The Substance of Style

Mila Mulroney

Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Mila Mulroney with her granddaughters Minnie and Thea Lapham
(Photo by Harry Benson)

During her husband’s tenure as the 18th prime minister of Canada, Mila Mulroney (photographed here with her granddaughters Thea and Minnie Lapham) campaigned for several children’s charities. Her particular focus was Cystic Fibrosis Canada, for which she spent countless hours speaking with sufferers of the disease and their families. She served as Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s honorary chairperson for several years, raising millions of dollars for CF research along with awareness of the disease. During that time, she organized some of the most successful fundraisers in the history of the organization. For 16 years, she also co-chaired Taste of the Nation/La Table du Partage, a Montreal-based charity that provides regular hot meals to thousands of school children and homeless people. Today, she serves as vice president and director of Cansult Communications Ltd, and has passed the mantle of CF leadership to her son Ben, who is now the national ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Ritchey Howe

Boys’ Club of New York

Ritchey Howe (Photo by Annie Watt)

Ritchey Howe gets exuberant when describing the work she’s done with the Boys’ Club of New York. One of her favorites, she says, is the Suited UP event, in which donated suits are given to boys in their junior and senior years of high school; she also loved organizing a field trip to the Met for the boys, and judging the organization’s “battle chef” competitions. “I am so proud of the work the Boys’ Club does,” she says. “It means a lot to directly improve the lives of others—the boys and also their families.” The Boys’ Club helps boys ages seven to 18 by providing after-school spaces where they can receive tutoring as well as lessons in music, art, and other skills. The Women’s Board raises approximately $2 million annually to help fund these programs. Howe finished her two-year term as the president of the Women’s Board of the Boys’ Club of New York in September, and remains on the Executive Committee and Presidents Council. She chaired the Boys’ Club’s Fall Dance in 2006 and joined the Women’s Board in 2010, and it has been her main charity ever since. She has also, over the years, supported other organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Special Projects Committee of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Whitney Bylin

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Whitney Bylin (Photo by Harry Benson)

Documentary film producer Whitney Bylin, whose films focus on science and conservation, joined the board of the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society in 2008, and her involvement grew from there. She served on the zoo’s conservation committee, then became the chair of the events committee, which she’s served on for the past 10 years. She also served on the executive committee for seven years. “Their dedication to wildlife conservation has always impressed me,” says Bylin. “People don’t understand how important a zoo’s role can be in saving endangered species through research, education, and hands-on programs, both locally and globally.” Bylin co-chaired the Zoo gala for eight years and was one of the honorary chairs in 2019. She has produced and directed five short films for the zoo that have premiered at the galas; each features a different story about how the zoo cares for wildlife. “I love to be able to share the zoo’s conservation message through my films,” Bylin says. She also serves on the board of Schoolyard Films, a nonprofit documentary production company that aims to educate students about the natural world.

Georgina Bloomberg

The Humane Society of the United States

Georgina Bloomberg (Photo by Harry BEnson)

Joining puppy mill raids, working at dog rescues, lobbying local politicians—it’s all in a day’s volunteering for Georgina Bloomberg, pictured here with her horse, Cliff. She’s the youngest board member of the Humane Society of the United States, and she also chairs a committee called Humane Generation NY, founded by Bloomberg and her friend Amanda Hearst, which aims to cultivate a new generation of animal activists. “We have an incredible group of wildly passionate, smart, and accomplished young people who care deeply about animals and changing the world for them,” says Bloomberg. Her work with HSUS has taken her to Puerto Rico multiple times, where she’s helped horses on Vieques, worked at local dog rescues, and even helped on a surgery-prep team for a “spayathon,” during which thousands of dogs received free spay/neuter surgeries. Here in the U.S., she’s joined puppy mill raids where she was able to be part of the effort to save the animals, as well as to record evidence to submit to law enforcement in the hopes of having the mill shut down and prosecuting those responsible. In addition to her work with HSUS, Bloomberg also helps a number of other animal-related efforts. In 2006, she founded The Rider’s Closet to provide free riding clothes and equipment to those in need, including college equestrian teams and therapeutic riding centers. And that’s still not all she does: She works with dog rescues in the tri-state area and in South Florida and has relocated hundreds of dogs to areas where they’re more likely to find homes, and also works with the Equus Foundation, the only organization in the U.S. devoted solely to horse welfare. “I’m so lucky to be in a position where I can raise awareness for the mistreatment of animals,” says Bloomberg.