Monday, December 16, 2013

'Tis the Season

Park Avenue before the 2013 Tree Lighting ceremony
Sunday, December 8th marked the 69th year in a row that trees have been lit on Park Avenue to honor the men and women who fought in our nation's armed services, especially those who sacrificed their lives. Light snow fell on the large crowd gathered in front of the Brick Presbyterian Church as Rev. Michael L. Lindvall presided over a ceremony that was both a reminder of the original meaning of the lights and a celebration of the holiday season.

This tradition began after World War II when a few Park Avenue families put up trees in remembrance of their loved ones. Today the project is managed by The Fund for Park Avenue and is made possible by annual contributions from the community.
Reverend Michael L. Lindvall
Thomas Hoyt
Knickerbocker Grey cadets
Brick Church Children’s Choir
Knickerbocker Grey cadets attended the event this year to pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for whom the trees are dedicated. The Greys, based at the Park Avenue Armory, are the oldest after school activity in the country (founded in 1881) with a mission to train boys and girls in drill routines for civic and governmental ceremonial events, instill and develop leadership skills and learn about American history.

A moment of silence was observed while Taps was played by trumpeter, Thomas Hoyt before Rev. Lindvall uttered the words "Let there be light!" at which time the lights on the trees began to sparkle up and down the avenue. On the night of the ceremony, the trees are lit manually but are controlled by time clocks thereafter.

Before and after what can best be described as a "Park Avenue Block Party," families and friends gathered for celebrations in homes and restaurants all around the neighborhood.
Barbara McLaughlin and friends on Park Avenue
A rooftop party across from Brick Church
The lit trees on Park Avenue
First Snowball of the night
Natasha and John Bergreen
Officer Brent Andreol
Robert Wolf, Katarina Posch, Heidy Benzinger, and Jack Toolin
J. McLaughlin hosted its second annual "open house" to benefit the Tree Lighting and local restaurants such as Island and Swifty's also joined in to support this wonderful New York tradition.

The Park Avenue Tree Lighting brings together a large and diverse community to ensure that one of the City's most beloved and meaningful traditions continues each year. Lights shine on Park Avenue because of the commitment and annual financial support of so many people. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Barbara McLaughlin
Alexandra Hoyle and Eric Hoyle
Ann Fisher and Lenora Pettit
Gwenda McDougal and John Campbell
Richard and Caroline Moss
Ted and Kathleen Beit
Jim Kerr and Helen Miller
Marcia and Georgina Schaeffer
Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) honored some of New York's Kindest – those dedicated supporters committed to making a difference for NYC animals in need – at the landmark National Arts Club on December 6th. An awards ceremony, dinner, and silent auction was held followed a VIP cocktail reception that featured multi-platinum selling vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway. Net proceeds from the event support the care of homeless and abandoned animals at AC&C.

The New York's Kindest Dinner & Awards was named for AC&C's New York's Kindest ad campaign, which debuted earlier this year and aims to get more New Yorkers involved in helping city animals. Ads featuring AC&C adopters, volunteers, and donors with the cats and dogs they love appeared in subways, on telephone kiosks, in print and online, in a commercial, and even on a billboard by Citi Field. Among those honored at the event was New Leash Productions, the team behind the campaign.
Patrick Nolan, Nicki Gondell, and Risa Weinstock
Patrick Nolan, Kevin de IAigle, and Risa Weinstock
"Our New York's Kindest ad campaign and celebration tonight underscore the importance that the community plays by adopting, volunteering, fostering, donating and advocating for AC&C and the animals in our care," said AC&C Executive Director Risa Weinstock.

