On The Avenue

NYC Hearts Pandas

by Michael Gross Photographed by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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It was the last big party at the historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s Starlight Roof ballroom before the place closes for renovations and a glittering mix of 450 New York’s bold faced gathered to support a quest to bring a pair of Giant Pandas from China to New York City to live here permanently. The gala cleared just under $500 million for this non-profit project, a longtime quest of Chinese-American TV personality Yue-Sai Kan and East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “The greatest city on earth deserves to be home to Giant Pandas; these iconic creatures are said to bring good luck and good cheer --both of which our city can use more o,f” she says.

Maloney was joined by her co-chairs John Catsamatidis and  Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and. Zhang Qiyue, China's Consul General to NY, Margo Catsimatidis, model Carmen Dell'Orefice, Baroness Gabrielle von Langendorff, Omar Sharif Jr., Hunt Slonem, Sharon Bush, Andy Stein, Larry and Wendy Rockefeller, Jill Sackler, Hon. Peter Vallone, Jonathan and Somers Farkas, and Jean Shafiroff, and more New York and Chinese officials.

The event was emceed by Broadcasting Hall of Famer Ernie Anastos and included guest appearances by Joe Piscopo, Stephen Baldwin and, showing the city's bi-partisan spirit, NY State GOP Chair Edward Cox, who shared stories of his father-in-law, President Richard Nixon's, opening  in China in the 1970.

Maloney also revealed that a “Dream Habitat Competition” for Sino-US architects would soon be launched. The competition to design a world class Panda habitat will be juried by a blue-ribbon panel.
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