Press Release

May 2, 2018

36th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon Celebrated by Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee

Flo 2018 05 02

The Women’s Committee and Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy hosted the 36th Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon today in Central Park's Conservatory Garden (105th Street and Fifth Avenue).

Women’s Committee President Suzie Aijala was joined by Central Park Conservancy President & CEO Elizabeth W. Smith, as well as Luncheon Chairmen Amandine Freidheim, Elyse Newhouse, Jenny Price, and Marie Unanue as they greeted over 1,200 supporters. Most of the guests wore glamorous and whimsical hats, reflecting the event’s nickname, the “Hat Luncheon”.

The event began with a reception under the wisteria pergola and tours of Conservatory Garden where the cherry tree allées and tulip-filled gardens were in full bloom. This was followed by the luncheon and awards presentation under a beautiful pink and green garden-themed tent designed by Andrew Pascoe Florals.

This year the committee honored Central Park Conservancy supporters Judy and Russell Carson for their extraordinary generosity and friendship, and former Central Park Conservancy President & CEO and current Senior Advisor to the President & CEO, Douglas Blonsky, for his remarkable leadership. JPMorgan Chase & Co, represented by Kelly C. Coffey, CEO of the U.S. Private Bank and Central Park Conservancy Trustee, served as the Corporate Chair.

The event also celebrated the Women’s Committee’s capital campaign for the restoration of the Conservatory Garden. The funds will repair the infrastructure and architectural components of the six-acre formal garden and home of the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon. To date, the Women’s Committee has raised an incredible $175 million towards the park’s maintenance, restoration, and enhancement.

“I am so pleased that the Luncheon has raised nearly $4 million in support of our beloved Park. We are very grateful to our devoted supporters,” said Women’s Committee President Suzie Aijala.

The Benefit Committee and guests included Conservancy Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Kempner, Women’s Committee Founder Norma Dana, Commissioner, NYC Parks, Mitchell J. Silver, Liz Atwood, Jackie Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Beth Dozoretz, Lise Evans, Sharon Jacob, Eleanora Kennedy, Karen LeFrak, Alexia Leuschen, Carol Sutton Lewis, Stephanie March, Gillian Miniter, Marcia Mishaan, Amelia Ogunlesi, Jenny Paulson, Yesim Philip, Amanda Thompson Riegel, Lela Rose, Fiona Rudin, Christine Schwarzman, Margaret Smith, and Martha Stewart.

Guests also received a signature umbrella from Wathne, Ltd and a gift from Estée Lauder. Chateau d’Esclans generously donated Rosé for the afternoon, Blake the Butcher provided the delicious mustard crusted filet mignon for the entrée, and the event was catered by Sonnier & Castle. Fabric for the tablecloths was provided by Scalamandré. Central Park Conservancy volunteer hats were incredibly designed and donated by Patricia Underwood.