Born Green

Cocktails in the Battery Bosque Gardens for the 17th Battery Conservancy Gala: Born Green.
Late last month, The Central Park Conservancy hosted the Twentieth Annual Playground Partners Family Party from 3:30 to 6:30 PM in Central Park’s Heckscher Playground at 62nd Street. This is the only event of the year held inside a Central Park playground, offering a special opportunity for New York City families.

More than 1,200 parents and children attended this lively event, enjoying music by Hope Harris and the Cousin’s Jamboree, face-painting, official Central Park vehicles to explore, an Angry Bird toss, craft designing by Make Meaning, sand art craft making, rock climbing walls, cupcake decorating by Magnolia Bakery, Bulldog Ball Club fast pitch, a storytelling adventure by Story Pirates, a delicious dinner buffet, and much more.
This year’s Honorary Chairman, Mariska Hargitay, was joined by Party Chairmen Natalia Echavarria, Adelina Wong Ettelson, Jennifer Evans, Clarita Fodor, Mary Karen O’Shaughnessy, and Kimberly Thurston, Grandparents Committee Chairman Karen LeFrak, as well as Playground Partners Co-Chairmen Nyssa Kourakos and Yesim Philip, and Women’s Committee President Anne Harrison. The event was sponsored by Goldman Sachs, Brooks Brothers and Related.

Proceeds from the Family Party support Playground Partners and its mission to keep Central Park’s 21 playgrounds safe, clean and well-maintained for New York’s children. This year’s event raised $360,000.
The Benefit Committee and guests included: Lise and Michael Evans, Kristy and Jonathan Korngold, Michelle Smith, Lisa and Jeff Blau, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Nanar and Tony Yoseloff, Nancy and Dan Paduano, Mary Kathryn Navab, Sharon and Tom Teles, Jenny Price, Virginia and David Apple, Kamie and Rich Lightburn, Aryn Grossman, Jill Ross and Paul Cole, Amy Tarr, Dara O’Hara, Jenna and Paul Segal, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Nancy Missett, Gloria and Philip Cowen, Sheri Babbio, Marcia Mishaan, Michael Bassett and Darren Henault, Vicki Foley, Kathryn and Mike Saunders, and Victoria Gore.

A successful silent auction included exclusive, park-related items including: tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a picnic dinner and tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, a Central Park bird watching birthday party, a family volunteer day in the park, and a cocktail party with catering by Abigail Kirsch in the Park.
Anna Safir, Ava, and Eleanora A. Kennedy
Caroline LeFrak, Karen LeFrak, and Ivan LeFrak
Anne Harrison, Adelina Wong, and Mariska Hargitay
Megan del Valle and Cisco del Valle
Kamie Lightburn, Carter Lightburn, Brett Eckes, and Sami Yuyanik
Karen LeFrak, Ivan LeFrak, and Gillian Miniter
David and Kimberly Thurston
Adelina Wong, Gabriel Fodor, Clarita Fodor, Kimberly Thurston, Arthur Wayne, Yesim Philip, and Nyssa Kourakos
Nina Garcia
Mariska Hargitay and Mary Kathryn Navab
Jenny Price
Lisa Cali with Jasper
Mariska Hargitay
Whitney Topping, Christopher Topping, and Quincy Topping
Kamie Lightburn and Sheri Babbio
Gillian Miniter, Anne Harrison, and Betsy Messerschmitt
Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay
Yesim and Matthew Philip
Four hundred and fifty civic-minded New Yorkers converged on the historic banks of The Battery the evening of June 5th to celebrate the 17th Battery Conservancy's Gala, raising over $1.2 million for the rebuilding of these 25 acres which were Born Green. From the receding ice age, to 10,000 years of Native American habitation, to the settlements of New Amsterdam and New York, the tip of Manhattan has been Green. Today The Battery Conservancy is making sure it stays Green, with a one acre Urban Farm and the largest perennial gardens in North America, which are free and open to the public every day of the year. "This year marks a paramount moment with 97% of the landscape being rebuilt or now in construction," stated William C. Rudin, Chairman of The Battery Conservancy. "It has been a demanding 18 years of dedicated work by generous private individuals partnering with the City of New York."
 
On June 5th The Battery Conservancy honored two of its great contributors: The masterful and creative builder Melvyn Kaufman (1924-2012) was remembered for his life as a visionary leader in great design in architecture, public art and public plazas, and for his behind-the-scenes generosity to The Battery Conservancy. His wife Liz Atwood accepted the Battery Medal for Design Excellence in his honor, presented by NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
Honoree Liz Atwood with grandson Thomas Robinson
Honoree Marissa Shorenstein
The Battery is also leading the way in technological access with the gift of free wi-fi from AT&T. Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T New York, accepted the Battery Medal for Corporate Leadership presented by Rachel Sterne, Chief Digital Officer in the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment, and Parks Comm. Adrian Benepe. AT&T has begun a five-year initiative to provide free wi-fi service at 26 locations in 20 NYC parks across the five boroughs. The Battery was one of the first parks to receive free wi-fi service, which was installed in the Battery Bosque Gardens and the Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Landings.

