Monday, June 11, 2018

A Taste of Genius

Jay Mandelbaum, Laurie Mandelbaum, Sylvester Miniter, Gillian Miniter, Kelly Coffey, Tom Kempner, Betsy Smith, Kristy Korngold, and Jonathan Korngold at the Central Park Conservancy's annual Taste of Summer benefit
On Wednesday, June 6th, the Central Park Conservancy kicked off summer in Central Park with its annual Taste of Summer benefit at the Park’s iconic Bethesda Terrace. More than 800 friends of the Conservancy enjoyed an evening under the stars with delectable food and seasonal cocktails from some of New York City’s best restaurants. Generously supported by the event’s presenting sponsor, Macquarie, the benefit raised $900,000 in support of the Conservancy’s mission to restore, maintain, and enhance Central Park.

“Taste of Summer is one of the Conservancy’s most popular events, and a great start to the summer season. Terrific food in an iconic location is a hard combination to beat!” said Elizabeth W. Smith, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “We are always grateful for the generous support of those attending this wonderful evening, and we appreciate the fantastic restaurants who make it possible.”
Oyster shucking
Event Chairmen Kelly and Joe Coffey, Kristy and Jonathan Korngold, Laurie and Jay Mandelbaum, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, and Melissa Vail and Norman C. Selby were joined by notable attendees including Chef Todd English, Anne Harrison, Gillian Hearst, Tracey and Craig Huff, Sharon and Bill Jacob, Thomas L. Kempner, Jr. & Katheryn C. Patterson, Alexia Leuschen, Shawn Lytle, Pamela Schein Murphy and Chef Marc Murphy, Fiona and Eric Rudin, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Central Park Conservancy President and CEO Elizabeth W. Smith and John Stossel.
Under the arcade
The Plaza Taste Cafe
The Plaza hosted the Taste Café and served bites from Café D’Avignon, CPS events at The Plaza, Doughnuttery, The Eloise Boutique, Frannie’s YoArt ‘Frozen Yogurt Boutique’, Lady M Cake Boutique, Ora di Pasta, Oysters XO, The Palm Court, Pizza Rollio, Sabi Sushi, Todd English at The Plaza, and William Greenberg Desserts. Featured restaurants included Amali, Canard, Inc., DaDong, ilili, Junoon, Kingsley, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park, Loi Estiatorio, Ristorante Morini, Rotisserie Georgette, Sauvage, Serendipity 3, Shake Shack, The Stanton Social, Tavern on the Green, Thalassa, Toloache, and The Wayfarer to name a few. Guests sipped fresh cocktails from William Grant & Sons, wine from 90+ Cellars, and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Guests also enjoyed a luxury-filled silent auction sponsored by Discovery Land Company, dancing, and music by DJ Chelsea Leyland.
Pamela Schein Murphy, Marc Murphy, and Gabrielle Palay
Jonathan Korngold, Kristy Korngold, and Todd English
Anne Harrison and Aileen Bruner Anna and Katie Harrison
Gillian Miniter, Laurie Mandelbaum, Kelly Coffey, and Kristy Korngold
Gillian Miniter, Betsy Smith, Norman Selby, Tom Kempner, and Melissa Vail
Shawn Lytle Sabrina Mesa and Marco Carlacci
Anne Prentice, Alexia Leuschen, and Shirin Christoffersen
Chelsea Leyland
More than 1,200 parents and children gathered together at Central Park’s Heckscher Playground for the Central Park Conservancy’s Playground Partners Annual Family Party on Wednesday, May 23. The family-friendly fundraiser, generously sponsored by Nordstrom, featured a sunny afternoon of games, music, entertainment, and more and raised nearly $400,000 to support Playground Partners’ mission to keep Central Park’s 21 playgrounds safe, clean, and well maintained.

Held at Central Park’s biggest and oldest playground, the fundraiser is the only event of the year held inside a Central Park playground, offering a special opportunity for New York City families.
Lizzie Boswell, Susannah Rose, Jessica Oliver, Katherine Birch, Stephanie Hessler, Teri Friedman, and Talene Baroyan
The event featured activities for children ages six months to 10 years old, including a photo op with Disney Pixar’s Incredibles 2, fishing with Playgarden Prep, engineering activities with BASIS Independent Manhattan, basketball with Fastbreak Sports, treats from Blue Marble Ice Cream, soccer with Paris Saint-Germain Academy, magic with Ned Gelfars, and music with Juliette & Ella’s Playdate.

Television host and author Daphne Oz Jovanovic served as the 2018 Honorary Chairman. Party Co-chairmen were Talene Baroyan, Katherine Birch, Lizzie Boswell, Teri Friedman, Stephanie Hessler, Emily McLellan, Jessica Oliver, and Susannah Rose. Grandparents Chairmen Donna and Marvin Schwartz were joined by Playground Partners Co-Chairmen Ranika Cohen and Shana Gary, Women’s Committee President Suzie Aijala, and Elizabeth W. Smith, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy.
Daphne Oz Jovanovic Samantha Gellert
The Benefit Committee and guests included Kelly Bensimon, Katherine Birch, Anne Black, Arielle Noa Charnas, Shirin Christoffersen, Michele Cohen, Judith Ann Corrente, Amandine Freidheim, Gigi Ganatra, Nina Garcia, Gail Golden Icahn, Sharon Jacob, Kim Klimczak, Kristy Korngold, Caroline LeFrak, Alexia Leuschen, Valerie Boster Macaulay, Michelle Marra, Gillian Miniter, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Erik Nordstrom, Yesim Philip, Ainsley Proctor, Fiona Rudin, Jackie Sackler, Dani Stahl, and Amy Tarr.

