A Positive Path Forward

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Tiffany Gardner, Sugie Hong Bruttomesso, Lizzy Quick, Gigi Stone Woods, Melissa Crandall, and Melanie McLennan at the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy's Playground Partners annual Winter Luncheon.

On February 25th, the Playground Partners, a program of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, held their annual Winter Luncheon kicking off the year’s fundraising events supporting the Conservancy, the nonprofit that cares for all 843-acres of the Park from horticulture and trash management to visitor services, restoration and more. The luncheon raised essential funds to support the daily upkeep and ongoing care of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, which provide New York children and families safe and accessible areas to play.

Mo Rocca and Sutton Foster.

Over 330 attendees gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in an area with beautiful backdrop views of the Park. The luncheon featured a lively conversation between Tony Award-winning actress and author Sutton Foster; and journalist, actor and CBS correspondent Mo Rocca, who discussed how crafting has been integral to Sutton’s life, as she highlights in her new book, Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life.

“We are thrilled to host such a successful luncheon,” said Yesim Philip, President of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. “The Conservancy is a nonprofit sustained primarily through donations, and the Women’s Committee is beyond thankful for the generosity and support we’ve garnered to ensure Central Park remains a beautiful sanctuary for every New Yorker to enjoy.”

“We are grateful to see enthusiasm and support for Central Park’s playgrounds,” said Elizabeth W. Smith, President & CEO of Central Park Conservancy. “The Women’s Committee Playground Partners provide critical support to the Conservancy’s maintenance and restoration work and help us create imaginative spaces for children to enjoy outdoor recreation.”

This year’s event co-chairs were Sugie Hong Bruttomesso, Melissa Crandall, Tiffany Gardner, Melanie McLennan, Lizzy Quick, Gigi Stone Woods, and Playground Partners Chair and Vice Chairs are Heather McAuliffe, Mimi Ritzen Crawford and Austen Phillips Cruz. Luncheon attendees included Women’s Committee President Yesim Philip, Central Park Conservancy CEO & President, Elizabeth W. Smith, along with guests including Katherine Birch, Shirin Christoffersen, Kate Davis, Ainsley Earhardt, Lydia Fenet, Mary Guiliani, Gillian Hearst, Kate Davidson Hudson, Sharon Jacob, Eleanora Kennedy, Alexia Leuschen, Margo M. Nederlander, Barbara H. Scott, Amy Tarr, Tanya Warren and Sarah Wetenhall.

Mo Rocca and Sutton Foster.

For over 40 years, the Central Park Conservancy has been committed to raising funds essential to the maintenance, management, and restoration of Central Park and its many Park-wide programs. The Park’s playgrounds embody the organization’s highest standards of safety, innovation, and creativity.

The mission of Central Park Conservancy Playground Partners is to maintain the quality and cleanliness of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds. Funds raised go directly toward the preservation, care, and daily inspection of these play spaces. For more information on the Playground Partners, please visit centralparknyc.org/playgroundpartners.

Erika Liles, Carolyn Cookie Mason, Tiffany Gardner, and Dr. Robin Moore.
Jane Moore, Ruchira Bhuyan, Sugie Hong Bruttomesso, and Julie Trivedi.
Barbara Scott and Sharon Jacob.
L. to r.: Yesim Philip and Betsy Smith; Austen Cruz, Sana Clegg, and Ainsley Earhardt.
Dee Dee Sides, Krista Corl, Gillian Hearst, and George Mickum.
Beth Bell, Courtney DiMauro, Joanna Cox, and Dustee Jenkins.
L. to r.: Kristen Harper and Darice Fadeyi; Alexia Leuschen.
Shirin Christoffersen, Sana Clegg, Lara Meiland-Shaw, Katherine Birch, and Krista Corl.
Sayuri Ganepola and Allison David.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) recently hosted their annual Pro-Am Tennis & Golf Tournament in South Florida. The tournaments were a part of a five-day event that combines the 2022 Milken Institute South Florida Dialogues and annual Pro-Am Tournaments.