The benefactor sponsor of the evening was EmblemHealth. Lead gifts were made by Liz Atwood, AT&T, Chris and Sharon Davis, EmpireBlueCross BlueShield and Statue Cruises, A Hornblower Company. The gala dinner took place under a magnificent tent erected along the Battery seawall with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and the NY Harbor. In attendance were Abby and Rob Goldstein, Deborah Needleman and Jacob Weisberg, Campbell Brown, Robert Pini, and Christine and Cromwell Coulson. Cultural leaders included MAD Emeritus Chairperson Barbara Tober and her husband Donald, former Chairperson of Dance Theater Workshop Ginny Millhiser, Founding Board Member of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Barbara Fleischman, Guggenheim architectural curator David van der Leer, artist Paula Hayes, and award-winning graphic designer Stephen Doyle.
Charlotte Glasser, Adrian Benepe, Liz Atwood, Bill Castro, and Warrie Price
Philanthropists in attendance included Fernanda Kellogg, Chairman of Tiffany & Company Foundation, Fran Laserson, President of the Moody's Foundation, Helena Durst, Chris Buck, Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner, Deborah and Peter Krulewitch, Douglas Thomas, Joan K. Davidson, Carl and Betty Pforzheimer, Mary Jane Brock, Tracy and Frank Bisignano, and Ophelia and Bill Rudin.
 
Auction items included art pieces from Paula Hayes, Jeff Zimmerman with R20th Century Gallery, Frank Gehry's Twist Cubes with Heller, and movie premiere tickets to The Silver Lining Playbook and Django Unchained.
 
A great night was had by all who celebrate and support our new Downtown with its expanding waterfront parks, which have taken their lead from The Battery, Born Green.
Florence and Robert Kaufman
Patricia Dunnington, David van der Leer, Carlos Motta, and Warrie Price
Donald and Barbara Tober with Bill Rudin
Fred Steinberg and Sharon Casdin
Genie and Bob Birch with Steve Whitehouse
Larry and Ann Buttenweiser with Deborah Krulewitch
Liz Atwood and Bill Rudin
Bill and Ophelia Rudin
Joan K. Davidson and Alex Reese
Cathy Coughlin and Neil Giacobbi
Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Laurel Pinson
Last month in Chicago, more than 500 of Chicago's most prominent and civically-involved individuals attended the Alliance Française de Chicago Woman's Board's Biennial Gala, Le Bal Magique du Maroc.  Led by Woman's Board President Michèle Archambault, the Moroccan-themed Gala was hosted by Honorary Co-Chair Mitzi Freidheim, and Gala Co-Chairs Suzette Bulley and Margaret Unetich.
 
Guests of Honor included His Excellency Mohamed Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, and Mr. Graham Paul, Consul General of France in Chicago.
Gala attendees in the Silent Auction Souk
World-renowned French Chevalier des Arts and Lettres Perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian from Paris attended the event and developed a personalized scent for the auction souks and ballroom fountain. The auction souks were created by draping colorful fabric across tent-like fixtures and the floors were covered in beautiful Moroccan rugs. Moroccan performers – a henna artist, belly dancer and juggler– entertained guests as they sipped specialty orange-blossom cocktails and champagne.
Moroccan slippers in the Auction Souk area
Moroccan slippers in the Auction Souk area
The Gala was a huge success, raising more than $700,000. The generous donations will assist the educational and cultural programs at the Alliance Française de Chicago.
 
Leslie Hindman of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducted a live auction with a weekend stay at the Château de Chambord, a private stay at the Moroccan palace Palais Lamrani, a private dinner at the Moroccan Ambassador's Washington, D.C. home, exquisite jewelry - 18 carat white gold and diamond chandelier earrings and 18 carat white gold and diamond bracelet from Sidney Garber and week-long stays on the French Riviera and in St. Barth's.
Kim Merlin of KKM Designs transformed the Four Seasons Hotel Grand Ballroom into a magical Moroccan garden inspired by Yves Saint Laurent's and Pierre Bergé's Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh. 
The table décor featured Moroccan tea glasses filled with hydrangeas and colorful roses. Pink henna patterns were illuminated on the side walls, giving the ballroom an exotic glow.
Four Seasons Executive Chef Kevin Hickey served a Moroccan feast, featuring baby spinach salad with dates, orange segments, almonds and mint vinaigrette, roasted chicken breast stuffed with merguez with Mquatli sauce, stuffed tomatoes, Moroccan couscous and fig almond macaroon with orange blossom gelée.
 
