Last Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the Central Park Conservancy celebrated its Annual Gala at Rumsey Playfield in the heart of Central Park. Presented by Harry Winston, Inc. the evening’s theme “A Night in the Emerald City” captured the essence of the evening: a dazzling celebration of and for the City’s crown jewel, Central Park. The joyous event featuring cocktails, dinner and dancing raised over $1.3M in support for the Central Park Conservancy’s ongoing work to maintain the beloved landmark as a respite from the pace and pressures of city life for all New Yorkers and visitors.
More than 400 guests gathered in attendance for dinner, set against a backdrop of emerald tones and glittering décor, the scene was a creative nod to Oz and even included oversized poppies and a yellow brick road laid out using Central Park’s most notable paving stones. Entertainment included a special surprise performance presented by WICKED, in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary on Broadway, which featured Talia Suskauer and Kara Lindsay.
Event co-chairs Lauren Seeger and David E. Cohen, Evelyn and David McCabe, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Mo Sakurai and Harry Taylor were joined by President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy Betsy Smith, Conservancy trustees, and donors. Guests included Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, Suzie Aijala, Judy Hart Angelo, Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, Kate and Andrew Davis, Andra and John Ehrenkranz, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Jane Heller, Tracey and Craig Huff, Kitty and Tom Kempner, Jill and Barry Lafer, Tina Leung, Susan Magrino an Jim Dunning, Melanie and Matthew McLennan, Margo and James Nederlander, Jenny Price, Didi and Oscar Schafer, Martha Stewart, Elaine Textor, Ezra William, Toya Williford, Anna Bender-Zeckendorf and Will Zeckendorf.
“I’m delighted we are able to come together this fall in celebration of the Conservancy’s work to preserve New York’s most iconic landmark,” said Betsy Smith, President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “I am grateful for the dedication of our supporters, staff, volunteers, and visitors who each play a vital role in keeping the Park clean, inviting, and open for everyone for many years to come.”
Following dinner, Central Park Conservancy’s Young Associates joined the party for dessert and dancing to music from On the Move Entertainment. Their evening continued with an After Party at Pebble Bar featuring cocktails by William Grant & Sons. Event Co-Chairs Zachary Weiss, Ivy Getty, Jeremy A. Batoff, Savannah Engel, Eric Goldie, and Beverly Nyugen welcomed guests including Brittany Beyer Harwin, Sam Dangremond, Mercedes de Guardiola, Katie McCurdy, Ian Malone, Madelynn Matichak, Serena Miniter, Molly Moorkamp, Madeline O’Malley, Savannah Stevens, and Regine Thervil.
The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from the pace and pressures of city life, enhancing the enjoyment and wellbeing of all. The Conservancy’s staff of more than 300 is responsible for all aspects of the Park’s stewardship, from day-to-day maintenance and operations to continued restoration and rebuilding projects. For more information, visit centralparknyc.org.