Call it the ultimate New York City power lunch.
When Hudson River Park Friends throws a party they do it in style all in the name of one New York City’s most important treasures – our beloved parks.
As the city comes back to the full swing of life before the pandemic the thing that is not forgotten is how much a park can be more than just a place to play. It became a sanctuary that today is more greatly appreciated than ever before. That is why the 6th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon this Friday meant so much more than just another Manhattan gala.
Yes, the ladies – and a few very lucky gentleman – certainly did lunch at the colorful gathering that rightfully was full of warm embraces and delightful smiles in the COVID-free zone built from pre-tests and vaccinations. There was no denying we are still on the road back as friendly faces reorganized at Chelsea Piers’ Current, but what better way to honor the long journey we have been on than with a remarkable fundraiser that brought in $365,000 for the glorious park system located on the Hudson River.
Thank goodness for this day and many praises for those who formed this beautiful organization that on March 4 honored Playground Committee Founding President Catherine Juracich and David Burtka.
“I’m grateful to all of you,” said Burtka to the bright crowd seated over scrumptious salads and crisp white wine. “It’s the hard work of the playground committee and all the fundraising that you guys do to helps this area thrive. You love a destination for kids and families and everyone who believes in a better tomorrow. And because of you New Yorkers of all ages have a magnificent place to play, explore, connect and experience life.”
The momentous afternoon was hosted by co-host of NBC’s TODAY Show Sheinelle Jones and featured a performance by comedienne Alyce Chan and music by DJ Mad Marj. Throughout the event guests delighted in everything from shared conversations on how to keep improving the city through combined efforts to surprise champagne bottles popping with service by handsome male models when donations were pledged for the cause at individual tables.
Luncheon highlights also included a funny performance by Alyce Chan of Momcom NYC; and a live auction led by Harry Santa-Olalla in front of such notables guests as Dylan Dryer, Mary Giuliani, Sara Haines, Jane Sarkin, Bobbie Thomas, Donna Corbat, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher, and others. In addition, other such attendees included some of the Luncheon Planning Committee: Rebekah Klipper (co-president), Sarah Lambert (co-president); Wendy Amsterdam, Jenny Miller Dutton, Alexis Herron, Kasia Silverton, Jillian Simpson and Megan Stackhouse. The Playground Committee Luncheon’s presenting sponsors are Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Related Companies.
Hudson River Park is a 550-acre recreational oasis running from Chambers Street to W59th Street bringing much needed, green open space to millions of New Yorkers. Hudson River Park is NOT a city park and relies on private funding to keep the Park green, clean, safe and beautiful.
The Hudson River Park Playground Committee honors accomplished parents and leaders in their communities who are actively engaged and supportive of Hudson River Park and its initiatives. The Playground Committee works to gather support from the local community and raise funds for education, play areas, sports fields, children’s programs and more.
Since the Playground Committee’s inception their advocacy efforts have made a profound impact and the Committee has raised over $2.5 million since 2014 to benefit Hudson River Park. In addition, the Committee has helped bring two innovative play areas in HRPK to life – completing the renovation and redesign of the Chelsea Waterside Play Area and funding the new Pier 26 Science Play Area, which will be begin construction this year – totaling $6 million in capital funding. The Pier 26 Science Play Area, which will be the fifth play area in Hudson River Park, joins the Pier 84, Chelsea Waterside, Pier 51 and Pier 25 play areas for children and families.