Maintenance, Care, and Vision

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The packed house at the Mandarin Oriental for the the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy's Playground Partners annual Winter Luncheon.

Last Monday, January 23, the Playground Partners, a program of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, kicked-off the year’s series of signature fundraising events by hosting their annual Winter Luncheon. The event, with generous support by Presenting Sponsor Harry Winston, Inc., raised $330,000 to maintain Central Park’s 21 playgrounds: essential, safe, and accessible areas of imaginative play for the children and families of New York City.

Jenny Mollen and Gabby Bernstein.

Attendees gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where the luncheon featured a lively conversation between comedian and author, Jenny Mollen, and motivational speaker, Gabby Bernstein. Mollen shared how important Central Parks has become for her family’s health and wellbeing, as well as the importance of utilizing nature as a part of her own personal care routine. Guests walked away with tips from Bernstein on how to stay calm and collected during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Women’s Committee President Jenny Price, Playground Partners Co-Chairs Mimi Ritzen Crawford and Austen Phillips Cruz, Vice Chair Tiffany Gardner, and event co-chairs Michelle Auerbach, Darice Fadeyi, Kelly Fradin, Catherine Fraise, Kara Gerson, and Lillie Howard were joined by guests including Katherine Gage Boulud, Kate Davis, Ainsley Earhardt, Gillian Hearst, Tracey Huff, Sharon Jacob, Amie James, Alexia Leuschen, Crystal McCrary, Gillian Miniter, Margo M. Nederlander, Barbara H. Scott, and Gigi Stone Woods.

“The Women’s Committee is so grateful for the enthusiasm and support of Central Park’s playgrounds as we continue to raise funds for their ongoing maintenance and care,” said Jenny Price, President of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. “The Playground Partners raise critical funds to support Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, enabling children from across New York City to play joyfully and safely.”

Jenny Mollen.

The space at the Mandarin, which showcases a breathtaking birds-eye view of Central Park, was illuminated thanks to Julia Amory, who provided festive tablecloths for the occasion.

For more than 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.

Austen Cruz, Caroline Bouckaert, Alexa Scanlon, and Stephanie Stamas.
Jenny Price, Tiffany Gardner, Austen Cruz, and Mimi Crawford
Krista Corl, Gigi Stone Woods, and Kay Nordeman.
Lisa Manice, Nelle Miller, and Lauren Kenny.
L. to r.: Mary Busby and Caroline Russo; Pinki Mahadevia, Libby Naumes, and Samantha Whiting.
Kate Bouquard Moretti, Nyssa Lee, Lara Meiland-Shaw, and Crystal McCrary.
Michelle Auerbach, Kelly Fradin, Catherine Fraise, Kara Gerson, Lillie Howard, and Darice Fadeyi.
Sheila Kassir, Jackie Thompson, Aliza Kassim, and Miriam Hess.
Maureen Mulheren, Aileen Bruner, Sharon Jacob, Gillian Miniter, Jenny Price, and Tracey Huff.
Christie Price and Lu-Shawn Thomson.

Findlay Galleries on Worth Avenue, the iconic, family-owned art business founded in 1870, hosted a kickoff cocktail reception on January 20, 2023, for supporters and friends of Lighthouse Guild’s upcoming annual “Visionary Evening” Dinner. The Dinner, honoring Jacqueline Weld Drake and James Borynack, will be at Club Colette on February 28, 2023.

Nearly 100 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as they feasted their eyes on works of art by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters and distinguished contemporary American and European artists.

To get the guest’s attention, Borynack, CEO and Chairman of Findlay Galleries, tickled the ivories on the piano of the Second Floor Salon before Marc Rosen, Founder of the Palm Beach Friends of Lighthouse Guild, said words of thanks and introduced Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild.

Dr. Calvin Roberts, Jackie Weld, and James Borynack.

Roberts welcomed and thanked everyone and expressed Lighthouse Guild’s deep appreciation to Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui for hosting the reception. He also thanked Weld Drake for hosting the Annual Tea in December.

Roberts explained that every year, Lighthouse Guild helps more than 5,000 people with vision loss reach their goals and maintain independence through the myriad services and technologies it provides. The upcoming “Visionary Evening” Dinner in Palm Beach is a major source of support for those they serve.

