Intimate Affair: The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Annual Holiday Party for the “Rusk Kids”

19 Dec

IASC Holiday Party- Santa with the Rusk Kids

On Wednesday, December 14, 2011, the Intimate Apparel Square Club (IASC) held their annual Holiday Party at Horizon House at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  The Holiday Party is an annual event and has become one of the highlights of the year.  Members of IASC celebrate by visiting with the children that are hospitalized at the Rusk Institute, “Santa Claus” pays a visit and distributes gifts to the children, food is provided and a DJ plays favorite tunes to the delight of the guests and the Kids at Rusk. 

Prior to the party at Horizon House, a small group of club members are invited to join “Santa Claus” upstairs to visit with those children that are unable to come down to the facilities’ gathering space.  Visiting with the Kids at Rusk is one of the most important missions of IASC.  Unlike most non-profit organizations, the members of IASC are actively involved in the lives of those they support.  This is one of the reasons I joined the organization and champion its mission.  I was truly touched by the outpouring of love and generosity I witnessed at Wednesday’s Intimate Affair.  The IASC only has a few dozen members, but each one is dedicated to the club’s work.  As club member Roslyn Harte always says, “We’re small, but mighty!”  The members of the club give tirelessly to promote the club’s work and, most importantly, they lift the spirits of the children they help by participating in the activities at Rusk Institute.  Since 1983, the IASC has donated $5 Million to Rusk. 

Moira Nelson with Bra-lebrity Jene Luciani

The Intimate Affair at Rusk Institute was followed by a dinner at Trattoria Alba on 34th Street in NYC.  Club members gathered together to celebrate the season, awards were presented, and funds raised at the H.U.G. Award Gala on November 2, 2011 were presented to Dr. Steven R. Flanagan, chair of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy at Rusk.  The program began with a welcome from club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti.  She turned the podium over to longtime club member, Barry Ross, who presented the Al Jaffin Award to board member Gary Hughes.  The Al Jaffin Award was created over twenty years ago to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the IASC.  When presenting the award, Barry Ross said of Gary Hughes, “If you can count Gary Hughes as your friend, you are very fortunate.”  Gary graciously accepted the award and thanked club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Dr. Flanagan of the Rusk Institute, IASC members and family and friends.  Gary said that next month will mark fifty years that he’s been in the lace business.  Over the years he has been honored with several awards.  But he said that none have been as rewarding as receiving the Al Jaffin Award.  Gary Hughes has been a member of the IASC for twenty-eight years.  And he has performed the role of “Santa Claus” at the Holiday Party at Rusk Institute for as far back as I can remember.  His devotion to the club is admirable.  This award is truly well-deserved. 

Barry Ross presenting the Al Jaffin Award to Gary Hughes

For the first time, the club presented a special award at the annual Holiday Dinner.  This award was presented to Wacoal America president and CEO, Richard C. Murray.  After twenty-four years at Wacoal, Mr. Murray is retiring from his post and is being appointed as vice chairman of Wacoal’s U.S. unit effective March 31, 2012.  Club member Victor Vega, also of Wacoal America, presented the award to Richard C. Murray for his support of the IASC and the H.U.G. Award over the years.  This first time special award read “Thank You for Helping Us Give.”  Victor Vega commented that although Richard is retiring as Wacoal America’s president and CEO, he is not leaving us.  He will still be with us in the industry and in the club.  Upon receiving his award, Richard C. Murray commented that he has been fortunate to have worked at Wacoal and in such a great industry that has an organization like this (IASC.)  He said that he (and Wacoal) will continue to support and participate in this great organization. 

Victor Vega presenting the first time special award to Richard C. Murray

The program ended with the presentation of funds to the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  Club president Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti presented the check to Dr. Flanagan and Marianne Hardart, head of recreational therapy.  Funds will be used for programs at Rusk including pediatric research, children’s equipment, special instruments, art therapy and music therapy.  Dr. Flanagan said that he’s honored to have the IASC as part of the Rusk family.

Also, the new officers of the Intimate Apparel Square Club were appointed for the year 2012.  The new slate of officers includes Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti, Michael De Prisco, Clelia Parisi, Gary Hughes and Adam Masry.

Club President Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti and Jene Luciani

The Intimate Apparel Square Club is continually looking for new members to help “contribute to the triumph of the human spirit.”  Membership is not limited to persons working in the intimate apparel industry.  Interested individuals are welcome to contact me for more information about joining the club.

And, I’m sad to report that we recently lost our longest living club member, Joe Ferrara.  Joe joined IASC in 1955 just shortly after the club was founded and has been an active member ever since.  He will be missed by all those who knew him and the many lives he touched over the years through his contributions to the Intimate Apparel Square Club.

About The Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s annual fundraiser was renamed the H.U.G. (Help Us Give) Award in 1998 and is presented to well-respected, high-profile companies, organizations and individuals at the IASC’s annual gala fundraiser in support of pediatric rehabilitation.  The IASC was founded in1955 with the mission of uniting professionals in intimate apparel and related industries as a charitable organization and to participate in activities that will reflect positively on the membership and the industry at large.  The membership includes management executives, designers and salespeople, among other professionals.  Initially focused on charities for the blind and the elderly, the IASC broadened its scope over the years and today supports a variety of charitable organizations, with pediatric rehabilitation and treatment at Rusk and other programs at NYU Langone Medical Center being the primary beneficiary of its fundraising activities.


Intimate Apparel Square Club and the H.U.G. Award

NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine


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