|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.
|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.
|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 www.fundforparkavenue.org.
|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.
|"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.
|"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 www.nycacc.org for more information.
|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.|
| 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|
|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 www.AnnieWatt.com (Park Avenue Tree Lighting & Doubles); Jill Johnson (Planting Feilds)