Behind the stunning oasis, New York’s Hudson River Park stands a committed community of private donors who support the park’s 550+ plus public programs, preservation, and innovation.
Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee, the generous community funding the park, gathered at the Pier 59 CURRENT on Friday to celebrate its Fifth Annual Luncheon. This year’s honorees were fashion designer and philanthropist Nicky Hilton Rothschild, CEO & Founder of Rockets of Awesome Rachel Blumenthal, and Senior Vice President of Citi & Lead Stephanie Hochman.
“I am a born and raised New Yorker. I adore this concrete jungle that we live in,” shared Nicky Hilton Rothschild, “Growing up in a hectic city like New York, you need that occasional visit to the park to keep your sanity. And now, being the mother of two toddlers, that statement has never been more true.”
Over $260,000 were raised at the Fifth Annual Luncheon and will be used to support a 4,000 square foot marine science play area. The playground construction is set to begin in 2022 and will feature interactive sculptural elements to educate children on native and endangered species. Since the Playground Committee’s inception in 2012, $5.5MM has been raised for Hudson River Park.
Hudson River Park runs from Chambers Street to 59thStreet and consists of 550 acres of recreational and educational space welcoming New Yorkers, and beyond, to experience play and community- building in the city. The park offers lessons for kayaking, sailing, and more. It hosts public events, skate parks, boathouses, playgrounds, fountains, and breathtaking waterfront lounge areas. The park’s research programs cover oyster restoration, microplastic tracking, Citizen Water Quality Testing, and other scientific contributions. Hudson River Park promotes a healthier lifestyle for all with its free or low cost programs, and fosters a sense of community among New Yorkers.
“As my kids ran around, playing with the locals, and feeling immediately at home I was reminded that parks are the ultimate equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you’re from a different country, neighborhood, or socioeconomic status. Parks are for everyone,” said Rachel Blumenthal.
The Luncheon welcomed its many celebrated guests with a reception, followed by a lunch, and silent auction. Actress and New York Times best- selling author, Jenny Mollen hosted the event. Notable guests and speakers included Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet, incoming HRPK Playground Committee Presidents Rebekah Klipper and Sarah Lambert, Luncheon Chairs Wendy Amsterdam, Bethany D’Meza, Alexis Herron, Jilian Simpson, Megan Stackhouse, Chelsey Ward and Cara Weisberger, and HRPT President & CEO Madelyn Wils, who shared outstanding visual plans for the sunny future of the Gansevoort Peninsula. The afternoon was supported by Saks 5thAvenue, Citi, CBRE, RBC Capital Markets, and Rockets of Awesome.
In Sarah Lambert’s words, “Just like a suburban backyard, the park is deeply etched into our families’ memories”. Hudson River Park is the destination for learning, educating, creating, and connecting. It is an endless green space for people of all ages, and all backgrounds to enjoy for themselves, to experience with their families, and to carve out their own story in an ever-expanding New York.