- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2006

Incredible nonagenarian Lolo Sarnoff, who founded Arts for the Aging to provide artistic outreach services in senior day care centers and not-for-profit nursing homes, isn’t an ambassador, but she is a force to be reckoned with on Embassy Row.

AFTA’s 18th annual benefit, hosted Wednesday by French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte and his wife, Marie-Cecile, at their residence, was a celebration not only of the group’s 900 programs in the area, but for Mrs. Sarnoff herself, a noted sculptor, visionary and Washington insider who knows how to get things done.

“It has been such a privilege to prepare this evening with our beloved Lolo,” Mr. Levitte told the overflowing crowd, praising his friend as “a great artist whose vision has allowed a huge number of the elderly to maintain a strong link with society, expressing their experiences and emotions through art.” Gala chairwoman and diplomatic daughter Julia Hopping (her father, Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa, was the ambassador of Nicaragua for 36 years) joined the chorus by introducing her husband and co-chairman, well-known plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Hopping, by joking, “I’m married to him, but I’m also married to Lolo and AFTA.”

Other Lolo/AFTA devotees spotted bidding on silent-auction items and enjoying the exquisite wines and cocktail buffet included envoys and/or spouses from Mexico, Finland, Malta, Canada, Russia, Portugal, Nicaragua and Guatemala along with best Lolo pal Gertrude d’Amecourt, gala vice chairs Susanne Eisinger and Vibeke Lofft, Anna Maria Via, Nazan Kirdar, John and Joy Safer, Willee Lewis, Kay Kendall, Annie Totah and Poppy Salinger.

Gail Scott

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