Celebrating 25 Years of Hudson River Park: Gala Raises $2.75 Million for Park Initiatives

Celebrating 25 Years of Hudson River Park: Gala Raises $2.75 Million for Park Initiatives

Hudson River Park Friends marked a significant milestone with its 25th Anniversary Gala, held at Pier 62 and Pier Sixty within the enchanting Hudson River Park. The festivities began with cocktails by the picturesque Carousel at Pier 62, where guests mingled and enjoyed the scenic views of the Hudson River. The enchanting ambiance set the stage for an unforgettable evening.  As the night progressed, attendees were led to Pier Sixty, where they were treated to a sumptuous dinner and an engaging program. 

The gala, hosted by the charismatic Ronny Chieng, celebrated the park's pivotal role in transforming Manhattan's West Side into a four-mile-long oasis of nature, open space, recreation, relaxation, and play over the last quarter of a century and raised a remarkable $2.75 million to support the park's extensive array of free events, landscape maintenance, and the care of upcoming park areas like Gansevoort Peninsula and Pier 97.   (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

Honoring Advocacy and Commitment

Susanna Aaron was honored for her tireless advocacy, which has given a stronger voice to park lovers in the neighborhood. Turner Construction Company received well-deserved recognition for their commitment to sustainable development on the far West Side. Former New York State Governor George E. Pataki received the prestigious Park's Legacy Award, acknowledging his groundbreaking environmental initiatives and his pivotal role in signing the Hudson River Park Act into law in 1998.

Reflecting on Hudson River Park's 25-Year Journey

Connie Fishman, Executive Director of Hudson River Park Friends, reflected on the park's incredible journey, saying, "It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since we first began turning the dream of Hudson River Park into the magical place that it is today. A whole generation of children has grown up with the Hudson riverfront as their playground. We should congratulate both the government and the private sector for their commitment to this unique public/private partnership, reinventing the waterfront on Manhattan's West Side.

Former New York State Governor George E. Pataki was awarded with the Park's Legacy Award for his extraordinary contributions to environmental conservation and sustainability. During his tenure, Governor Pataki championed groundbreaking environmental policies that included the creation of over 60 new state parks, the preservation of more than one million acres of open space, and the implementation of the first-ever green building tax credit. His leadership also led to the establishment of policies encouraging alternative energy sources and innovative initiatives like the regional greenhouse gas initiative, which currently involves 14 participating states.

Governor Pataki's pivotal role in signing the Hudson River Park Act into law in 1998 was a transformative moment in the park's history, laying the foundation for its continued growth and success.

A Night of Entertainment and Giving

Auctioneer Lucas Hunt led an exciting live auction, offering unique experiences, including a food and wine lover's dream, a getaway to the 2024 Masters Tournament, an exclusive tour of the ZONAMACO art fair in Mexico City, and a private Dinner Party with a show afterparty at City Winery. Guests danced the night away to the electrifying performance by Parliament-Funkadelic, featuring George Clinton.

Notable Attendees

Notable individuals including Martha Stewart, Board Chair of Hudson River Park Friends Diana L. Taylor, New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, and many others who came together to celebrate this remarkable milestone.  Gala Chairs Diana L. made the success of the gala possible through their dedication. Taylor and Michael R. Bloomberg, Sarah and Sean Lambert, Erica and Sam Martini, Lee and Justin Sadrian, and Zara and David Tisch.

Host Committee

The Host Committee included Emma Bloomberg and Jeremiah Kittredge, Anthony Borelli, Kaija and Peter Braus, Steven Charno, Valerie and Tim Doherty, William Floyd, Meredith Guelbert, Larry Keigwin and Christian Keesee, Meryl and Joey Levin, Sam Lush, Matthew J. Lustig of Lazard, Lauren Nanna and Robert Martin, Stephanie Nelson and Tom Connolly, David Orowitz, Abby Pogrebin and David Shapiro, Gregory D. Podolak, Megan and Ben Shaoul, Hilary Spann, Ron Treveloni, Caroline and Jacob Werner, Daniel J. Williams of Citi Private Bank, Rob Wiesenthal and Randy Williamson. 

Special thanks to the 2023 River Sponsors: Blade, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citi, Clarkson Square Partners, and to the 2023 Park Sponsors: Born Kickers, Cozen O'Connor, Jones Lang LaSalle, Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C., Terminal Warehouse, TSIB, Warburg Pincus, Wells Fargo and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. 

Celebrating Success, Community, and a Sustainable Urban Oasis

Hudson River Park's 25th Anniversary Gala was a night of celebration, reflection, and appreciation for the remarkable impact this urban oasis has had on the lives of New Yorkers. As it continues to thrive and evolve, a community coming together supports a common cause, setting a shining example of achievement.  As Hudson River Park is not a City-run park, the maintenance of its 550 acres, including new park areas coming online such as Gansevoort Peninsula, Pier 97, and the Pier 26 Science Play Area, relies on private donations and earned income for its operations, maintenance, and public programs. The funds raised during the evening will contribute to the park's 400 free annual programs, spanning marine science education, environmental stewardship, sustainability, dance, music, fitness, and more.

For more information about Hudson River Park, please visit hudsonriverpark.org.

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