A hop, skip, and a jump

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Jumping for joy on Fifth Avenue. Photo: JH.

Monday, February 24, 2020. A bright, sunny day, yesterday in New York, with temps in the mid-to-hi 50s. Two weeks til Daylight Savings.

The Week Just Past. Last Wednesday night The New York Botanical Garden hosted its annual Orchid Dinner at The Plaza. This is what’s known to its faithful patrons as a “beautiful” dinner. 

And it is. It’s right there at every table as it’s known for its stunning table centerpieces. Large-scale orchid arrangements created by some of the country’s most illustrious designers. This year’s designs did not disappoint. They showcased dramatic, colorful bold works, inspired by the artistic style of floral designer to the stars Jeff Leatham, the Guest Designer for this year’s Orchid Show.

The Orchid Sale.

350 guests attended, and assembled in the hotel’s landmarked ballroom. The evening began with cocktails where guests could engage in buying some of the exceptional and rare orchids on sale. This was followed by  multi- course dinner. Guests then made their way to the dance floor with top hits played by DJ Mad Marj, a/k/a to this crowd as Marjorie Gubelmann.

The evening was celebrating The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, which recently opened at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and will run through Sunday, April 19, 2020.

Jeff Leatham’s Tablescape.
Tablescape by Patrick Janelle.

Proceeds from the evening support more than $550,000 for The New York Botanical Garden and its world renowned horticulture and botanical research programs. The Orchid Dinner’s Gala Chairs were Anne and Russell Byers, Whitney and Jonathan Clay, Sharon and Bill Jacob, Susan and George Matelich, Tina and Steven R. Swartz, Honorary Design Chair was Jeff Leatham; Design Chair, Steele Marcoux, Editor-in-Chief of VERANDA.

Additional notable attendees included Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO and President of The New York Botanical Garden, designer Elizabeth Sutton, James DeSantis, Mel Brasier and Garrett Magee of Manscapers, DJ’s Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol of The Misshapes, fashion designer Timo Weiland, Gillian Hearst, Krystal Bick and Patrick Janelle.

Carrie Rebora Barratt.
Jeff Leatham.

The Botanical was founded in 1891. It is the most comprehensive botanical garden in the world, anchored in the Bronx, a destination for than 1 million visitors every year. They are connecting with nature for joy, beauty, and respite. If nothing else, an instant aid to our state of mind.

The New York Botanical is also renowned for their plant-based exhibitions, as well as their music and dance, and poetry and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness. Graduate programs educate the next generation of botanists, as well as engaging in classes that inspire adults to remain lifelong learners.

NYBG Orchid Dinner.

The 250-acre verdant landscape includes:

A 50-acre, old-growth forest — and the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory support living collections of more than 1 million plants!

More than 1 million unparalleled resources are held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the world’s most important botanical and horticultural library inclukding 11 million archival items spanning ten centuries!

And the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. Committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources, Garden scientists work on-site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.

Brittany Bromley.
Garrett Magee, Mel Brasier, and James DeSantis.
L. to r.: Krystal Bick and Igee Okafor; Richard Chilton Jr. and Maureen Chilton.
Barclay Collins, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, and Justice Dianne Renwick.
Geordon Nicol, Leigh Lezark, and Timo Weiland.
L. to r.: Elizabeth Sutton; Gillian Hearst.
Brynn Olson.
Sharon Jacob, Susan Matelich, Anne Byers, Tina Swartz, and Whitney Clay.
Steele Marcoux.
Jeff Leatham and friends.
 DJ Mad Marj, a/k/a to this crowd as Marjorie Gubelmann.

Also last week: The Society of MSK Associates Committee kicked off its 29th annual Bunny Hop with premier Parisian children’s wear brand Bonpoint. 

The Bunny Hop, benefitting MSK Kids, will be held on Tuesday, March 10th and will be co-chaired by Mary Dillow, Meredith Melling and Brent Neale Winston with honorary co-chairs Jenna Bush Hager and Nate Berkus.

Guests at the luncheon included: Brent Neale Winston, Charlotte Groeneveld, Mary Dillow,  Amory McAndrew, Phoebe de Croisset, Jessica Sailer van Lith, Virginia Tomenson, Lili Buffett, Travis Acquavella, Joanna de Neufville, Erin O’Connor, Rebekah McCabe, Meghan Klopp, Jennifer James, Lesley Vecsler, Elizabeth Kurpis, Austen Cruz, Kristen Durkin and Elizabeth Singer.

Lili Buffett and Charlotte Groeneveld.
L. to r.: Brent Neale Winston, Virginia Tomenson, and Mary Dillow; Brent Neale Winston and Amory McAndrew.
Mary Dillow, Kristen Durkin, and Elizabeth Singer
L. to r.: Phoebe de Croisset, Jessica Sailer van Lith, and Charlotte Groeneveld; Jennifer James and Austen Cruz.
Meghan Klopp and Rebekah McCabe.
Erin O’Connor and Francesca Bodini.
Elizabeth Kurpis and Lili Buffett.
Annie Warren and Joanna de Neufville.
Stacy Dunn, Meghan Klopp, and Allie Mangione.

Photographs by Madison Voelkel/BFA.com (Bunny Hop); Angela Pham/BFA.com (NYBG)

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