Julie Morris, Heidi Miller, Michelle Villagomez,
and Gail Buchwald of the ASPCA were also honored for their support of AC&C, as were Yonaton Aronoff, Esq. and Adam Pence, Esq., of Foley & Lardner, LLP; adopter and longtime volunteer and donor Kevin de l'Aigle; and Sean Casey Animal Rescue, one of AC&C's dedicated rescue partners, also known as New Hope groups.
Adam Pence, Yonaton Aronoff, and Patrick Nolan
"Animal Care & Control's success depends on a partnership with City government, a vast network of private rescue groups and support from generous New Yorkers," said AC&C Chairman Patrick Nolan. "Together we will provide the care the animals need and deserve."

Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, taking in approximately 30,000 animals each year. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization since 1995, AC&C rescues, cares for and finds loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. AC&C facilities operate in all five boroughs. Visit for more information.
Mark Abrahams, Arthur Hazelwood, Ben LiGon , Jane Hoffman, Susan Reilly-Moszczynki, and Risa Weinstock
David Zyla, Roxy, and Tina Davis
Blaine Caravaggi, Risa Weinstock, and Robert Caravaggi
Samantha Fox, Robert Aronowitz, Dough Marron, Catharine Higgin, and Jessica Bornn
Emily and Yonaton Aronoff
Rena Micklewright and Inca
Gennaro Vitally, Roy Kessler, Theresa Beasley, and Laurie Kotton
Kevin de IAigle and Nancy Notaro
Martin Bialuscki, Jeff Wolk, Kinnaird Fox, Rob Anzalone, and Jeremy Hamilton
Julie Horton and Arthur Hazelwood
Chris Poe and Dr. Jay Kuhlman
Adam Pence and Madeline Thompson
Gina Manentte and Leslie Treed
Stephaney Bianciella and Ashley Scarlata
Nicki Gondell and the New Leash Productions table
Christine Hahn and Robert Aronowitz
The Christmas Luncheons at Doubles continue for 6 days and are a New York Holiday Tradition for the social set. Wendy Carduner warmly welcomed over 1200 members and guests to celebrate and beginning of the Christmas Season. Chef Steve Mellina prepared a different luncheon each day, but we hear the three favorites were the herb seared Chilean sea bass, lobster and crab risotto, and the crab-stuffed filet of sole.
Guests surrounding the sumptuous dessert Table included Muffie Potter Aston, Somers Farkas, Suzanne Johnson, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, Amy Hoadley, Amy Fine Collins,Suzie Aijala, Gillian Miniter, Noreen Buckfire, Sharon Handler Loeb, Daryl Roth, Ashley McDermott, Eleanora Kennedy, Anna Safir, Joan Schnitzer Levy , Lisa McCarthy, Elizabeth Stribling, CeCe Black, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Joan Rivers,  Cynthia and Tony Maltese, Paige Hardy, Kamie Lighburn, Bambi Putman, Donna Rosen, Ambassador Brodsky, and hundreds more.
Roric Tobin, Amy Hoadley, and Geoffrey Bradfield
Rebecca Grafstein, Suzie Aijala, Diane Chachas, Jenny Price, Gillian Miniter, and Noreen Buckfire
Stephanie Loeffler and Yaz Hernandez
Joan Schnitzer Levy, Wendy Carduner, and Cornelia Guest
Paige Hardy, Kristen Fealy, Wendy Carduner, and Kamie Lightburn
Sharon Handler, Mai Harrison, Jamee Gregory, and Joan Schnitzer Levy
Dawn Jones, Suzy Finesilver, and Lynn Crystal
Muffie Potter Aston, Somers Farkas, Susan Johnson, Amy Fine Collins, and Joanne de Guardiola
Sylvia Hemingway
Sharon Handler and Marjorie Reed Gordon
Patricia Pedersen, Heidi Holterbusch, Meg Braff, and Mayme Hackett
Lesley Francis, Cynnie Ogden, Anki Leeds, Carol McNierney, Robyn Joseph, Clelia Zacharias, and Lisa McCarthy
Laurie Dhue, Annie Scranton, and Sally Izzo
Dr Lee Klausner, Amanda Moran, Lindsay Higgins, Meredith Sullivan, and McDowell Winn
McDowell Winn's group at the dessert table
Tory Burch, Jennifer Aaker, Marina Rust, and Christina Smith
Ursula Lowerre, Elizabeth Stribling, Karen Clark, Jeanne Lawrence, CeCe Black, and Sondra Gilman
Robin Joseph and Heather Leeds' Table
Polly Onet, Catherine Carey, and Robin Joseph
Stephanie Foster, Katie Ryser, and Shana Hunter
Julie Crosswell, Nancy Steves, Carmen Knapp, Sarah Pitt, Arlene Levitt, and Sara Steves
Stephanie Foster
Polly Scott, Liz Peek, Dale Burch, Bambi Putman, and Lucy Lamphere
Lee Robinson, Kari Tiedeman, and Mark Gilbertson
Holly Kinney's table
Courtney Moss' table
Christine Scott, Felicia Taylor, and Alex Trower
Ambassador Brodsky, Contessina Francesca Brodsky, Countess and Nuvia Brodsky
Cynthia and Tony Maltese, Joan Rivers, Taki Theodoracopulos, and friend
Stephen and Christine Schwarzman
Jennifer Stockman, Bambi Putman, and Donna Rosen
Darcy Rigas, Anna Safir, Eleanora Kennedy, Julie Macklowe, Lily Hoagland, Lisa Klein, Kamie Lightburn, and Melissa Morris
Eleanora Kennedy and Anna Safir
Danielle Ganek and Alexa Hamm Ryan
Vivian Chamber and friend
The dessert table ...
Planting Fields of Oyster Bay, NY celebrated their Centennial in grand style on December 6th. Coe Hall was decked with boughs of holly, Christmas trees, music by Bob Merrill and dancing.

