On October 24, 2023, Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris hosted a special benefit dinner at Le Bernardin Privé in New York City under the high patronage of Mr. Laurent Bili, Ambassador of France to the United States, and Mr. Jérémie Robert, Consul General of France in New York.
The evening gathered old and new friends of Notre-Dame de Paris together to support the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral, a World Heritage Site. Thanks to the generosity of our community of sponsors and supporters, we raised nearly $1 million to support our mission to rebuild, restore, and preserve Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The Master of Ceremonies was Bill Whitaker, CBS News 60 Minutes Correspondent, expertly guided the 150 attendees through the evening’s program. He opened the dinner by sharing his moving personal connection to Notre-Dame Cathedral, which he had the opportunity to explore for 60 Minutes segments both before and after the fire.
We are grateful for the support of the benefit’s Premier Sponsors, Bank of America and Château Margaux. During the program, Paul Donofrio, Vice Chair of Bank of America, spoke about the company’s commitment to supporting arts and culture, including partners like Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris. Alexis Leven-Mentzelopoulos, CEO of Château Margaux, shared his family’s story intertwined with that of the prestigious domaine, and he introduced the Château Margaux wines paired with each course designed by Chef Eric Ripert.
Visiting from Paris, Chief Architects of Historical Monuments Philippe Villeneuve and Pascal Prunet shared with guests their insights about the progress made on the cathedral’s reconstruction, as well as many recent photographs taken at the worksite. In his remarks, Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris President Michel Picaud emphasized that once the cathedral is open again for visitors at the end of 2024, the Notre-Dame restoration project will continue. Once the inside works are complete, crucial projects remain to restore the cathedral’s exterior, including its flying buttresses, replacing weakened stones in the facades, and restoring the area surrounding the cathedral. Much progress has been made, but Notre-Dame’s journey is not over yet, and the support of the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris community is still very much needed.
In addition to Bank of America and Château Margaux, we extend special thanks to benefit sponsors The Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation, Carlyle, BlackRock, Evercore, Natixis, Lord Abbett, Anne Dias Griffin and Aragon, and the Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation.
We are grateful to all the evening’s attendees and sponsors for their participation and for making the evening a memorable success.