New York Botanical Garden Hosts their Dazzling Annual Orchid Dinner

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Martha Stewart
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Social butterflies and orchid blossoms flooded chandelier-lit Plaza hotel on the evening of February 23rd during New York Botanical Garden’s highly anticipated Orchid Dinner. In collaboration with Hearst Corporation, Veranda magazine, and BNY Mellon, this fundraiser for the Garden’s world known orchid research collection, is one of winter’s top social events.

This year’s Gala Chairs, Sharon and Bill Jacob, Kamie and Richard Lightburn, Tina and Steven R. Swartz were joined by Chair Clinton Smith, Editor in Chief of Veranda magazine and Decorations Chair, Carolyn Englefield, to host an evening of magic created by New York’s leading designers.

Upon entering The Plaza, visitors were immediately transported to the far-flung exotic lands reminiscent of captivating adventures that orchids convey. Guests like Martha Stewart, Maureen Chilton, Caroline Wamsler, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Eleanor Kennedy were treated to an elaborate meal served at the exquisite centerpieces set tables, laden with fuchsia garlands, blue swaths and yellow canopies, cream flower crowns and multicolored cascades with feather accents, all created from live orchids.

After the dinner, attendees were presented with signature cocktails and had an opportunity to buy rare and exceptional orchids under the knowledgeable guidance of the world’s leading orchid specialists.

As the magical evening went on, the Grand Ballroom began to resemble a butterfly conservatory filled with couples swaying to the band’s live music, and female guests’ vibrant floral gowns mirrored the orchids’ colors.

All the dinner’s proceeds will underwrite the development of the Botanical Garden’s orchid research collection, which helps maintain the highest horticultural standards of orchid conservation.

Photos by Angela Pham/


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