The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy held its most jubilant Mehregan gala yet last month as it honored Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi. The Shabanou was recognized for her extraordinary efforts to preserve Persian cultural heritage and to foster the appreciation of art and artists around the world. Inspired by the ancient Persian harvest festival, Mehregan took place at Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, which is home to the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere.
The gala was co-chaired by Katy Palizban and Cyrus Amir-Mokri, Tara Emrani and Mehdi Ansari, Diana and Frederick Elghanayan, Patricia and Alexander Farman-Farmaian, Marjan Ghara and Ali Granmayeh, Nazee and Joseph Moinian, Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi, Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi.
Board chair Peter Boodell, president Stephen Byrns, and Nazee Moinian spoke; Layla Diba introduced the honoree; and Ali Granmayeh presented the award. The festive event took place in a tent with sumptuous Persian food, music, and dancing. The evening culminated in a fire ceremony at the Shabanou-dedicated Persian Pool, which has been restored with generous support from the Iranian-American community, the State of New York, and the City of Yonkers. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Mayor Mike Spano commemorated the occasion.
The gala raised funds to support the Conservancy’s efforts to sustain the Persian garden. Among the 300 guests were the Princesses Farahnaz, Iman, and Noor Pahlavi, Sima and Morad Ghadamian, Ann Carmel, Barbara Tober, Shlomo Bakhash, Jon Corzine, Suzy and Jeffrey Elghanayan, and Kathleen McClendon.
Nearly 300 guests gathered at the Ziegfeld Ballroom as DoSomething, the hub for youth-centered activism, celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a special edition of its annual gala — The Futures Ball. In addition to commemorating 30 years of youth-led impact, this year’s event ushered in a new, illustrious collective of changemakers — highlighting the next generations of young people who are transforming systems, creating change and building a future on their terms.
The 2023 Futures Ball kicked off with a festive reception followed by the dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Emmy-nominated multi-platform storyteller, producer, futurist comedian and cultural critic Baratunde Thurston (Host and Executive Producer, PBS’ American Outdoors and Creator and Host, How To Citizen Podcast).
In her opening remarks, DoSomething CEO DeNora Getachew highlighted the organization’s rich history and set the course for its new direction.
“Today, we are living through another generational shift. In 1993 we were engaging young Gen X’ers and Millennials. Now, our sweet spot is Gen Z. And Gen Alpha is right behind them with the oldest turning 13 this year – just old enough to be a DoSomething member,” said Getachew. “This moment calls for us to do our part to help young people find their civic identity and support them in their moving from civically curious to civically committed. We’re going beyond parallel activism in isolation, beyond raising awareness, we’re changing how we’re doing it, because we know there’s more to do.”
The evening continued with a mix of storytelling and fellowship and included remarks from DoSomething co-founder Andrew Shue, an auction featuring the work of celebrated visual artist Wardell Milan as well as stirring performances by violinist Kersten Stevens and poet Fanta Ballo. The gala culminated with an epic set from hip hop icon Doug E. Fresh in celebration of hip hop’s 50th anniversary.
Additionally, DoSomething honored the class of 2023 honorees who are leading substantive change locally, nationally and globally with award presentations throughout the evening.
The 2023 Visionary Vanguard Award recipients were Marley Dias and Aditi Mayer.
DoSomething also unveiled the winners of its Generation Future Award, which recognizes emerging changemakers who will shape the future of youth-led impact. Over 1,000 young people applied for the award and 10 finalists were voted on by their peers. The three winners were celebrated onstage and presented with a $5,000 grant to help them continue their mission and amplify their impact.
The 2023 Generation Future Award Winners were: Maksim Batuyev, Jasmine Lewis, and Ananya Pinnamaneni.
Convening a host of notables, activists and advocates across industries for an unforgettable night, special guests included: Tracy Garcia, Anna Molinari, Estella Struck, Savannah Vinson, Alexis Williams, and Sophie Boren.
Proceeds from the Futures Ball Gala benefit DoSomething’s ongoing work as the hub for youth activism that fuels young people to change the world.
The 2023 Futures Ball is presented by (Gap Inc.)
For more information, visit https://www.dosomething.org/us/about/futuresball