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public. The Central Park Conservancy aspires to build a great organization that sets the standard for and spreads the principles of world-class park management ― emphasizing environmental excellence ― to improve the quality of open space for the enjoyment of all. Visit to learn more.
Erik Nordstrom, Suzie Aijala, Gigi Ganatra, and Chris Wanlass
Alexia Leuschen and Katherine Birch Amandine Freidheim and Shirin Christoffersen Bobbie Thomas
Michael Moran, Donna Schwartz, Elizabeth Moran, Marvin Schwartz, Charles Schwartz, and Maura Schwartz
Laura Heintz and Virginia Apple Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Ranika Cohen, Betsy Smith, Suzie Aijala, and Shana Gary
Jeff Tarr Arielle Charnas
The Albert Einstein College Women's Division held the 64th annual Spirit of Achievement Awards on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at The Rainbow Room in New York to honor Music Icon and Grammy Award Winning Artist Linda Ronstadt, Interior designer Penny Drue Baird, CEO of Douglas Elliman Dottie Herman and EVP and Chief Academic Officer Dean Allen M. Spiegel.  NBC's Today Show contributor Jill Martin was Master of Ceremonies and longtime music critic of The New York TimesJohn Rockwell was there to accept the award on behalf Linda Ronstadt who was unable to attend due to her Parkinson's illness.
This year’s event was attended by 250 supporters and hosted by Co-Presidents of the Women’s Division Terri Goldberg and Trudy Schlachter and Luncheon Chairs Carol Roaman and Andrea Stark. The luncheon committee included Linda Altman, Judy Baron, Mindy Feinberg, Arlene Fischer, Mary Loving, Madge Miller, Pamela Pantzer, Adrianne Silver, Audrey Wilf among others. 
Terri Goldberg and Trudy Schlachter
John Rockwell Dan Ritchie
Penny Drue Baird and Andrea Stark
All honorees shared touching stories of their own experiences about how cancer has impacted their lives as well as their accomplishments. An impassioned video of the revolutionary work being done at Montifiore Einstein was shown to guests followed by a meaningful speech from Dean Allen M. Spiegel about his twelve years at the college.  Andrea Stark hosted a Q & A with Penny Drue Baird about her “having it all” and John Rockwell was pleased to accept the award on behalf on his dear friend Linda Ronstadt for her advocacy for Parkinson’s research as guests listened to the music icon as the luncheon came to a close. 

Honoree Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend due to her Parkinson's illness
The premier Spirit of Achievement Awards began as a mother-daughter luncheon honoring Marlene Dietrich and her daughter Maria Riva in 1954 was the very first “Benefit Luncheon” in Manhattan.  It is now considered a power house luncheon for modern day women in all fields from acting to journalism to medicine.

Past honorees include Eleanor Roosevelt, Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters, Sharon Stone, Christine Baranski, Anne Bancroft, Jane Pauley, Gloria Steinem, Twyla Tharp, Candice Bergen, Barbara Cocoran, Hoda Kotb, Cynthia Nixon, Whoopi Goldberg, Cindy Crawford, Katie Couric, Vera Wang, Iris Apfel, Shirley MacLaine, Elsa Peretti, Joyce Carol Oats, Diane Von Furstenberg, Patricia Field, Susan Lucci, Glenn Close, Diane Sawyer, Nora Ephron, Evelyn Lauder, Jill Martin, Donna Karan and many others.

Since its inception, the Women’s Division has raised over $100 million and has established: a Wing for Prenatal Studies and Research in Birth Defects, a Clinical Research Institute for Child Development, and funded major research in immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy in cancer.  This year’s luncheon continued to raise funds for comprehensive health care for women through cutting-edge research, discovery and teaching, as well as providing specialty care for all women.  The dedicated members of the Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine are a driving force in aiding medical research and education for the development of innovative treatments and cures for life-threatening conditions.

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Dan Ritchie, Jill Martin, and Dr. Steven Safyer
Trudy Schlachter, John Rockwell, and Jill Martin
Kip Mandelbaum, Karen Mandelbaum, and Talia Mandelbaum Joe Lupo and Howard Williams
Terri Goldberg, Andrea Stark, Trudy Schlachter, Penny Drue Baird, and Dottie Herman
Trudy Schlachter, Eileen Merstein, Dottie Herman, Andrea Stark, and Mollie Grossman
Andrea Stark, Bambi Felberbaum, Trudy Schlachter, Jill Martin, Penny Drue Baird, and Carol Olshan
Baird family
Sheree Mandelbaum, Helaine Lesser, and Randy Gilman
Linda Berley, Penny Drue Baird, Gail Kaplan, Lisa Brooke, and Lori Weitzner
Dr. Ed Burns and Bambi Felberbaum John Rockwell and Jonn Nubian
Terry Baird and grandsons
Susan Swimmer, Jill Martin, and Jodi Fried
Photographs by Annie Watt (Einstein); Zach Hilty/BFA (Taste of Summer); Isadora (Playground Partners)