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Press Release: Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon


Celebrated the Thirty-Fifth Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon


group portrait

Sima Ghadamian, Shelley Carr, Douglas Blonsky, Norma Dana, Suzie Aijala, Beth Dozoretz

New York, NY — The Women’s Committee and Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy hosted the Thirty-Fifth Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon today in Central Park's Conservatory Garden (105th Street and Fifth Avenue).

More than 1,200 guests attended the famous “Hat Luncheon,” most wearing unique, colorful hats. The event began with a reception under the wisteria pergola and tours of Conservatory Garden at 11:00 am, followed by the luncheon and awards presentation under an elegant white tent at 12:15 pm.

To commemorate the thirty-five year milestone, the Women’s Committee has brought back elements from the original lunch including a Men’s Committee — who wore their own festive hats — and décor elements such as ribbons draped around each tent pole, a nod to the first lunch which featured maypole dancers.

In honor of the anniversary, the Women’s Committee has committed to raise at least $5 million towards a transformative $10 million initiative to restore Conservatory Garden, Central Park’s six-acre masterwork of formal garden design and home of the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon.

Suzie Aijala, President of the Women’s Committee, was joined by luncheon Chairmen Shelley Carr, Norma Dana, Beth Dozoretz and Sima Ghadamian. This year the committee honored Angela E. Thompson, Amanda Thompson Riegel, and The Thompson Family Foundation, and Karen Thornwell May. J.P. Morgan, represented by Kelly C. Coffey, CEO of the U.S. Private Bank, served as the Corporate Honoree. Michael Kors graciously served as Event Sponsor.

“The Women’s Committee is proud to have played an important role in the restoration and ongoing care of Central Park over the past thirty-five years,” said Committee President Suzie Aijala. “As we celebrate the great tradition of the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, we reflect on how Central Park has never been more beautiful or had a brighter future.”

The Benefit Committee and guests included: Central Park Conservancy President & CEO Douglas Blonsky, Conservancy Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Kempner, Michael Bloomberg, Women’s Committee Founder Norma Dana, Emily Blavatnik, Noreen Buckfire, Anne Harrison, Sharon Jacob, Suzanne Johnson, Eleanora Kennedy, Coco Kopelman, Alexia Leuschen, Karen LeFrak, Kamie Lightburn, Gillian Miniter, Marcia Mishaan, Jenny Paulson, Yesim Philip, Jenny Price, Deborah Roberts, Lela Rose, Fiona Rudin, and Martha Stewart.

Chateau d’Esclans generously donated Rosé for the afternoon. Guests also received a signature umbrella from Wathne, Ltd and a gift from Estée Lauder. Fabric for the tablecloths was provided by Scalamandré.

About the Central Park Conservancy
The Central Park Conservancy — a private nonprofit organization founded in 1980 — raises 75 percent of the funds needed to restore and maintain Central Park, which is enjoyed by over 42 million visitors annually. Through the Conservancy’s public-private partnership with NYC Parks, they have invested nearly $1 billion in Central Park to date, which helps to generate approximately $1.4 billion in annual economic activity that benefits New York City. For more information, please visit centralparknyc.org

About the Women’s Committee
The Women's Committee of the Central Park Conservancy is a group of dynamic women who are dedicated to the beautification and preservation of Central Park. Founded in 1983 by four visionary women, the Women’s Committee has been instrumental in increasing awareness and raising funds for many Park projects, including reconstruction of the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, renovation of Safari Playground twice, and re-creation of the urns at Bow Bridge. The Women's Committee raises nearly 15 percent of the Conservancy's $67 million annual budget through membership and fundraising events. Since 1983, the Women’s Committee has raised over $150 million. For more information, please visit centralparknyc.org/womenscommittee

Press Contact: Paul Lerner | plerner@optimistconsulting.com, 917.698.9998
Event Contact: Laura Hall, Culture Communications NY | lhall@centralparknyc.org, 212.310.6615