The famous “Hat Lunch” returns to raise funds for Central Park


The Central Park Conservancy’s Fredrick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon – affectionately known as “Hat Lunch” by attendees – was in full swing on Tuesday, drawing the city’s most glamorous women (and a few posh men) to collect over $ 2.5 million to park it.

To maintain COVID security, the event took place over two days and at several different locations around the park, including the Bethesda Fountain and the Conservatory Garden.

And while the event was more low-key than usual, plenty of people showed up to show off their fascinators, boaters, wide-brimmed hats and tops.

On Wednesday, four locations will be set up to accommodate people.

“I think the pandemic has made people appreciate the park more than ever,” Yesim Philip, chairman of the Women’s Committee – which hosts the lunch – told us. “When schools were closed, when businesses were closed, when grocery shelves were empty, Central Park was there for people. It has become their church, their training place, their café, their restaurant.

She added: “I have always loved the park and now more than ever. Can’t believe where we were last year and where we are now.

Participants included Elyse Newhouse, Muffie Potter Aston, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Anne Harrison, Crystal McCrary, Alexandra Lebenthal, Gillian Hearst, Susan Magrino, Julie Macklowe, Hilary Ross, Renee Rockefeller, Di Mondo and choreographer Tom Gold.

Administrator Gillian Miniter, wearing a pink mattress topper from milliner Eric Javits, told us, “Lunch is always a great event, but it’s also our biggest fundraiser.

Last year’s attendees included former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Karen LeFrak, Fe Fendi and Stephanie March.

Last year, instead of the formal affair, there was a sober, social distancing picnic that raised $ 300,000.


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