The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy’s Mehregan gala makes a jubilant return

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A pair of historic weeping beeches inside the entrance of the Walled Garden.

On a Sunday in October, the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy held its Mehregan gala, making a jubilant return after a two-year absence. A celebration of Persian culture inspired by the ancient Persian harvest festival, the event took place at Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, which is home to the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere. Co-chaired by Diana Elghanayan, Nazee Moinian, Katy Palizban, and Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi, the Gala honored celebrated photographer Firooz Zahedi.

Firooz Zahedi, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Carré Callaway, and Darian Zahedi.

Peter Boodell, Conservancy chair, welcomed guests; Adam Weinberg, Whitney Museum director, introduced the honoree; and Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi made the gift presentation. The festive event took place in a tent in the garden with sumptuous Persian food, music, and dancing. Ali Granmayeh read a poem in Farsi by H.E. Sayeh. Legendary Iranian-born singing star Sattar inspired joyful dancing throughout the night. Early on, Nazee Moinian and Cyrus Amir-Mokri delivered a moving commentary on the courageous protests taking place in Iran.

L. to r.: Nazee Moinian and Cyrus Amir-Mokri deliver remarks; Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi making a presentation to the honoree Firooz Zahedi.
Sattar with Nazee Moinian.
Conservancy president Stephen Byrns, Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, and honoree Firooz Zahedi.

The gala raised funds to support the Conservancy’s efforts to sustain the Persian garden and support the restoration of its Persian Pool, which will be completed in 2023. Among the 250 guests were Beth Rudin DeWoody, Martha Stewart, Bob Colacello, Sima Ghadamian, Eleanora Kennedy, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, Sharon Corzine, Susan Stroman, Bill Rudin, Kambiz Atabai, Iris Marden, Shiva Sarram, Hamid Biglari, Laya Khadjavi, Cathie Black, Tanaz Eshaghian, Christy Ferer, Mehdi Ansari, Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, Marc Rosen, Mitra and Shahram Razman, Marjan and Cyrus Yaraghi, Whitney Robinson, Nima Ameri, Michele Oka Doner, and Shining Sung.

Morad Ghadamian, Eleanora Kennedy, and Sima Ghadamian.
Diana and Peter Boodell, chair of the Conservancy.
Kevin Sharkey and Martha Stewart.
Desirée Sakhai, Suzy, Jeff, Diana, and Fred Elghanayan.
Richard Mishaan, Joe Rokacz, Iris Marden, and Larry Gordon.
Virginia Chambers Keim and Betsy Pinover Schiff.
Mina Amir-Mokri, Linda Melik-Aslanian, Cyrus Amir-Mokri, Katy Palizban, Yasmin Naghash, and Nicole McKimmie.
Ali Granmayeh and Marjan Ghara.
Michael Steinberg and Suzanne Slesin.
Fred Doner and Michele Oka Doner.
Abe and Cindy Ofer.
Gabriella Sultanik, Sharon Corzine, and Jake Elghanayan.
Marc Rosen.
Homan Igehy and Sepi Pashaie.
Afsaneh, Hossein, and Nima Ameri.
Drew Pearson and Shiva Sarram.
Isabelle Kirshner and Cristina Grajales.
Ameneh Youssafzedeh and Susan Boynton.
Shining Sung and Krishan Mehta.
Tali Farhadian Weinstein and her daughters.
Shadi Mirfendereski and Dale Lange.
Mina and Keyvan Farouzan, Ali Granmayeh, and Shirin Alaghband.
L. to r.: Mashid Nasseri and Shiva Sarram; Ann Carmel.
Firooz Zahedi, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Adam Weinberg.
Diana, Fred, and Ariel Elghanayan.
L. to r.: Dan Wolk and Tom Lollar; Kitty Berry and Martha Kramer Fox.
Mitra and Shahram Razman, with Marjan and Cyrus Yaraghi.
Mehdi Ansari, Peter Boodell, Tara Emrani, and Diana Boodell.
Cathie Black, Tom Harvey, and Sima Ghadamian.
L. to r.: Marokh Sakhai and Shahrzad Moghaddam; Katy Palizban.
Michaela, Morgan, Mahtab, Joseph, Nazee, and Mitchell Moinian.
Ted Lee and E.V. Day.
Shpresa Xhakli, Shining Sung, Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi, and Ambassador Isabelle Picco.
Eric Rudin and Susan Stroman.
Beth Rudin DeWoody, Darian Zahedi, Firooz Zahedi, Martha Stewart, and Bob Colacello.
Dancing in the tent.
Esphand was tossed into fire pits to ward off the evil eye.
Whitney Robinson and Marc Karimzadeh.
Shirin Safa, Shirin Sarram, and Katy Palizban.
Bahram Hakakian.
The illuminated Temple of the Sky.

Photos: Henry Cohen and John Jacono

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