Elizabeth Kurpis

elizabethkurpis“It’s probably more of an art than a science,” Elizabeth Kurpis, 32, says of orchestrating a successful benefit, while at one of her many charity events she attends. This time it’s at David Yurman’s Soho store opening, benefitting New Yorkers for Children. The corporate attorney devotes much of her time as an event organizer to a few charities, including the Frick (“where I’m still lobbying to be a resident”), the New York Botanical Garden (“I’m a sucker for flowers like any girl”), and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (“which is close to my heart. It’s where my mother fought, but ultimately lost, her battle with Leukemia”). But she attends many, many charity galas and has tips for party organizers. “The chairs should be drama free, and have the right connections … Egos and attitudes have to be left at the door. The sponsor is the most underrated piece of the puzzle. The right sponsors don’t just bring the cash; they also bring in a certain level of glamour, including the guests they wrangle and press attention they bring, to the charity. If no one reads about your event, did it really happen? You also need to do everyone a favor and keep the speeches short.”—Zachary Weiss

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