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Press Release: The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy Celebrates the 37th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon

The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy Celebrates the 37th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon


Frederick Law Olmsted

Sharon Jacob, Sharon Teles, Elizabeth W. Smith, Alexia Leuschen, Cynthia Wagner, and Elaine Textor
Photo by Owen Hoffman via Getty Images

May 1, 2019

New York, NY — The Women’s Committee and Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy hosted the 37th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon today in Central Park's Conservatory Garden (105th Street and Fifth Avenue). The event raised $4 million for the management and maintenance of Central Park.

Women’s Committee President Alexia Leuschen was joined by Central Park Conservancy President & CEO Elizabeth W. Smith, as well as Luncheon Co-Chairs Sharon Jacob, Sharon Teles, Elaine Textor, and Cynthia Wagner as they greeted over 1,200 supporters. Most of the guests wore glamorous and whimsical hats. Guests entered through the Vanderbilt Gate and enjoyed a cocktail reception in the French Garden. This was followed by the luncheon and awards presentation under a beautiful blue and green garden themed tent designed by Andrew Pascoe Flowers.

This year the committee honored Central Park Conservancy supporters and former Women’s Committee President Suzie Aijala, Women’s Committee Founder Norma T. Dana, and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Patricia E. Harris for their extraordinary generosity and friendship. JPMorgan Chase & Co, served as the Corporate Chair.

The Benefit Committee and guests included Conservancy Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Shirin Christoffersen, Tracey Huff, Karen LeFrak, Gillian Miniter, Marcia Mishaan, Elyse Newhouse, Amelia Ogunlesi, Jenny Paulson, Yesim Philip, Lela Rose, Fiona Rudin, Lauren Santo Domingo, Christine Schwarzman, Brooke Shields, and Martha Stewart.

Guests received a signature umbrella from Wathne, Ltd. Whispering Angel Rosé was generously donated by Chateau d’Esclans. The event was catered by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships. Fabric for the tablecloths was provided by Scalamandré. Central Park Conservancy volunteer hats were designed and donated by Patricia Underwood.


BFA credit: Zak Hilty/BFA.com

Getty Images credit: Owen Hoffman via Getty Images

About the Women's Committee

Behind some of the Conservancy’s most impactful work is a powerful team of fundraisers and Park ambassadors. The Women’s Committee raises an incredible $10 million of the Conservancy’s more than $85 million annual budget, and has raised over $175 million to date. Notable successes have included raising funds for the reconstruction of the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, the renovation of Safari Playground (twice), the recreation of the Urns at Bow Bridge, and most recently, the future restoration of Conservatory Garden.

The Women's Committee is proud to host four of New York's premier charitable events: the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, the Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon, Playground Partners Winter Luncheon, and the Annual Family Party in Heckscher Playground. The Committee is responsible for the management of many Park-wide programs including Adopt-A-Bench, Tree Trust, Playground Partners, Daffodils and Tulips Donations, Perimeter Association, Conservancy Docents, and Olmsted Visionaries.

This dynamic collective was founded in 1983 by four women with a passion for preserving and beautifying Central Park and is governed by its own Board of Directors. Now with a membership of 1,000 women strong, Women’s Committee programs enable anyone to make a personal investment in the Park. For more information, please visit the Women's Committee or follow the Women’s Committee on Instagram at @centralparknycwomenscommittee.

About the Central Park Conservancy

The Central Park Conservancy is a private, not-for-profit organization that manages Central Park and is responsible for raising the Park's annual operating budget. The Conservancy’s staff of more than 300 is responsible for all aspects of the Park’s stewardship, from day-to-day maintenance and operations to continued restoration and rebuilding projects. Additionally, the Conservancy operates the Park’s visitor centers, provides public programs, and serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. For more information, please visit centralparknyc.org.

Press Contact

Mary Caraccioli, 212.310.6650 press@centralparknyc.org


Paul Lerner, 917.698.9998 plerner@optimistconsulting.com

Event Contact

Laura Hall, 212.310.6615 lhall@centralparknyc.org