The Milken Institute South Florida Dialogues in Palm Beach took place over three days, which included the annual PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament and special golf tournament; and concluded with three days of events in Miami. The highlight of the first night in Palm Beach was a gala dinner at the home of Steve and Andrea Wynn with entertainment by John Fogerty and Master Mentalist Lior Suchard.

Some notable attendees included: Mike Milken, Steve and Andrea Wynn, Former United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and his wife Hilary, John Paulson, Rob and Cindy Citrone, Tony and Sage Robbins, Jeff and Mei Sze Greene, Robert Kraft, Daria Barry, John F. Barry III, Major General David Scott, Elaine Chao, and Congressman Patrick Murphy.

Just as with their Hamptons program, select guests were invited to attend a variety of salons on topics similar to those covered at the Global Conference, but in much smaller, more intimate landmark settings and stunning private homes. Guests were able to attend more than 20 sessions, and PCF anticipates up to 80 interesting panelists.

John Fogerty performing.

All proceeds from the PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament and the Golf Tournament funded PCF’s promising and innovative research efforts for the prevention, detection and treatment of prostate cancer, and to help extend and improve the lives of all cancer patients:

Young Investigators: PCF has launched and supported the careers of more than 500 scientists whose work has led to 15 new FDA-approved treatments

VA Partnership: providing best-in-care treatments for our U.S. veterans

Team Science: PCF Challenge Award Teams continue to produce scientific breakthroughs and serve as a role model for other disease-specific foundations.

The Cutting Edge of Research: By focusing on immunotherapy, the microbiome and nutrition science, discoveries in PCF-funded research have been highly leveraged in diagnosing and treating more than 70 other cancers

Precision Medicine: PCF helps identify the right treatment for the right patient at the right time, and may be at the heart of solving the mystery of cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving cancer research. Founded in 1993 by Mike Milken, PCF has funded nearly $800 million of cutting-edge research by 2,200 scientists at 220 leading cancer centers in 22 countries around the world. Because of PCF’s commitment to ending death and suffering from prostate cancer, the death rate is down more than 52% and 1.5 million men are alive today as a result. PCF research now impacts 67 forms of human cancer by focusing on immunotherapy, the microbiome, and food as medicine. For more information, visit www.pcf.org.

Mike Milken, Daria Barry, and John F. Barry III.
Alexander von Fürstenberg and friend, with Andrea and Steve Wynn.
Hilary Geary Ross and Wilbur Ross.
Robert Kraft and Tony Robbins.
Rob and Cindy Citrone.
John Paulson.

This past Monday evening, Rising Ground, one of NY’s most impactful nonprofit organizations, held its annual “Hope & Opportunity” Gala to commemorate its 190th Anniversary. This year, the venue was the Metropolitan Club in midtown Manhattan, and brought out many New Yorkers and guests from across the nation, to commemorate this historic year.

NBC 4 New York anchor Jen Maxfield served as emcee and comedian Chuck Nice along with Sara Joye-Ross entertained the crowd of 190.

Soara Joye-Ross.

Rising Ground provides over 25,000 children, adults, and families with the skills and resources they need to overcome adversity and find positive paths forward.

Tom Gallagher (Managing Director, BNY Mellon, Hampton, NJ), Matt del Percio (Director, Altman Solon, Chairman of the Rising Ground Board of Directors), Alan Mucatel (CEO, Rising Ground, Manhattan), and Vincent Pacilio (EVP, BNY Mellon).
Thomas Donato (Senior VP, Mutual of America, Hoboken, NJ), Alan Mucatel (CEO Rising Ground, Manhattan), Susan S. Benedict, Steven Ortiz, (VP, Mutual of America), and Rainel Lopez.
Hazel Carter and Joyce Coppin Mondesire (Board Member, Rising Ground).
Dr. Angela White and Steve Powers.
L. to r.: Soara Joye-Ross; Abbey Braverman and Mindy Goldstein.
BNY Mellon’s Jeremy Darhansoff, Thomas Gallagher, and Kelly McKenna.
Chuck Nice, Alan Mucatel, Jen Maxfield, John Greed (CEO Mutual of America), and Matt del Percio.
Lissa Southerland (COO, Rising Ground), Carlton Mitchell, and Dr. Angela White.
David Jakus and Michelle Listokin
Rebekah Jones, Rachel Jones, Ingrid Green Jones (Sr. Counsel, Pfizer & Rising Ground Board Member), and Alan Mucatel.
Brina and Allen Waxman (Rising Ground Vice President Board of Directors).
Stephanos Antoniades, Olga Tsoudis, Carol Chen, and Harvey Kreiswirth.