Mr. and Mrs. William Robertson Coe
bought Planting Fields exactly one hundred years ago. They closed on the purchase December 1st, 1913. Coe Hall, which they built between 1918 and 1921, became their spring and fall retreat from New York City. The Olmsted brothers were commissioned to landscape the magnificent park and to build the huge greenhouses. In 1949 Mr. Coe sold the estate (then, as now, 409 acres) to the State of New York for $1. Planting Fields Foundation and the state work to preserve and interpret the park and Coe Hall for the enjoyment of everyone.
Colleen and C.B. Ciullo, and Mary and Robert Ciullo
Patsy Sands, Sarane Ross, Margaret Stacey, Joan Shepard, and Tom Stacey
Jody and Hannah Burns (Co-chair)
Henry B. Joyce (Executive Director)
Aimee and George Eberle, and Cora and Clarence McCallis
Charles McCurdy, and Jamie and Mary Gay Townsend
Marybeth Donohue, Gillian Mestre, and Louise Parent
Natalie and Cassius Coe
Wendy and Gary Kaplan, and Alex and Cathy Traykovski
Morgan and Liz McLanahan, Emily Johnson, and Gib Chapman
Helene and Nathalie Comfort, and Lieta Urry
Susan Moore, Julia Weidinger, and Suzanne Dubuque
Bess and David Fuchs
Lieta Urry, Helen Bonebreak, and Missy Moorhead
Constance and Nina Haydock
Music by Bob Merrill
Dr. Maryann Rosman and Amy Herling
Terry and Jeff Thielen
Tim and Gina Di Pietro, and Ann and Elliot Conway
Timothy and Kate O’Neil
Jim Powers and Caroline Tyree
Michael and Victoria Moses, and Mitzie Graef
Liz and Robert Whitney
John and Elizabeth Collett
Hal (President of Planting Fields) and Sally Davidson
Susan Hillberg
Meg Hayes and Willian Frere
Denyse Duvall Pugsley
Bruce and Catherine herlich
Pieppe and Paula Gonthier
Antje Dolido and Liz McLanahan
Carlos and Lisa McCurdy
Margaret and Bob Foschi

Photographs by (Park Avenue Tree Lighting & Doubles); Jill Johnson (Planting Feilds)