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24 Karat Club Kicks Off New Year with Top Talent

Annual event moved to new venue this year.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — For the jewelry industry, the New Year doesn’t truly begin until the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York’s annual banquet, a prestigious grand gala where the industry’s top leaders gather in their finest to dine, dance and, hopefully, celebrate the conclusion of a good holiday season.

This year’s Banquet was held January 11 at the Sheraton New York Times Square, marking another new venue for the storied Banquet, which traditionally was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

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The 24 Karat Club Banquet is steeped in history. It’s been held every year since 1902, with only two exceptions: once during the Great Depression and again during WWII. It had been the second-longest running event in the history of the Waldorf Astoria hotel; only the Pennsylvania Society event, held every year in December, had been there longer.

When the hotel closed in 2017 for a three-year renovation, both the 24 Karat Club and PA Society scrambled for new digs. Both initially landed at the New York Hilton, where the 24 Karat Club Banquets were held in 2018 and 2019, but the Club moved across 53rd Street to the Sheraton this year.

This year’s headline entertainment was Calum Scott, a singer-songwriter and winner of Britain’s Got Talent. As is tradition, the entertainment was kept under wraps until the evening of the event. The Club briefly dropped its tradition in 2018 and 2019 and announced the entertainment in advance, but Club members expressed a wish to return to the traditional surprise this year.

Other Club traditions remained intact for the evening: the mingling of guests at various cocktail suites hosted by Club members prior to the seated dinner, the formal procession of both Club and industry leaders to take their seats on the dais, the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner by the West Point Cadets, and the annual interfaith invocation, this year delivered by Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Rosen of the Persian Jewish Community of Manhattan.

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Following the dinner and entertainment, Club members could return to the same hospitality suites that were open for cocktails, or proceed to one of two after-parties: a quiet lounge with jazz, or the annual Midnight Bash, an immensely popular DJ dance party which lasted into the wee hours.

“The evening was a tremendous success,” said Banquet chair Myriam Gumuchian. “Guests were still reveling and dancing the night away at the Bash when the event closed after 1 a.m.”

Separately, the Club announced its slate of officers for the upcoming year, installed during the Club’s annual holiday luncheon in December. Jeffrey Fischer was re-elected for his third term as chair; Robert Kempler was elected vice-chair; Stewart Wicht was elected president; and Edward Decristofaro was elected vice president. The Club’s next gathering will be its annual Beefsteak Dinner, (a members-only event) set for March.

“It’s a monumental task to organize and coordinate such an event for approximately 1000 guests,” said Fischer. “Kudos to the Banquet Committee for an outstanding success. A great time was had by all!”

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