and a beautiful 18K gold and semiprecious stone necklace and earrings set from India donated by Terry Ebert Mendozza and won by Alexis Mersentes. Ari Rifkin was the high bidder for a fur donated by Donna Somper, “Furrier to the Hollywood Stars,” and modeled by Toni Holt-Kramer. The auction of a dance with Martinez was won by Walter Schwenk, who selected Lois Pope to dance with the “Dancing with the Stars” champion.

Smokey Robinson, a member of the rock n’ roll Hall of Fame and Kennedy Center Honoree, capped the entertainment by singing hits such as “Cruisin’” and “Tracks of My Tears.”

All guests received a crystal decanter donated by Tiffany & Co. and a bottle of “Lady in Red” wine.

Event sponsors included Tiffany & Co., Braman Motorcars, Romero Britto, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

For more information, call LIFE at (561) 865-0955 or visit


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