The Continental Literary Magazine, a new quarterly bringing together the best authors of Central Europe and America, was celebrated at the Fifth Avenue residence of the Hungarian-American philanthropist Sylvia Hemingway last Tuesday evening.

Sándor Jászberényi.

Editor in chief Sándor Jászberényi spoke of the value of international voices in translation and a dialogue with American writers adding, “I wanted to be a writer because it was cheaper than therapy.  Life can be meaningless but my stories have meaning. I can fix life in my fiction.”

Admiring literati attending included Jessie Kornbluth, who compared notes on his brilliant blog, Head Butler, with Daisy Prince, who will soon launch her own blog, Digital Party (DP), Simon Van Booy who’s new noel, The Presence of Absence will be published in October, and Steven A. M Aaronson.

Brigadier General (ret.) Peter B. Zwack, whose father had been a member of the Hungarian Parliament and their Ambassador to the U.S., retreated to the hostess’s study to appear live on CNN, commenting on President Biden’s address on war in the Ukraine.

Sara Holliday, from The New York Society Library, the oldest cultural institution in New York, discussed the possibility of a reading for The Continental’s second issue in the spring. The Consulate General of Hungary was represented by Péter B. Nagy.

Also on hand were The Continental staff including Editor and Senior Translator Owen Good, Executive Director Dániel Levente Pál, and Publishing Manager Márton Szegedi.

Michael Cervasi and Sylvia Hemingway.

The elegant luncheon buffet included a cold salmon à la nage with winter vegetables. Dessert boasted an authentic dobosh torte, a spectacular Hungarian eight-layered spungcake with chocolate butter cream icing and topped with caramel, from the Hungarian Pastry Shop at Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street.

The premiere issue of The Continental, themed on “Prejudice”, includes contributions from 23 authors, including Americans Roxanne Gay, with a stirring piece The Power of No: A Meditation on Boundaries and Black Womanhood, Judith Newman, writing I’m Here, I’m Disabled, Get Used To It, a provocative article about sexuality and disability, and Tope Folarian, with Big Brother, a look at race relations on the reality show Big Brother.

Noam Chomsky provides a thought-provoking interview about cancel culture. Also featured are the Black Czech writer Tomáš Zmeškal with a story about race struggles in Czechoslovakia, the Hungarian writer Anna Terék offers a provocative poem, and Lance Henson grapples with his Cheyenne Lakota Cajun and French identities.

Additional Central European contributors include Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort, Hungarian writer, visual and sound-poet, performer, and translator Kinga Tóth, and Eszter Babarczy, with a short story It’ll Be Great. The Continental is available at Barnes & Noble.

A luncheon postscript: The Continental’s editor in chief, Sandor Jaszberenyi, is currently reporting from Kyiv, where he is witnessing the shelling of the city first-hand.

Márton Szegedi and Peter Nagy.
Agnes Perenyi and Peter Nagy.
Michele Gerber Klein and Simon Van Booy.
Jesse Kornbluth and Sylvia Hemingway.
Sándor Jászberényi and Michael Cervasi.
Daisy Prince and Sara Holliday.
L. to r.: Lauren Lawrence; Steven Aronson
Dániel Levente Pál and Peter Zwack.
Dániel Levente Pál and Alexandra Nicklas.

Photographs by Sean Zanni/PMC (Central Park Conservancy); Ben Asen Photography (Rising Ground); Jill Nelson/Anniewatt.com (The Continental).

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