|It was a sunny day in more ways than one at the Heckscher Playground inside Central Park. Over 1,000 children, moms, dads and grandparents enjoyed the annual Playground Party hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy’s Playground Partners. Guests were greeted by a stilt walker, juggler and bubbles.
The Party Chairmen were Kathryn Beach, Hannah Buchan, Jessica Oliver, and Nina Whitman. The Grandparents Committee Chairman was Eleanora Kennedy. Playground Partners Committee Chairman Kamie Lightburn and Women’s Committee President Gillian Miniter were there with their families.
|The event was a family-friendly fundraiser with music by the Brady Rymer Band and Hope Harris and the Cousins Jamboree, Magic Al, Eloise at The Plaza, Eleni’s cup cake and cookie decorating, Funky Monkey Snacks, a bouncing Belvedere Castle, rock climbing walls, painting, hula hooping, marionettes and storytelling, fishing pools, official Central Park and NYPD vehicles to explore, relay races and more. There was a delicious buffet featuring many sweets and treats.
A good time was had by all including Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky, Anne Harrison, Yesim Phillip, Nancy Missett, Betsy Messerschmitt, Karen LeFrak, Nancy Paduano, Diana DiMenna, Nyssa Kourakos, Michelle Smith and Andy Oshrin, Virginia Apple, Sheri Babbio, Vicki Foley, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Jill Ross and Suzanne Johnson.
|Best of all, $350,000 was raised to support Central Park Playground Partners, a group of families dedicated to keeping Central Park’s 21 playgrounds safe, clean and well maintained. Click here to learn more.|
|This past Wednesday, Women for Women International held its third Annual Luncheon and Panel Discussion on the Future of Afghanistan in the ballroom at 583 Park Avenue in New York City, raising more than $585,000 for its work with women survivors of war. Over 350 guests gathered to hear from a panel of experts discuss and debate the future of the war-torn country. Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman moderated war journalist and “Restrepo” director Sebastian Junger, Women for Women International founder and CEO Zainab Salbi, and Afghan member of Parliament, Sayed Gailani, in town from Kabul.
|Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability.
The organization opened its Kabul office in 2002, and set to work in the provinces of Balkh, Kabul, Kapisa, Nangarhar, and Parwan. The organization has since served more than 31,000 Afghan women, providing them with education, rights and vocational skills training.
|Co-chairs Jewelle Bickford and Fiona Druckenmiller hosted Vice Chairs Alexandria Stewart Altman, Lucy Billingsley, Anna Bulgari, Christine Fisher, Sandra Meyer, Barbara Perlmutter, Diana Rowan Rockefeller, Nancy Rubin, and Chair Mary Menell Zients. Other guests included Michael Altman, Dale Berger, Andrea Bernstein, Cathie Black, Alexandra Chantecaille, Judy Dimon, Kim Greenberg, Craig Leavitt, Deborah Lloyd, Holly Peterson, Elizabeth Peek, Veronique Pittman, Nadja Romain, Kara Ross, Shelley Rubin, Cynthia Ryan, Leila Straus, Adrienne Vittadini, Clark Winter and Elizabeth Clark Zoia.|
|Last Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, One To World held its 2011 Fulbright Awards Dinner.
Brilliant young Fulbright grantees from around the world presented awards to Roelfien Kuijpers, Managing Director and Global Head of DB Advisors, Deutsche Bank; Gary G. Mueller, Fulbright Scholar to Germany 1988-89, Managing Director, Eagle capital Management, and Founder, ISI Emerging Markets; Sherry Lee Mueller, President, National Council for International Visitors; and Jacob Haar, Fulbright Scholar to Yemen 2002-3, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Minlam Asset Management.
“One To World programs bring together Americans and international students from over 100 countries to experience each other’s lives in profound ways,” said Deborah Clifford, Executive Director. “We unlock doors to create meaningful exchange across cultures.”
Also on hand were Peter Kellner, venture capitalist and Co-Founder of Endeavor; Whitney Tilson, Founder and Managing Partner of T2 Partners; David Heleniak, TITLE, Morgan Stanley; Alberto Vitale, retired CEO, Random House, Fulbrighter to the US from Italy; Ambassador Donald Easum; Ravenel and Beth Curry, Founders of Eagle Capital Management; R. Boykin Curry, Eagle Capital Management; Consul General Philippe Lalliot, France; Anthony Viscusi, retired CEO, Vasomedical Inc., Fulbrighter to France; George Kellner, Founder and CEO of Kellner DiLeo & Co.
Presenting awards were Fulbright Scholars from Morocco, Austria, and Kenya. Alma Zadic, a Fulbrighter from Austria whose family fled the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina when she was young, said “Since I have been in New York, through One to World I have met amazing Fulbrighters from Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt and many other countries. Their stories about what is happening in their countries are important. They connect us to the country and the people in ways the news never can. Fulbrighters all over the world will be the change in their countries. They give us hope. I thank One To World for this unique experience.”
Co-Chairs Wenke Thoman Sterns, Marc Ganz, David Heleniak, and Dr. David Steinberg provided event leadership. The dinner raised nearly $500,000 for One To World programs in the year ahead.
One To World was founded in 1977 and is officially designated by the U.S. Department of State as the Coordinator of Enrichment Programs for Fulbright grantees in the New York area. The mission of the organization is to create global citizens and inspire a peaceful world through one-of-a-kind programs in classrooms and communities. One To World programs bring together Americans and international students from over 100 countries every day throughout the year to experience each other’s lives in profound ways.
|On Thursday, May 26, 2011, The Junior Committee of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children hosted their annual Spring Benefit, Empire State of Mind at the Empire Room on the ground floor of the Empire State Building. Empire State of Mind was the NYSPCC Junior Committee’s most successful Spring Benefit to date, raising over $19,000 to support the Society’s work with NYC’s children.
|Guests included Abigail Sullivan (Junior Committee President), Alexander Papanicolaou (Junior Committee Vice President), Nicole Basabe, Mary Pulido (Executive Director, NYSPCC), Thorne and Tatiana Perkin, Anait Bian, David Stack (President, NYSPCC), Frank Sommerfield, and Karl Wellner (Vice President, NYSPCC). Vivanista.com was Media Sponsor.|
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan & Sara Cedar Miller (Playground); Peter Neu (NYSPCC)|