Legendary Chicago Philanthropists Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra served as Masters of Ceremony for the evening. Jack McCord, Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Chicago, highlighted students from the Awards Towards Excellence, an outreach and after-school immersion program sponsored by the Alliance Française de Chicago's Educational Outreach Program.  Guests danced the night away to the music of Stu Hirsch Orchestra.
Ms. Michèle Archambault & Executive Director Jack McCord
Ms. Michèle Archambault and Jack McCord
His Excellency Mohamed Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States
His Excellency Mohamed Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States
The Alliance Française de Chicago was founded in 1897 and incorporated in 1901 under the leadership of prominent Chicagoans and founding board trustees. The Alliance Française de Chicago is Chicago's not-for-profit French cultural and learning center dedicated to the study of French language, cultural exchange and friendship between Americans and French-speaking people. 
Betsey Pinkert, Women’s Board Member, Norman Bobins, Vicki Hood
Women’s Board Member Betsey Pinkert, Norman Bobins, and Vicki Hood
Coco Meers
Coco Meers
Hugh Jones
Hugh Jones
Woman’s Board Members Kristina Schneider & Patty Simpson, with John Fornengo
Woman’s Board Members Kristina Schneider and Patty Simpson with John Fornengo
Isabelle de la Vauvre, François Delattre, His Excellency Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency Mohamed Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States, Hervé de la Vauvre, President of the Alliance Française of Chicago, Fatiha Bouhlal
Isabelle de la Vauvre, François Delattre, His Excellency Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency Mohamed Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States, Hervé de la Vauvre, President of the Alliance Française of Chicago, and Fatiha Bouhlal
Sharon & Eric Langshur, Lisa Bailey, Woman’s Board Member & Curt Bailey
Sharon and Eric Langshur, Woman’s Board Member Lisa Bailey, and Curt Bailey
Senior Chair Member Catherine Graham, Woman’s Board Member Lili Gaubin, Mike McCahon
Senior Chair Member Catherine Graham, Woman’s Board Member Lili Gaubin, and Mike McCahon
Alliance former chair Tom Sheffield & Woman’s Board Member Gloria Groom
Alliance former chair Tom Sheffield and Woman’s Board Member Gloria Groom
Bruce & Michèle Gelman, Woman’s Board Member, Danielle* & Congressman Bob Dold
Bruce and Michèle Gelman, Woman’s Board Member Danielle, and Congressman Bob Dold
Woman’s Board Member Nena Ivon, Cheryl Dyer
Woman’s Board Member Nena Ivon and Cheryl Dyer
David VanZanten, Martha Wolfe, Woman’s Board Member
David VanZanten and Woman’s Board Member Martha Wolfe
Nancy Taylor & Glen Taylor
Nancy and Glen Taylor
Lili Gaubin, Bernard Quancard, Harriet Gulis
Lili Gaubin, Bernard Quancard, and Harriet Gulis
Libby Horn, Founding Woman’s Board President, & David Horn
Libby and David Horn
Mitzi Freidheim & Cyrus F. Freidheim
Mitzi Freidheim and Cyrus F. Freidheim
World-renowned French Chevalier des Arts and Letters Perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian
French Chevalier des Arts and Letters Perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian
David Pisor, Carl Kocher, Nick Kokonas
David Pisor, Carl Kocher, and Nick Kokonas
Lori Soudor, Jennifer Harrell Alison McNally
Lori Soudor, Jennifer Harrell, and Alison McNally
Woman’s Board Members: Lauren Ziol, Michèle Gelman, Gala co-chair Margaret Unetich, Gala co-chair Suzette Bulley, Hilary Pisor
Woman’s Board Members: Lauren Ziol, Michèle Gelman, Gala co-chair Margaret Unetich, Gala co-chair Suzette Bulley, and Hilary Pisor
Ted & Lori Sudor, Consul General Paul Graham
Ted and Lori Sudor with Consul General Paul Graham
Auctioneer Leslie Hindman (center) with Masters of Ceremony Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra
Auctioneer Leslie Hindman with Masters of Ceremony Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra
Christian Pitt & Woman’s Board Member Courtney Pitt
Christian and Courtney Pitt
Solange Brown, Chair of Alliance Board, & Bill Brown
Solange and Bill Brown
Lindsay Axel, Eve Rogers
Lindsay Axel and Eve Rogers
Maria & Bill Smithburg
Maria and Bill Smithburg
Maureen Smith & E.B. Smith
Maureen and E.B. Smith
Jean-Pierre & Annie Ergas
Jean-Pierre and Annie Ergas
Jean-Pierre & Annie Ergas
Jean-Pierre and Annie Ergas
Lisbeth Stiffel
Lisbeth Stiffel
Mary Ellen & Kevin Connellan
Mary Ellen and Kevin Connellan
Gala co-chairs Suzette Bulley & Margaret Unetich
Gala co-chairs Suzette Bulley and Margaret Unetich
Diane and Michael Jackson
Diane and Michael Jackson
Consul General Graham Paul & Jocelyn Paul
Consul General Graham Paul and Jocelyn Paul
K.I.D.S. (Kids In Distressed Situations), the pioneering global charity that provides new clothing, shoes, books, educational materials, toys, home goods, and more to children in distressed situations, held its 6th Anniversary Women In Industry Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel on Thursday, May 31. 

