A Star Studded Event To Support
New York’s Waterfront Treasure

Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit: George Napolitano/Retna , Gilbert Carrasquillo/Film Magic, John Lamparski/Getty Images Ent.

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Bring out the FUN and Support for the New York Waterfront Treasure with this fabulous star-studded event held Thursday October 13, 2016 at the Hudson River Park’s Pier Sixty and Pier 62 which was transformed into a water-wonderland filled with festivities throughout the night. The 18th sold-out annual event raised over $3.1 million dollars surpassing last year’s total. Funds raised through the Gala, benefit the city’s premier riverfront Park, which, unlike city and state parks, receives no government funding for its maintenance, security and operations.The Friends of Hudson River Park Gala was hosted by Grammy and Emmy Award Winner Harry Connick Jr., featured a wonderful performance by Grammy Award Winner, Ceelo Green and DJ sets by Bill Coleman. This event honoured Matthew Broderick, Paula Madoff and assemblyman, Richard N.Gottfried, for their outstanding commitment to New York’s Park For Play.

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The evening kicked off with some cocktails and activities such as the Hudson River Valley Animal Carousel, Big City Fishing which many guests tried to catch and release their fish, a boat parade and a performance by the Cobra Performing Arts Marching Band, which lead the procession for dinner.

Notable New Yorkers and celebrities attended in support of Hudson River Park soiree. Sarah Jessica Parker lit up the party along with Martha Stewart, who was honoured at last year’s Friends of Hudson River Park Gala. Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York’s Ryan Serhant with his wife Emelia continued to advocate for our West Side playground, along with renowned food personalities Anthony Bourdain and David Chang, who were also in attendance.

A live auction allowed bidders to one-of-a-kind auction items such as a Bloomingdale’s shopping date with Sarah Jessica Parker, dinner in your home with David Chang and Martha Stewart, as well as a private cocktail party aboard the Grand Banks Oyster Bar and Restaurant in Hudson River Park hosted by Anthony Bourdain. Martha Stewart and Sarah Jessica Parker each graciously matched their donation for a second guest experience, doubling the proceeds for the Park on the spot.

Friends of Hudson River Park also took an opportunity to announce significant donor contributions and partnerships that were crucial to the Park’s continued growth and sustainability. Among those highlighted were J.M. Kaplan’s generous funding to aid in the development of Hudson River Park’s digital initiatives in honour of the late Richard Kaplan, an avid Park advocate who will be receiving an honorary bench in remembrance of his dedication to the community.

“Once again, the annual Friends of Hudson River Park Gala has been a very special and transformative fundraising event,” said Gregory Boroff, Executive Director, Friends of Hudson River Park.

“Tonight was a celebration of the truly extraordinary riches that abound throughout Hudson River Park, and a demonstration of commitment from our philanthropic supporters that this essential urban oasis—New York’s Park for Play—will continue to flourish and grow for generations to come.”

The collective Board of Directors of Friends of Hudson River Park sponsored the treasured Habitat Garden, helping to launch the newly created endowment program Garden Guardians, which ensures the Park’s display gardens, wildlife habitats, lawns, trees, shrubs and flowers will continue to flourish in their gloriously diverse and uniquely beautiful landscapes. This botanical beauty serves as a welcome respite to millions of visitors every year, making Hudson River Park a prized destination and incomparable natural resource.

Friends of Hudson River Park’s 18th Annual Gala was produced by Josh Woods and his team of experts at Josh Woods Productions.

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