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Reception for Teun Voeten's
Tunnel People
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
November 30, 2010

Written by Wendy R. Williams

Opposite Photo is from Tunnel People

Socialite and community activist Cecilia Lewis has a passion for fashion and a passion to help make the the world a better place. On November 30th, she merged her two loves by participating in a reception for photographer Teun Vocten's book, Tunnel People,and by inviting her good friend, fashion designer Zang Toil. Zang in turn invited a rounded dozen (13) of his friends to attend and support Cecilia and help the homeless.

Deborah Felker and Fashion Designer Zang Toi
(Deborah is wearing Zang Toi)
Photo Courtesy of J.P. Teutonico

Deborah Felker, Ling Tan, Wendy Brandes and Melissa
(Deborah and Ling are wearing Zang Toi)
Photo Courtesy of J.P. Teutonico

Natasha Zupan
Photo Courtesy of J.P. Teutonico

The reception was hosted by and benefited MAPC/St. James Homeless Shelter and was held at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. The guests were treated to champagne and hors d'oeuvres as they wandered around the room viewing Vocten's photographs which were hung on the walls for a silent auction. There were also copies of the Tunnel People book for sale. Vocten took these photographs in the 90's when he lived for about a year with the homeless in subway tunnels. The proceeds from the auction and book sales benefited an emergency drop in center. The budget to run the shelter for six months is $37,000.

Patrick Michael and former ABC News Correspondent Bob Jamieson
Photo Credit Patrick Michael

One of the speakers was a former homeless man, Bernard Isaacs. The discussion was moderated by former ABC News Correspondent Bob Jamieson. Both speakers spoke passionately about the plight of the homeless who in Jamieson's words, "are our neighbors."

Patrick Michael and Photographer Teun Voeten

Vocten spoke to the group about his experience taking these photos and what is was like to be in the tunnels. He also pointed out that these photographs would not have been the same or as dramatic if they had not been taken with black and white film.

Group Shot with Cecllia Lewis in Center
Photo Courtesy of J.P. Teutonico

So who were Zang's guests? They included: Cory Stearns of the American Ballet Theatre, Artist Natasha Zupan, Jeweler Wendy Brandes, Model Ling Tan, Zang Toi House Model Deborah Felker, Journalist Li Cheng, Noah Bruun, Tia Walker, socialite Yilin Hsu and of course, yours truly.






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