Party photos â¢ BY: NYSD Staff
On Wednesday September 22, 2021, the Central Park Conservancy celebrated its 40th anniversary at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. The festive evening included cocktails, dinner and a dance to commemorate the transformation, restoration and exemplary stewardship of Central Park. The well-attended event raised $ 2.8 million in support of the Conservancy’s ongoing work to make Central Park an irreplaceable respite and retreat in New York City for generations to come. The celebration highlighted the Conservancy’s Synthesis Project to redesign the Lasker Ice Rink and Pool at Harlem Meer.
The project includes a new facility that will expand year-round recreation access for the surrounding community and will be built as part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, including landscape repair and revegetation, recreating the course of the creek which historically flowed into the Meer, and the establishment of a wetland border and shoreline promenade adjacent to the new facility. The event, supported by National Bank of the City, also honored Judy & Russ Carson, Kate & Andrew Davis, Alice Gottesman & Family, and Kitty Patterson & Tom Kempner for their distinctive contributions to the project and mission of the Central Park Conservancy.
â40 years of expertise, vision, passion and generosity have made Central Park the beautiful and prosperous public space it is today,â said Betsy Smith, President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy. “I am deeply grateful to our founders, staff, volunteers and visitors, and look forward to continuing our work to ensure this vital urban park is accessible to all for years to come.”
Co-chairs of the event Kelly & Joe coffey, Gillian & Sylvester Minister, Amelie & Adebayo Ogunlesi, yes I am & Dusty philippe were joined by the President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy Betsy smith, President of the council Tom kempner, Conservancy administrators and donors. Guests included Judy Hart Angelo, Michael Bloomberg & Diana Taylor, Rick Cotton, Laurie & Peter Grauer, Patti Harris, Anne & Bill Harrison, Tracey & Craig Huff, Sharon & Bill Jacob, Alexia Leuschen, Carol Sutton Lewis, Susan Magrino, Peter Marino, Hilary Geary Ross & Wilbur Ross, Fiona & Eric Rudin, Didi & Oscar Schafer, Christine & Stephen Schwarzman, Laureen Seeger, Gillian & Robert Steele, Martha Stewart, Stephanie & Fred Schuman, and Suzy Welch.
Guests celebrated and danced the night away to music performed by the Marcus Reid Band with event decor by David stark and restoration of Abigail Kirsch.
The Central Park Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization that manages Central Park and is responsible for increasing the park’s annual operating budget. The Conservancy’s staff of over 300 people are responsible for all aspects of the stewardship of the park, from maintenance and day-to-day operations to ongoing restoration and reconstruction projects. In addition, the Conservancy manages the park’s visitor centers, delivers public programs, and serves as a resource for other parks in New York City and for public-private partnerships around the world. For more information, please visit centralparknyc.org.
The following night at the Central Park Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) hosted its annual gala in honor of a businessman and philanthropist David bonderman for his dedication to the causes of conservation. His philanthropic donations to WCS and others have been instrumental in reducing poaching and wildlife trafficking in Africa. Its major support for efforts mainly to combat poaching and trafficking now extends to 22 African countries. Mr. Bonderman is a long-time supporter of conservation causes and serves on the boards of directors of the American Himalayan Foundation, the Wilderness Society, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Wyss Foundation. It also funds the Wildcat Foundation.
President and CEO of WCS Cristian Samper said, “David’s outstanding contributions to WCS and so many other organizations reflect his place as one of the foremost philanthropists in conservation.”
The WCS Gala took place outside the spectacular Central Park Zoo and celebrated WCS’s impact on the planet’s most ecologically important wild places and the extraordinary species that inhabit them. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organization, WCS has a long history of delivering innovative and impactful results through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. WCS has saved many of the most important wilderness areas on the planet over the past 126 years, helping to create hundreds of protected areas on land and at sea. In addition, WCS’s urban wildlife park network is the largest in the world, with four zoos and an aquarium in New York City connecting over 4 million visitors a year to nature and science, creating a powerful force for conservation in New York City and beyond.
In his remarks at the event, Samper said, âWe meet tonight at a critical time for the conservation of wildlife and our planet with several important international gatherings aimed at addressing the twin crises of climate change and climate change. loss of biodiversity. Repairing our broken relationship with nature is the defining challenge of our life. The collapse of biodiversity, the climate crisis and the pandemic have clearly shown this. We need to find a carbon neutral and positive path for nature that balances human well-being with the needs of wildlife and wild places. And we can find that balance.
All proceeds from the gala are used to further WCS’s mission to save wildlife and wild places. The co-chairs of the event were: Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie, Jill and Gordon Dyal, Christopher J. Elliman, Laura and Peter Grauer, Diane and Andreas Halvorsen, Tony and Amie James, Amelia and Bayo Ogunlesi, Mary and Howdy Phipps, Alejandro and Charlotte Santo Domingo, Kitty and Stephen Sherrill , Loretta and Chris Stadler, Allison and Leonard Stern, Andrew and Ann Tisch, and Ward and Priscilla Woods. The decor for the evening was Floral and event design by Renny & Reed; and the restoration was by Peter Callahan.
WCS saves wildlife and wild places around the world through science, conservation, education and inspiring people to value nature. To accomplish its mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its global conservation program in nearly 60 countries and all of the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people each. year. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos and the aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: pressroom.wcs.org.
Photographs by Jillian Nelson / AnnieWatt.com (WCS); Joe Schildhorn / BFA.com & Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images (CPC).