L. to r.: Adolfo Zaralegui and Andrea Roberts; Skip and Linda Aldridge.

Following the cocktail reception, Borynack and Zaralegui hosted a by-invitation dinner in honor of Jacqueline Weld Drake at Club Colette.

Lighthouse Guild is dedicated to providing exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals. The organization provides coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation, behavioral health and technology as well as related services. Its podcast series, “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts” offers information and insights about technological innovations that remove barriers for people who are blind or visually impaired.

For more information, visit

L. to r.: Eleanora Kennedy and Beth DeWoody; Val Pollner and Sharon Jacquet.
Pamela Fiori and Marc Rosen.
L. to r.: Mai Hallingby and Michel Witmer; Juan Pretel and Sharon Bush.
Bernard and Denise Schwartz.
L. to r.: Randee Bank and Allen Dalton; Grace Meigher and Kathryn Bryan.
Denis Hanrahan and Gustavo Novoa.
Alvin Valley and Dom Eduardo.
Billie Beadleston and Frannie Scaife.

Executive director and award-winning actress Julianne Michelle and Marc Leder of Sun Capital hosted a gala to benefit Mommy’s Heart, a 501(C)3 supporting victims of abuse, with Oscar-winning board member Cuba Gooding, Jr., filmmaker and board member Sean Stone, and board member Claudine De Niro. Billy Bob Thornton, Sally Kirkland, Sean Stone, Myles Von Trapp, Dr. Samuel Kelley, and Florence Anthony served on the Host Committee.

CEOs Harley Lippman, Jennifer Bell, and Marc Bell were honored with the Mommy’s Heart Philanthropy Award, presented by Julianne Michelle and board member Noelle Dunphy.

Marc Leder and Julianne Michelle.

Marc Leder hosted approximately 200 guests in his home in Boca Raton, Florida for an evening of live entertainment, dinner, drinks, and dancing with DJ Friendly and performances by fire dancer Carla Lulic and award-winning global concert pianist, Gaynor van Vuuren ~ the Piano Queen™️ with saxophonist Debbie Pierce. Mike McGann, Legends Radio host, shinned as live auctioneer and Emcee.

Mommy’s Heart provides free legal representation and mental health services to parents and children, who escaped domestic violence and are facing legal and financial retaliation by their abusers.

Cuba Gooding Jr., Claudine De Niro, and Julianne Michelle.

Sponsors included: Candy’s Cake Pops, Prezzo, Vesica Vodka, DeLeón Tequila, Sip Channé, Tulipan Bakery, Casa D’Angelo, Gopuff, Total Wine & More, KOPU Water, Siena Grill, Zero-G, Café L’Europe, The Polo Club at NPC, Dashbar, Luxeblooms, Paul Carroll, Premium Wine & Liquor, Hogan Lovells, Innomatic, Bell Beachwear, Hadleigh’s, Veuit, PS Business Management, LLC, Pure Skin Collagen Boutique, and Donna Sousa Makeup and Hair.

L. to r.: Annalisa Ashmawee-Garcia and Jessica Robinson; Katrina Miller, Stuart Fife, and Patricia Velazquez.
Ivan Wilzig, Kavita Channe, Karyn Turk, and Adam Weiss.
Mike McGann, Judy Gilbert, Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, and Monsignor David Cassato.
Robert Jeffery Karpe and Gaynor Van Vuuren.
L. to r.: Liz Valk, Ted Valk, and Mackenzie Valk; Marc and Jennifer Bell.
Samuel Kelley, MD, Julianne Michelle, Chase Backer, Danielle Leigh, Sean Stone, Noelle Dunphy, and  Rollin Reisinger.
Steven Levin and Darianna Nicot.
Thapanee Fongkam, Dame Mara New, Lexye Aversa, and Philip Nicozisis.
Todd Poindexter, Stephanie Ernst, and Darren Horvath.

Photographs by Sean Zanni/PMC (Playground Partners); Capehart (Lighthouse Guild); Annie Watt (Mommy’s Heart).

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