On The Avenue

Don’t Rain on Central Park’s Parade

by Michael Gross Photographed by Gillian Miniter, Sylvester Miniter
Friday, October 28, 2016
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The rain was biblical as guests arrived at the Central Park Conservancy’s Autumn in Central Park gala at the tented-over Naumberg Bandshell on Thursday night. But park workers were at the ready with Conservancy umbrellas, the coat check team proffered towels for drying off, and within, everything that makes a benefit work well was on offer–good nibbles, fine wine, and an autumnal menu (by Abigail Kirsch); breathtaking woodsy table settings (by event designer DeJuan Stroud); hot music courtesy DJ Kiss–and none of what makes a party feel like work–like long-winded speeches–were on the night’s menu.  

Among the 400 guests who dined in the clear-roofed tent were this year’s event Chairmen Betsy Smith & Rick Cotton, Gillian & Sylvester Miniter, Yesim & Dusty Philip, and Kristen & Michael Swenson, along with Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park ConservancySuzie & Ainar Aijala, Suzanne & Bob Cochran, Alexandra Lebenthal & Jeremy Diamond, Sherrill and Muffie Potter Aston, Fe & Alessandro Fendi, Yaz & Valentin Hernandez, Tracey & Craig Huff, Sharon Jacob, Henry Johnson, Vice Chairman of Northern Trust’s East Region Wealth Management Business, Jill & Barry Lafer, Elyse & Michael Newhouse, Lorry & Mark Newhouse, Jenny & Michael Price, Patsy & Jeff Tarr, Page Six editor Emily Smith, Barbara Cirkva and Heather and Tom Leeds. Another 200 Young Associate guests joined in for dessert and dancing. The Young Associates Event Chairs were Bz Reed & Charles Altchek, Sara & Michael Bernard, Samuel P.C. Dangremond, Meggie Kempner and Lucinda & Theodore May.  Event co-chair Gillian Miniter says, “Although I love visiting Central Park year round, there is nothing quite like the time of year when an autumn breeze begins to blow through the trees and the leaves start changing colors.” Never mind the rain.  By the end of the night, it had blown through the park and out of the minds of all.


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