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Recent News: Friends of Hudson River Park Celebrate It's 17th Annual

                         Gala with a Bash & Celebrity's Green Carpet in NYC !

SMI Philantrophy / October 09, 2015

NEW YORK(SMI-WIRE,10.09.15)A glittering crowd turned out for the 17th Annual Friends of Hudson River Park Gala (#HRPGala) yesterday evening, which turned Hudson River Park’s Pier Sixty and Pier 62 into a festive, fun-filled event space for 1,000 of the Park’s closest Friends. The sold-out event raised nearly $3 million – $300,000 more for the Park than last year’s event – to benefit the city’s premier riverfront Park, which, unlike city and state parks, receives no government funds for its maintenance, security and operations. This spectacular annual event helps ensure the Park’s vibrant future and continued growth.


Padma Lakshmi, Emmy-nominated host and judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, served as the evening’s host, welcoming guests to the festivities. On hand to present Martha Stewart with an award for her commitment to the ongoing growth and enhancement of the Park was Late Nighthost Seth Meyers; Senator Chuck Schumer also appeared to offer his own nod to dear friend Stewart. Friends of Hudson River Park Gala Co-Chair Mike Novogratz and Senator Daniel Squadron took the stage to honor Scott Lawin, Vice Chair of Friends’ Board of Directors. Olympic figure skater Sarah Hughes presented Chelsea Piers’ Roland W. Betts, Tom A. Bernstein and David A. Tewksbury with their award in celebration of Chelsea Piers’ 20th anniversary as Manhattan’s premier 28-acre sports complex situated on three historic piers in Hudson River Park.


The night kicked off with cocktails by the enchanting custom-designed Hudson River Valley Animal Carousel on Pier 62, accompanied by a soundtrack spun by DJ Ian Mellencamp. Guests also enjoyed Big City Fishing and a boat parade before the Cobra Performing Arts Marching Band appeared to lead the procession of 1,000 guests to dinner at Pier Sixty. The space, which included décor by Met Gala designer Raúl Àvila, welcomed guests under a canopy of fall foliage and other Park-inspired design flourishes as they enjoyed the awards presentation and a live auction sponsored by Delta. Highly coveted auction items were quickly snatched up by eager bidders, with items including a guitar signed by Justin Bieber and donated by Martha Stewart, as well as a private cocktail party aboard the Grand Banks hosted by Anthony Bourdain.

From dinner, the doors were flung open to reveal a lively after-party. To cap the evening, guests enjoyed a performance by The B-52s and DJ sets by The Dolls.

“Friends of Hudson River Park’s 17th Annual Gala was an exhilarating celebration of the Park and its generous supporters,” said Gregory Boroff, Executive Director, Friends of Hudson River Park.  “We are endlessly grateful to those who share our mission of protecting, preserving and growing this vital destination and urban oasis where all of New York comes to play.”

Friends of Hudson River Park also took the opportunity to announce three significant donor contributions that will be crucial to the Park’s continued growth. In addition to a $10 million donation by Citigroup for the rebuilding of Pier 26, it was also revealed that Rafael Viñoly will donate his services to design the Estuariam, a research center and education facility devoted to the science of the river and its surrounding environment. In addition, New York City Council member Corey Johnson has pledged $820,000 toward the renovation of the Chelsea Waterside Playground, with Friends to secure the remaining $900,000 toward the project’s completion through fundraising efforts.


Hudson River Park, which extends from Chambers Street to 59th Street along Manhattan's west side, is the longest riverfront park in the United States. This free, urban recreational oasis is home to award -winning skate parks , playgrounds , sports fields, gardens and nature exhibits, boating and maritime activities, art installations, and myriad year-round  events that celebrate the diverse cultures and neighborhoods along its shores. The Park plays a critical role in protecting the Hudson Rver ecosystem, and though it receives no public operating funds from city, state or federal government , its development has transformed four miles of decaying piers and parking lots into a premier New York City destination for local residents and visitors alike. The non-profit, Friends of Hudson River Park helps to ensure ongoing sustainability by serving as the Park's primary source of fundraising , advocacy and support, working in concert with the Hudson River park Trust,

the city-state entity that oversees the design, construction and operation of the Park.

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