Let there be light!

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The scene this past Sunday in front of Brick Church for the annual Park Avenue tree lighting.

Tis the Season! In honor of the Park Avenue Tree Lighting, friends of The Fund for Park Avenue gathered last week at Phillips for a book signing of ‘Tis The Season New York, a joyous photographic celebration of holiday wonder in the “Big Apple” by Betsy Pinover Schiff. The book features photographs of the distinctive and unexpected ways that the holidays are celebrated across all five boroughs of New York.

As one of the city’s most meaningful and longstanding holiday traditions, the Park Avenue Tree Lighting, was of course included. Trees were first lit on the avenue in 1945 by a group of Park Avenue families to honor the memories of their loved ones who died in World War II. This tradition has continued each year and today is made possible by the annual contributions The Fund receives from the community.



The festive evening, supported by First Republic Bank, included specialty cocktails from Maestro Dobel Tequila, an exhibition of Jewels from Phillips’ upcoming auction and remarks by Fund President Barbara McLaughlin, NYC & Co. Chairman Emily Rafferty, and New York Times reporter and Metro columnist James Barron (who also wrote the book’s forward).

The 2018 Park Avenue Trees were lit on Sunday night following a ceremony outside the Brick Presbyterian Church and will remain illuminated through mid-January.

The Fund for Park Avenue relies solely on contributions from the community to plant, light and maintain the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls. For more information or to make a contribution online, please visit www.fundforparkavenue.org


Barbara McLaughlin and Cathy Elkies
Jennifer Wright, Joseph Lagana, Pauline Willis, and Betsy Pinover Schiff
Paul Provost, John Olsen, and Doug Ray
Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz and Joseph La Piana
L to R.: Patricia Burnham Brock and William Brock; Jay Jolly and Martha Glass.
Nick Pappas, Zoe Pappas, and James Barron
Michel Cox Witmer
Tatiana Perkin, Melanie Holland, Karen Glover, and Emily Leonard
L to R.: Charlotte Neuville and Pilar Viladas; Filippa Edberg-Manuel and Kate Johnson
Emily Rafferty and Jane Ogden
Sidney Offit and James Barron
Karen Klopp and Jack Lynch
L to R.: Sean Burke and Julia Shingler: Podie Lynch and Marjorie Reed-Gordon
Chris Stromee and LeMerle Brinkley
L to R.: Cara Hetson, Lisa Bernstein, and Helen Johnson; Chappy and Melissa Morris
Emma Snowden-Jones, Thor Thors, and Melissa Thors
L to R.: Barbara McLaughlin, Podie Lynch, and Elizabeth Peabody; Denise Darrow and Roberta Chapey
Bill Dessoffy and Barbara McLaughlin
L to R.: Francine LeFrak, Rick Friedberg, and Linda Silverman; Barbara Tamerin and Betsy Pinover Schiff
Browsing the exhibition catalogue
Getting in the holiday spirit with Dobel tequila


On Thursday, November 1st, 2018, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters held their Nineteenth Annual “Doodle for Hunger” Celebrity Art Auction. The event was held at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, and featured original signed works of art by actors, musicians, illustrators, entertainers, athletes, artists, politicians, and business celebrities.

Guests enjoyed music performed by our Special Musical Guest, Gianni Russo. He was also presented the St. Francis Award along with our Guest of Honor, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. We thank them for their support and their commitment to the community in “the Spirit of St. Francis.” Margo and John Catsimatidis served as the Presenting Sponsors.

All the funds raised helped St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters fulfill their mission.


Nineteenth Annual “Doodle for Hunger” Celebrity Art Auction
Josephe Sano, Judy Gilbert, Rod Gilbert, and Angelo LoBue
Samantha Alexander, John Alexander, Amanda RIch, Karen Rich, and Denise Alexander
046 Annie Cumella, Judy Gilbert, John Cumella, Rod Gilbert
L to R.: Kathleen Guzman and Michael Minton; Daniel and Lynn Nigro
Anthony Russo, Tom Gambino, Gianni Russo, and Joseph Sano
Donna and Richard Soloway
Greg and Debby Gallo
Stephen Kaufman and Francine Oro
Rita Cosby and Tomaczek Bednarek
Joseph Sano, Andrew Rotondi, Mary Rotondi, and Father Francis Gasparik
Daniel Nigro and Ernie Anastos
Lou Siracusano and friend
Andrew Sosnowski, Robert Mandeltort, Sara Michaelis, and Cynthia Dozier
Adam and Denise Gustavson
Joseph Sano, Father Francis Gasparik, Daniel Nigro, and Tony Lo Bianco
Daniel Nigro, Father Francis Gasparik, John Catsimatidis, Margo Catsimatidis, and Tony Lo Bianco
Tony Lo Bianco, Daniel Nigro, Lynn Nigro, Father Francis Gasparik, Margo Catsimatidis, John Catsimatidis, and Joseph Sano
Kathleen Guzman and Ernie Anastos
Tony Lo Bianco, Kathleen Guzman, and Rod Gilbert
Gianni Russo
Carol Siracusano, Lynn and Dan Nigro, Alyse and Tony Lo Bianco, Joe Sano, Kimberly Nicolich, Ernie Anastos, Gianni Russo, Margo and John Catsimatidis, Father Francis Gasparik
The auction items


Photographs by David DuPuy/AnnieWatt.com (The Fund for Park Avenue); Annie Watt (Doodle)

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