Fresh Air and a Fresh Start

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Fatima Shama, Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund, with Fresh Air Alumni at its Annual Spring Benefit.

On May 22, 2019, The Fresh Air Fund held its Annual Spring Benefit to honor Tommy Hilfiger and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Camp Tommy.  Held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City, the event raised a record-breaking close to $1.9 million for the nonprofit organization with over 600 guests in attendance.  Gayle King hosted the evening, and IMAN presented the Award to Tommy Hilfiger.  Young men who were alumni of Camp Tommy gave moving tributes and shared their life-changing experiences.  The benefit included cocktails, dinner, an auction, music … and s’mores!

Camp Tommy is The Fund’s camp for boys, ages 13 to 15 years old, in Fishkill, New York, and the benefit honored Tommy Hilfiger for his continued support.  Over the past 20 years, Camp Tommy has served more than 10,000 teenage boys with a significant number of former campers returning as camp counselors and staff.  In addition to traditional camp activities and outdoor adventures, Camp Tommy creates a foundation of brotherhood, supports a sense of community, provides mentorship and transforms boys into leaders.

William P. Lauder, Chairman of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund; Wendy Flanagan, President of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund; Donald L. Hawks III, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund, and Fatima Shama, Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund.

Guests who gathered for the spectacular event included: William Lauder; Dee Hilfiger; Kris Jenner; Corey Gamble; June Ambrose; Georgina Bloomberg; Terrence Jenkins;  Angie Martinez; Bill Ard; Bart Oates; Howard Cross and more. 

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.  Each summer, thousands of children visit volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada or attend The Fund’s six overnight camps in upstate New York.  Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs.  For more information, visit

L. to r.: Georgina Bloomberg and Isabelle Krusen, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Tommy Hilfiger and Iman.
Antoine Phillips, Fresh Air Alum Tamiko White, June Ambrose, Alum and Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund, and Lila Staab.
L. to r.: Gayle King and June Ambrose; Lydia Carlston and Mats G. Carlston, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund.
L. to r.: June Ambrose and Angie Martinez June Ambrose and Fatima Shama.
William P. Lauder, Isabelle Krusen, David Perpich, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund, and Nilam Perpich.
L. to r.: Bart Oates and Billy Ard; Nancy Rooney and Wendy Flanagan.

More than 1,200 parents and children gathered together on a warm and sunny day at Central Park’s beloved Heckscher Playground on Wednesday, May 22, for the Playground Partners 27th Annual Family Party, hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. Generously sponsored by Nordstrom, the family-friendly fundraiser featured a lively afternoon of interactive games, music, and entertainment. The event raised $350,000 to support Playground Partners’ mission to keep Central Park’s 21 playgrounds safe, clean, and well-maintained. 

Hosted at Central Park’s largest and oldest playground, the fundraiser is the only event of the year held inside a Central Park playground, offering a unique opportunity for New York City families to engage with their local community.

Jenna Bush Hager.

Today Show co-anchor, author, and journalist Jenna Bush Hager and husband Henry Hager served as the 2019 Honorary Chairs. Party Co-Chairs were Ashley M. Carlson, Austen Cruz, Margo M. Nederlander, Susannah Rose, and Sarah J. Wetenhall. Playground Partners Co-Chairs Whitney Mogavero and Elizabeth Villar were joined by Women’s Committee President Alexia Leuschen and Elizabeth W. Smith, President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy.

Benefit Committee members and notable guests included Katherine Birch, Anne Black, Shirin Christoffersen, Sana Clegg, Ainsley Earhardt, Amandine Freidheim, Samantha Gellert, Gillian Hearst, Lauren Kenny, Karen LeFrak, Clémence von Mueffling, Stefano Tonchi, Chris Wanlass, Gigi Stone Woods, and Margaret Zakarian.

The event featured a variety of activities for children ages six months to 10 years old, including puppet shows and a photo-op with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, stroller parking by Nuna Baby Essentials, planting station with Nordstrom and Native Shoes, cupcake decorating by Sprinkles Cupcakes, chess games with Chess at Three, basketball with Fastbreak Sports, sand art with Craft Studio, soccer with Super Soccer Stars, and music with Juliette & Ella’s Playdate. 

Florencia Kaufmann, Shirin Christoffersen, Stephanie Hessler, and Shannon Henderson.
Kate Hrobsky, Ashley Carlson, Kim Klimczak, and Elizabeth Villar.
Kurt and Kristina Tenenbaum.
Naomi and Josh Davis.
L. to r.: Ainsley Earhardt and Gigi Stone Woods; Tiffany Gardner.
Susannah Rose, Austen Cruz, Ashley Carlson, and Margo.
Taylor Mackenzie, Jenna Bush Hager, Virginia Tomenson, and Laird Goff.
Whitney Mogavero.

Also on Wednesday, May 22nd, Susan G. Komen Greater NYC hosted the 2019 Impact Awards at Cipriani 42n​d ​St. Honorary chairs Nancy Brinker, Susan G. Komen Founder, and Gerri Willis, anchor and correspondent with the Fox Business Network, welcomed over 400 people from the New York City metropolitan area to the luncheon, which raised $500,000 towards life-saving services for women in need. The Impact Awards celebrates innovation and impact in the fight against breast cancer by honoring those making a difference through education, outreach, and research.

Cipriani 42nd Street set up for the Susan G. Komen NYC Impact Awards

Honorees included Founder of luxury intimates brand, Cosabella, Valeria Campello — Surviving with Impact Award, Lilly Oncology, accepted by Kimberly Blackwell, MD — Corporate Impact Award, Chairman of Tiger Management, LLC and founder of Tiger Foundation, Julian Robertson — John Mack Carter Founder’s Award sponsored by Hearst, and Maimonides Breast Center of Maimonides Medical Center, accepted by founder and director Patrick Borgen, MD — Community Impact & Innovation Award.

The lively event was a great success where survivors, advocates, health care providers, and supporters united to share the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC mission: No one should die from breast cancer.

L. to r.: Cathie Black, Gerri Willis, the 2018 Surviving with Impact Honoree, and Linda Tantawi, Susan G. Komen NYC CEO; Linda Tantawi and Grace Ormond, Board Chair, of Susan G. Komen NYC.
Valeria Campello (center), Founder of Cosabella, the Surviving with Impact Honoree, with Susan G. Komen Founder, Nancy Brinker.
L. to r.: Kimberly Blackwell, MD (right) of Lilly Oncology, the Corporate Impact & Innovation Award Honoree, with Linda Tantawi; Linda Tantawi with Emcee Alex Dennis, and Susan G. Komen NYC Board Member, Rachel Ferguson.
Dr. Patrick Borgen and the Maimonides Breast Center team, the Community Impact & Innovation Award Honorees.
Julian Robertson, the John Mack Carter Founders Award Honoree, with Nancy Brinker.
Table of Survivors sponsored by the NY Football Giants.
Superhero Moment masks at the Impact Awards.
Susan G. Komen NYC Impact Awards guests.

Photographs by Vitelli/Zach Hilty (Playground Partners); Jenna Bascom Photography (Fresh Air Fund).

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