Over 400 men and women from industries that support K.I.D.S., including business executives and not-for-profit leaders joined together to raise awareness, funds and honor those that have made helping children in need their mission.  Kathy Ireland, CEO and Chief Designer at kathy ireland Worldwide was honored for her business leadership, as well as her devotion to numerous philanthropic causes and named 2012 K.I.D.S. Women of Achievement, along Sharon John and Sandy Wax. Ms. John is President of Stride Rite Children's Group, a dedicated and compassionate leader who has helped bestow confidence and self-worth to children each year.   Sandy Wax is President and General Manager of PBS KIDS Sprout, the first 24-hour online and on demand TV preschool destination for kids 2-5 and their parents and caregivers. Ms. Wax is an equally devoted philanthropist through her support of Cradles to Crayons and Please Touch Children's Museum in Philadelphia.
Debra Joester, Sharon John, Kathy Ireland, Sandy Wax, Karen Bromley, and Janice Weinman
For more than 26 years, K.I.D.S. has provided hope and self-esteem to over seventy million children and families that are challenged by poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse, military family service, low literacy, major illness, incarcerated family members and disaster survival.  Made possible by the generous donations of outstanding manufacturers and retailers, K.I.D.S. distributes the brand new children's products through its network of nearly one thousand social service agencies across the U.S. and around the world.
Karen Bromley and Sarah Raines
ISharon John and Richie Woodworth
David Coleman and Janice Weinman
Marnie Omanoff and Lynn Zeplowitz
Sandy Gundersen, Laura Belvedere, and Renee Pepys Lowe
Gizelle Coleman, Donna Charles, Dennis Hughes, and Minette Coleman
Anne Dugourd and Jennifer Rotunno
Academy Award-Winner Matt Damon Again Joined Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in celebrating the Fifth Annual 'the one hundred' on Thursday, June 7 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston. 850 guests attended and celebrated the 2012 one hundred honorees, individuals and groups whose diligence and discoveries, philanthropy and passion have helped advance the fight against cancer. A total of $1.1 million was raised to support Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

Guests included: Dr. Jose Baselga; Chris Cooper; Academy Award-Winner Matt Damon; Celeste and Kent Damon; Vicary Graham; Dr. Daniel Haber; Tom Hamilton; Patti and Jonathan Kraft; Laura and Stephen Lang; Michael Lorber; Bob and Laura Reynolds; Belinda and Henri Termeer and Dr. Steven Zeitels.
Henry and India Claudy (honorees) with Matt Damon
Sponsors included: Michael Lorber; Digitas; The Kraft Group; Dr. Daniel Haber and Ellen Cohen; Laura and Stephen Lang; Ute and Patrick Provost; Time, Inc.; John and Carol Barry Foundation; BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Cabot Corporation; Curbside Hospitality and Zipcar.

An integral part of one of the world's most distinguished academic medical centers, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's commitment to eradicating cancer is fueled by scientific investigation conducted as part of the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Through a powerful synergy between scientists in the laboratories and physicians at the bedside, the Cancer Center fosters innovation in basic, translational and clinical research. The Mass General Cancer Center can be found online at: www.massgeneral.org/cancer.
Matt and Kent Damon
Dr. Jose Baselga, Mary Dempsey (honoree and sister of Patrick Dempsey), and Dr. Daniel Haber
Tom Hanilton and Patti Kraft
Co-chairs: Jonathan and Patti Kraft; Belinda and Henri Termeer, and Vicary Graham
Matt Damon and Jonathan Kraft
Michael and Anne Hayes
Simone and Ted Winston
Dr. Jose Baselga and Dr. Daniel Haber
Dr. Baselga and Michael Lorber

Photographs by PatrickMcMullan.com (Playground Partners); Matt West (Massachusetts General Hospital)